For sheer magnetism, Niagara Falls are hard to beat. Most visitors don’t think about crossing them on a tightrope as Nick Wallenda did, successfully, in 2012. Even fewer would dream of plunging down the 52 metre drop in a kayak without a helmet or lifejacket – that stunt didn’t go so well. But there’s almost nobody on earth within travelling distance of the world’s widest waterfalls who doesn’t want to see what all the fuss is about.
The enormous (and most famous) Horseshoe Falls are in Canada – the US owns the considerably smaller Bridal Veil Falls – so the most spectacular cruises are Canadian too. You can sail in the evening for as much romance as the roar of 168,000m³ of falling water per minute allows. The Illumination and Firework sails are pretty stunning too. But they’re all ‘light mist’ and it’s Niagara Falls, so opting to get a bit damp kind of misses the point.
To the heart of the falls on a ‘full mist’ voyage is the only way to go. Everyone gets a mist cape and despite the drenching and astounding noise, the custom-built Niagara catamarans are a surprisingly smooth sailing experience – even for young kids. The round trip takes just over 20 minutes but they’re fairly adrenalin-rich, so be prepared.