Experience whitewater rapids like never before

16 06 2011
Niagara Gorge, Ontario/New York

The Whirlpool Jet Boat leapfrogs over the Niagara River's powerful rapids

Less than three miles downriver from the roar and majesty of Niagara Falls, adventurers to upstate New York and southern Ontario may experience some of the most extreme whitewater rapids anywhere on the North American continent. Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours offers a safe, comfortable, and thoroughly exciting way to take on thrilling class I-V rapids and see class VI rapids up-close and without fear.

The seven-mile long Niagara gorge roils with energy, the result of water flowing from Niagara Falls at an average volume of 85,000 cubic feet/sec. The 170-foot deep river flows through Whirlpool Rapids, past Devil’s Hole State Park, and northward past three large hydroelectric plants which provide electricity for more than 3,000,000 homes. It is along this stretch of river that whitewater of all classes and class V & VI rapids are experienced. Though the water may seem calm at some points, the river is clearly in control with currents up to 25 mph.

Niagara Gorge, Ontario/New York

The Whirlpool Jet Boat's dry tour lets passengers experience whitewater safely and comfortably

Though not a traditional rafting tour, Whirlpool Jet Boats offer a whitewater experience that caters to adventure seekers as well as those who like their fun a bit more on the safe side. The Niagara River’s rapids are considered some of the most challenging in North America. In a jet boat, passengers will view the class VI rapids safely while riding through class IV and V whitewater. No paddling is required on the tour and headsets are provided so guides can explain the geology and history of the region and the captain can communicate with passengers and crew. When not riding the rapids, the 1500 horsepower boats may be taken on a few “Hamilton Turns,” a popular maneuver which demonstrates the power and agility of the jet boats in a series of 360-degree turns.

Two options – a “wet” tour in an open-air boat and a “dry” tour in a domed boat – let visitors experience the thrill of rafting without the work. Those who take the wet tour – getting very wet is guaranteed – are provided with suits, shoes, and sweaters to keep comfortable; changing rooms are on-site. Those who take the dry tour may bring cameras and are encouraged to dress comfortably. Advance reservations may be made online and walk-up slots may be available. Tour busses depart from two Canadian and one American location to take visitors to the jet boat dock where the staff and crew will provide an orientation and prepare passengers for the 12-mile, one hour river tour.

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