Niagara Gazette

November 12, 2013

First Hornblower boat finished, ready to set sail

Staff reports
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — Members of the Hornblower Niagara Cruises team gathered together in Wheatley, Ont., to witness the completion of their first catamaran boat. The two brand-new 700-passenger state-of-the-art catamarans will soon make their way to Niagara Falls, where they will carry-on the legacy of Canada’s most iconic visitor experience — they legendary boat tour to the base of the mighty Horseshow Falls.

Soon after the February 2012 announcement by The Niagara Parks Commission, Hornblower engaged Canadian owned ship-builder, Hike Metal located in Wheatley, Ont., to take on the enormous feat of building the catamarans. Hike Metal rose to the challenge, applying their years of experience and expertise to meet Hornblower’s requirements. The new catamarans feature raised viewing platforms on the upper deck for enhanced unobstructed falls viewing, broad open decks, sliding enclosure walls for dry observation areas, on-board washrooms and licensed concession for Hornblower’s all new evening and nighttime cruises.

The catamarans sit larger than life stretching 26 meters long and 10 meters wide, weighing 110 tonnes each. Later this month, the complete catamarans will be disassembled into sections to prepare for their January transportation to Niagara Falls, where they will be reassembled, tested and sea trialed in the base of the Niagara Gorge. 

Hornblower Niagara Cruises will be launching a world-wide contest to name the two catamarans beginning this Friday. Hornblower is inviting everyone to be a part of history and submit their favorite boat name via the Hornblower Niagara Cruises Facebook page, www.facebook.com/niagaracruises. 

The winning submissions will receive a five-day all-expense paid luxury trip to Niagara Falls, Ont. And of course become a part of history, by naming Canada’s most iconic visitor attraction experience – the legendary boats that tour the mighty Niagara Falls.