Niagara City Cruises Announces Earliest 2023 Sailings Ever Thanks to Lack of Ice

The removal of the ice boom is a key event for the opening of Niagara City Cruises

Niagara City Cruises has announced its 2023 season will mark a banner year for the popular Niagara Falls boat tour with the earliest opening date in its recorded history. Rated as one of Canada’s most memorable experiences, Niagara City Cruises will begin its 2023 season on today (Thursday 16th March) running tours from 10am-4pm EST.

“This is a historic event for boat tours to the base of Niagara Falls marking the earliest on record that Niagara City Cruises has ever operated, and going back before our time, there is no recorded opening of the Niagara Falls boat tours operating as early as March,” says Mory DiMaurizio, Chief Operating Officer of City Cruises in Canada. “2023 is our comeback year, and we are excited to be able to welcome both locals and tourists alike to the iconic destination, and this year, be part of families March spring break to enjoy during their time here in the Niagara region.”

The annual spring opening of one of Canada’s must-see tourist attractions is largely dependent on the build-up of ice on Lake Erie over the winter, which this year, has been minimal. While there have been some snowstorms and frigid stretches during this year’s winter, overall, conditions have been favourable. As little as one percent of Lake Erie’s surface was covered with ice, and water temperatures above freezing at the end of February. As an affect, it has prompted a relatively early removal of the ice boom that is installed — where Lake Erie empties into the Niagara River — to manage the amount of ice entering the River, reducing the risk of ice jams that can damage property and reduce waterflow that is generating hydroelectricity.

The removal of the ice boom is a key event for the opening of Niagara City Cruises. While that typically happens in spring — the ice boom was removed on 29 March  last year — the general lack of ice on the lake this year meant the New York Power Authority and Ontario Power Generation began removing the ice boom on 2nd March.

The sailing schedule for March:

  • March 16th to March 19th — 10 am to 4 pm
  • March 24th to March 26th — 10 am to 4 pm

Daily service begins March 31st with tours to the base of the Falls running from 10 am to 4 pm. Expanded summer operating hours will begin 1st May 2023.

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