The mild weather this winter is the reason why Hornblower Niagara Cruises can get into the lower Niagara River early this year. There was no ice buildup in Lake Erie or the Niagara River making it safe for the cruises to the falls to begin. This is the same time the popular cruises opened last year. By comparison, the cruises didn’t begin until April 30th in 2015 due to one of the coldest and longest winters on record.

This is the fourth season these boats have operated sightseeing cruises to the brink of the falls.

Hornblower officials reported than 2.2 million passengers boarded the boats during the 2016 season, up from 1.8 million in 2015 due to a late start, and 1.6 million in2014, its first year of operation.

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