Suspended high over the Niagara River, the Whirlpool Aero Car passes directly over Niagara Whirlpool—a swirling, whitewater vortex created by conflicting currents. The antique cable car has been on the go since 1916, carrying passengers out to the bend of the river, where they dangle over and gawk at the dangerous whirling rapids below.
Showcasing the power of the Niagara River’s mighty currents, the Whirlpool Aero Car is an excellent activity for visitors who have come to see Niagara Falls, whether by bus tour, cruise, or helicopter, or from one of the many surrounding viewpoints. Niagara Falls day tours, which make the rounds of the Niagara area’s top attractions, including the Aero Car, depart from Brampton, Ontario; Niagara, NY; Niagara, Ontario; and Toronto, Ontario. Many day tours include free time during which participants can ride the Whirlpool Aero Car—usually at their own expense. You can purchase tickets for the Whirlpool Aero Car in advance or upon arrival.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Though the Whirlpool Aero Car is more than a century old, it has had several retrofits since it was first constructed. The ride is smooth and comfortable.
- The 1,800-foot (550-meter) Whirlpool Aero Car journey takes about 10 minutes.
- The cable car can hold up to 35 passengers at a time.
- The Whirlpool Aero Car is not accessible to wheelchair users.
How to Get There
The Whirlpool Aero Car departs from Canada’s side of Niagara Falls, though it crosses into the US several times during its over-water route. The terminal is around 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) north of Horseshoe Falls, along the Niagara Parkway. The WEGO (green line) bus runs from Table Rock to the Whirlpool Aero Car, and departs at least every 20 minutes during summer, and every 30 minutes from October to May.
When to Get There
The Whirlpool Aero Car is open April to November. Lines occasionally form during the peak visiting months of July and August; to avoid them, come in early morning or late afternoon.
The Niagara Whirlpool
The Niagara Whirlpool is located at a sharp bend in the gorge, which causes a spiraling torrent to form. The Class VI white-water rapids in this section of the river are powerful enough to pull logs and other floating debris into the maelstrom.