Whirlpool Jet Express
The inspiration for this blog was to reveal a Niagara Falls to would-be tourists who are under the impression that the place is nothing but an expensive tourist trap… and to some degree, I’ve done that (although much remains to be completed over time.) I’m going to break from that theme a bit by describing an activity which is not the most expensive thing to do at Niagara Falls, but which is also not the least expensive either…. though certainly well-worth the money. I’m talking about the Whirlpool Jet Express.
Whatta ‘ya think — Twins? (Not the worst seat in the house!) I sat behind these two while riding the Whirlpool Jet Express. What an awesome ride! We may try this again sometime in the Open Boat… would be a great way to cool off on a hot summer day!
Put simply, these are a fleet of high performance jet boats which take you into the treacherous whirlpool rapids to splash around a bit. There are two versions… the open-air one (which we chickened out on) and the domed one (which we rode while remaining warm and dry on.) Our boat supplied an awesome ride, but I would imagine that the open, non-domed boat would take the prize for being the most exhilarating. Be that as it may, we enjoyed ourselves thoroughly!
The first things you notice about the boat is the power and the smooth application of it. The engines have an impressive roar to them but without the level of vibration you would expect with such a roar… they convey a feeling of expert design and great expense… I think they told me these boats are over a million dollars each… and I believe it!
Entering a high-speed ‘Hamilton Turn’!
The end result of a ‘Hamilton Turn’ maneuver! Look at all that water on the canopy… if this had been the open air version, guess who’d need a change of clothes by now!
The trip is actually very relaxing. Even when we were doing the so-called ‘Hamilton Turn’ maneuvers, it was not the least bit scary or nerve-wracking. The pilots of the boats are experts and one gets the feeling they’ve logged a thousand hours at the controls. On the way out from and back to the home dock, the trip is scenic and informative. A trip narrator describes the geography of the area and all the landmarks you pass. Think of this boat as the ‘Bullet Train’ of the Niagara River… it’s fast and as smooth as silk. Plan on about $60 each for adults…. it’s well worth it if you put it in your planning budget.
The trip has a guide who narrates as you go
Passing a power station on the way to the whirlpool rapids. Note how the dome is open when there’s no chance of wave encounters… keeps it nice and breezy on the trip!
The ‘Hamilton Turn’ maneuver, from an open-air boat! (Photos courtesy of www.NiagaraFrontiers.com )