July 21, 2014
Here we are at full tilt, staring into the mighty Niagara rapids and having the time of our lives. Beneath our feet, a 6.3 liter Cadillac engine drives 550 horses of power through the water. The noise grinds into the air like a jagged knife. Wind rushes, mist sprays, the spinning force of the boat sends a familiar tickle into our bellies. We laugh, we shout, and everyone smiles.
It’s nearly impossible to put into words, but this is a small sampling of what you’ll experience with Niagara Jet Adventures (NJA). Based in Youngstown, and in their first year, the company is quickly making a name for itself in Western New York. By offering a fresh perspective on a familiar ride, they captured our attention, and we just had to go.
You’ll begin by signing a release form. After that, strap on a life-jacket, board one of their three Niagara Class Jet Boats, and prepare for the ride of your life. You can choose to sit inside the climate-controlled cabin if you like, but to get the full experience, we decided to sit outside on the wet deck. Having that choice allows NJA to operate in all four seasons and almost all weather conditions.
After a swift cruise up river, under the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge, and in between the power plants on either side of the border, we arrived at the Class 5 rapids of Devil’s Hole. Being tossed around by the river sounds intimidating, but the thought of danger is quickly overruled by your sense of adventure.
Unlike other jet boats we’ve seen, the seating is spacious and maximized for safety and comfort. For NJA, it’s not about cramming in enough seats to increase profits, it’s about creating the best possible ride for every passenger on board.
Spokesman Aaron Dey explained the unique experience NJA offers once we dried out. “We want people to know about the natural and historical treasure that lay in and beside the waters . . . as well as the thrill element.”
While we went for the thrills, a full cabin of passengers opted for the spring-assist custom seats inside. Outside, it was a little difficult to hear our guide over the noise of the boat. If you’re looking for more of a tour, we suggest sitting in. Stay outside if you want to taste the river, brave the rapids and feel the rush.
Inside or outside, you’re looking at $61 for an adult ticket, and $51 for children and seniors. There are also two co-pilot seats in the front, offering an unobstructed view of the river for an extra ten dollars. Coupon code NFL-10 will get you 10% off. Tour times vary depending on the day. Ordering tickets from the NJA website is easy.
To sit on the wet deck you’ll need to be at least 10 years old. Almost anyone can sit inside. They do not have wheelchair access, but Aaron assured us that if you can sit up and hold the safety bar on the interior seats, everyone is welcome at NJA.
At the Niagara Whirlpool, we paused for a few full circle spins around the rapids. Our inner-kindergartners bubbled to the surface, and we found ourselves demanding our captain to, “Do it again! Do it again! One more time!” Even the grumpy teenager next to us found the frown on his face washed over by the excitement as he high-fived dad on the way back.
So if you find yourself wondering, will it be worth the drive?
Will it be worth the money?
Will we be going back?
You bet, and starting next year, NJA will be offering the full Niagara experience by traveling past the Whirlpool and right up to the base of the Falls. In the meantime, step out to Youngstown and have a blast with Niagara Jet Adventures. Trust us when we say, it will be the highlight of your summer.
(716) 745-7121 | [email protected]
555 Water Street, Youngstown, NY 14174
by Jason Hugar
Source: Step Out Buffalo