Headed Towards a Whirlpool

While visiting Niagara Falls on the Canadian side, we knew part of our weekend itinerary would include getting wet.  Whether it was riding a boat near the falls or doing something else, we knew it was something that we should do.  We like to do things a little differently, so we opted to go to the cutest little town Niagara-on-the-Lake, where we would embark on an adventurous excursion known as the  Whirlpool Jet Boat .

Niagara-on-the-Lake was a quick 15 minutes away from our hotel, and it is is here that one of the locations of the Whirlpool Jet Boat tours can be found.

We did not really know what to expect from our visit.  We knew a jet boat on the water sounded like a great way to spend the afternoon, but we had no idea just how much fun we were in for.

We were given some pointers for the trip beforehand, so we were prepped to get wet.  We had a change of clothes and towels on hand, which turned out to be an absolute necessity.  Upon arrival at the desk, we signed waivers and attended a quick training session.  Afterwards, we were given fleece sweaters, water shoes, ponchos and life jackets.  I would highly recommend taking all of these things with you!

We loaded onto the boat, which is a flat bottomed, 1500 horsepower jet engine propelled boat, with an angular front.  This allows the lightweight boat to act almost like a shovel when hitting the waves and drenches its passengers.  There are around 10 rows that seat 6 people to each row.  While you are secure as a passenger, it is recommended to not take phones or keys, as there is no way to keep those items dry and secure.


We started out on a very peaceful, leisurely pace down the river as we passed neighboring homes and businesses. As we were visiting in October, fall foliage was gorgeous.  The skies were blue and clear, with only the occasional white fluffy cloud.  Once we passed the no wake zone, the boat let loose and it was so fun!

That’s when we journeyed to some rapids.  Wait!  Rapids?  How did I not know that we were going to be going down rapids in a speed boat?  Yes, it’s true, I did not know that was what was in store for me that afternoon.  I honestly thought I would just be sprayed by some water and most likely everything I had on would keep me relatively dry.  Oh, no!  I was so wrong.  We plunged down some rapids and before I knew it, a wave of crystal blue water was encompassing my entire body.  It was like I was submerged in a swimming pool.  It was exhilarating and so much fun.  And very wet.  Yes, there was no chance I would leave that boat dry, as every article of clothing I had on was completely drenched.  I was loving every minute of it, as was my entire family.

We spent an hour racing down the river, turning, and going down rapids, having a spectacular time.  Then we came to  a spot known as the whirlpool.  It was absolutely terrifying to think of dropping  35-40 feet down a rapid that actually forms a whirlpool. This is the highest classification of rapids–a class 6–in North America.  It actually is illegal to cross it, unless you have special permission from the coast guard as part of a search and rescue mission.  I will admit, I was relieved to hear that we were not allowed to ride that particular rapid!

At that point, we turned back towards the dock, but enjoyed several more rapid rides along the way.

Check out the video from our trip to get an idea of what it was like.

As a family, we get to go on tons of fun activities and trips.  We have created so many great memories together.  We all agreed that this particular “boat ride” was one of the coolest things we have done together on vacations.  I can not rave about Whirlpool Jet Boat rides enough to you, it was an absolute blast and we loved every minute of it, even when the cold air was blasting our water soaked bodies and we were freezing speeding through the river.  An absolutely amazing time!  So, when you plan your visit to Niagara Falls, forget the traditional water boat ride to the falls and opt for Whirlpool Jet Boat rides instead.  You will love it!  To learn more about scheduling your own ride, visit their website.

*we were invited to visit to facilitate a review, all opinions are my own.

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