Hornblower wants to hire up to 200 people before 2014 season at Niagara Falls

By Kris Dube / News Editor
February 14, 2014
Hornblower wants to hire up to 200 people before 2014 season at Niagara Falls
Hornblower president and chief executive officer Terry MacRae during a tour of one of the boats that tourists and locals will enjoy this season. Bullet News - Kris Dube.

NIAGARA FALLS - When Hornblower Cruises lands its vessels in the river for its first season of providing tours at Niagara Falls, up to 200 people will head to work.

The U.S.-based company that operates boat tours at the Statue of Liberty in Niagara Falls and Alcatraz Island in San Francisco, is aiming to open for business in Spring and is currently looking to fill between 150 and 200 positions, ranging from departmental managers and supervisors to food and beverage workers.

Many of the positions are considered seasonal, said general manager of Hornblower Niagara Cruises Mory DiMaurizio.

He hopes the jobs can be filled within a month-and-a-half, especially if the weather warms up on schedule and the massive build-up of ice that currently covers much of the lower Niagara River melts away.

“We still have about 90 days, depending on when Mother Nature is going to release us from the iron grip of ice she has us in right now,” said DiMaurizio.

At a media event held earlier this year, Hornblower president and chief executive officer Terry MacRae said it is estimated that up to two million people will take advantage of the revamped tour in 2014 after their projected official opening in April.

There are two full-sized boats that will hold up to 750 passengers and another smaller-scale vessel that will be used for special events.

On the new fleet, passengers will have access to washrooms, bars and even a dry area for those who want to get away from the mist. “Our whole focus is how to provide a great visitor experience,” said MacRae.

Hornblower will have invested up to $25 million already by the time they open for business.

When each of the large boats is complete, they will weigh about 25 tonnes, including fuel. Each catamaran hull weighs about 3.5 tonnes, said MacRae.

He said his company is thrilled to be setting up another location at such a scenic and well-known site like Niagara Falls. “It's powerful, majestic and amazing in so many ways,” said MacRae.

Hornblower signed a 30-year lease worth an estimated $500 million with the Niagara Parks Commission last year to offer tours on the Canadian side of the Niagara Gorge, taking over for the Maid of the Mist, who operated tours for 100 years at the falls.

The Maid of the Mist will still run on the U.S. Side of the natural wonder.

This happened after the provincially funded NPC, the agency responsible for negotiating the company's contract, opened up the bidding process to explore new operators for the tours.

CLICK HERE to learn more about Hornblower's current employment opportunities.