Friday, July 31, 2015

Cruising on the Niagara Belle

My family and I had an amazing time cruising on the Niagara Belle. This new Niagara boat tour allows the entire family to soak up the beauty and history of the stunning Niagara River from the decks of a fully restored New Orleans-style paddle wheeler. As we spent two hours sailing and enjoying our lunch cruise we enjoyed the beautiful scenery and was able to have a relaxing time. 
I like that the cruise is two hours, which is perfect timing for us as it was not too short or not too long.
The Niagara Belle previously operated as a cruise boat in Toronto Harbour on Lake Ontario and in the Upper Niagara River. 
Niagara Sunset Cruises bought the boat in 2013 and gave it a complete overhaul, including more than $1 million in renovations. 
After running private charter trips last summer, the Niagara Belle is offering cruises for the general public for the first time ever this season. 
We can depart from both sides of the Niagara River either from the docks in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont. and Lewiston, N.Y.
Dinner cruises depart from both the Canadian and American docks, while cruises like the lunch and the special Sunday Captain’s Cruise are offered from the Canadian side only. 
This is a wonderful opportunity for people of all ages to take the leisurely cruise down the Lower Niagara River, through Queenston and Niagara-on-the-Lake, to the mouth of Lake Ontario.
The ship can accommodate up to 80 people for a seated dinner and about 140 for cocktail cruises. Along with public cruises, Niagara Sunset Cruises also offers private and corporate charters on the Niagara Belle in Canada and the U.S., which can be booked in advance for events such as birthday parties, banquets, fundraisers, team-building retreats or VIP events. Visit to see their menu options, and details on the reservation.  
We departed for the lunch cruise by arriving at the Navy Hall, where we can park our vehicle for free to get on the cruise. 
A little bit of history about the Navy Hall...
Over the years, several buildings, known collectively as Navy Hall, evolved into a key military supply facility for British forts on the upper Great Lakes. 
During the American Revolution, the Provincial Marine wintered at Navy Hall and, in 1792; Lieutenant Governor John Graves Simcoe converted one of the buildings into his residence. The Lieutenant-Governor's home in the first capital of the Province of Upper Canada, later served as a dining hall for the officers at Fort George. 
American forces destroyed Navy Hall during the War of 1812. After the war, the British rebuilt some of the buildings, of which one still survives today. This building is not open to the public, but it is available for rental for special events.
We really liked that this part of the Niagara region was free from the hustle and bustle, making it a peaceful place to take beautiful pictures and check out places like Fort George.  
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  1. Looks like a great cruise to take when visiting the area, will have to remember it. Thanks for sharing. (Judy Cowan)


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