With only 24 hours (well techncally 25 hours) in Toronto on a layover back to the UK from Jamaica, we wanted to make the most of our time and see the famous Niagara Falls. Since we had been so busy organising our #JewelsOfJamaica trip, we thought that we would try a guided day trip with King Tours.
A car was sent to pick us up at our hotel at 7:30am, then we registered at the King Tours office before boarding their very large, air conditioned bus.
Our tour guide and driver, JAY W was very knowledgeable and witty. The journey took about an hour and half, with a stop on the way at the Premium Outlet Mall, if you wanted to go shopping. There were no toilets on board so use this opportunity. Jay would tell us about the local area or things that we were passing, but also let us have some time to relax/sleep.
I am not sure what expected when we arrived, but it was much busier that I had anticipated. We had three hours to explore the area and Jay took us to pick up (or purchase tickets if you hadn’t already) the Hornblower Boat trip. I think it was quite hard for him to organise everyone on our trip as you can book different things through King Tours as additional extras etc so he had to figure out the best way to run the day. We decided to take the helicopter ride in addition to the boat so we picked up our boat tickets then hopped back on the bus with a handful of others to drive 10 minutes out to the helicopter air strip.
Everything was arranged for us when we got there, and the helicopter ride took us over both the US and Canadian sides of the falls. It was breath-taking. Although the turnaround time for the helicopter ride is quite fast. They have a couple of helicopters in use and as one lands everyone disembarks, new people get on and off they go. It is still definitely worth doing; just make sure you get a window seat.
To see more about our experience, see our post on Niagara Helicopters here.
Then we returned to the falls and after being issued our iconic poncho, went straight onto the Hornblower Curise. I didn’t really know what to expect but there were far more people on the boat than I thought.
Seeing the falls so close was a great experience and feeling the spray as you get closer was exhilarating. However, no one tells you how wet you will get. It is like you are in the middle of a downpour, so make sure you keep your poncho air tight.
You can read more about our experience in the mist here.
On our way back to Toronto we had a 45 minute stop at Niagara on the Lake, a pretty village with some traditional shops, and a lake. You could spend a whole day here but as we were so pushed for time we rushed around trying to see everything.
The last place we stopped was the Pondview winery where we got to sample their locally grown and produced wines and ice wine whilst the vineyards were a few meters away.
This was certainly a good choice for the last stop. The ice wine is really very special as the grapes, once frozen can only produce a drop or two of liquid. It is very sweet and easy to drink, needless to say I brought some home.
We then travelled back to the city and King Tours had arranged for us to meet another private car to take us back to the airport. The only downside was the traffic, it took longer to get in and out of the city that planned so leave enough time if you have a flight to catch.
So to summarise, sure you could have driven yourself to Niagara but the benefits of going with King Tours is that you skip all the lines (which average at 2 hours each), you get a discount on the prices for each attraction and you are driven everywhere. Without Jay we wouldn’t have known where to go and wouldn’t have learnt all the little bits of local knowledge that he knew.
Thank you to King Tours & Limousine Service Inc. for generously sponsoring our tour, however as always our opinions are always honest and our own.
Last modified: 26th August 2020