New York City to Niagara Falls tour
Discover the thundering waters of Niagara Falls on this short break adventure to one of the most iconic settings in the United States. Hear the deafening roar of the falls and feel the power of millions of litres of water cascading over the edge of Lake Erie and into the tumultuous white water below. Grab a raincoat and get up close to this ecological marvel on a ‘Maiden of the Mist’ boat ride to the base of the falls, before heading to the picturesque Finger Lakes for a classic all-American outdoor experience. For those who are short on time, the New York City to Niagara Falls is the perfect way to experience the natural beauty of New York State.
- See the bright lights and billboards of Times Square
- Cross the famous Appalachian Trail
- Enjoy a picnic in the Pocono Mountains
- Feel the mists of Niagara Falls
- Relax in the idyllic Finger Lakes
- Shop up a storm in a massive mall
- Cruise through the wine country of New York State
Start: New York, United States
Finish: New York, United States
Group size: Min 1 , Max 13
Ages: Min 12
Meals: No meals included
Accommodation: Hotel (2 nts)
Transport: Boat, Private vehicle
Included activities: Maid of the Mist boat tour
Carbon emissions offset: 173kg pp per trip
Day 1- New York to Niagara Falls
Welcome to the USA!
New York is the city that never sleeps. Grab a slice and see those famous sites - Times Square, Broadway, Central Park and the Empire State Building.
Your leader will pick you up from the lobby of the starting point hotel by 7.30am before heading to the beautiful Delaware Water Gap on the famous Appalachian Trail before a picnic lunch in the Pocono Mountains. Then we will make our way to the spectacular Niagara Falls, where you can cross over Rainbow Bridge into Canada for a spectacular illuminated night-time view of this spectacle.
As there's no time spent in New York City on this trip, we recommend you arrive a few days early to see the sights. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). Consider doing our one-day sightseeing tour of New York (see www.urbanadventures.com).
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 2- Niagara Falls to Finger Lakes
In the morning, get up close and personal (and very wet!) on an included Maid of the Mist boat cruise to the thundering base of Niagara Falls. Then we'll make our way through wine country to the college town of Ithaca.
As one of the most well-known waterfalls in the world, Niagara Falls is a truly majestic sight not to be missed. There are numerous viewpoints at which we can appreciate the pure power of this amazing set of falls.
The Maid of the Mist boat tour is subject to weather conditions. While this tour runs during the warmer months (from 01 April to 30 October) chances of this activity being unavailable increase early and late in the season.
- Maid of the Mist boat tour
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 3- Finger Lakes to New York
On our return south to the New York area, we stop for a 2-hour shopping spree at the Woodbury Common Premium Outlet Mall with its 228 department store, shops, bars and restaurants!
Our trip ends at Liberty State park in New Jersey. Historic Liberty State Park provides an excellent ending to our three day adventure with outstanding views of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and the Manhattan skyline.
A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are for entrance only and don't include transport costs to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. Optional activities aren't necessarily endorsed or recommended by GoHop nor included in price of this trip. If you do any optional activities, you do so at your own risk and it must be clearly understood that your participation is your own decision and doesn't form part of your contract with GoHop. You may be required to sign/complete a waiver form or a receipt for some optional activities.
The receipt of commissions or kickbacks in exchange for recommending particular shops or services is ingrained in the culture of the North American tourism industry. Rather than turn a blind eye to this unavoidable issue, GoHop has established a centralised system whereby commissions from recommended suppliers are distributed back to the leader. Details of these arrangements will be provided by the leader on request.
While GoHop.ie endeavours to ensure that these recommended suppliers and services maintain reasonable levels of quality - they are chosen based on the feedback and experiences of past travellers - we can't explicitly guarantee the quality or safety of the product or activity.
A priority in establishing this service is that your travel experience isn't compromised in any way. Please let us know via the feedback form completed after your trip if we are successfully meeting this objective.
It can be difficult to exchange money while on the road so we suggest that you bring some cash in US dollars/Canadian dollars, or exchange/withdraw money at the airport when you arrive, or at least before you start the trip.
Your individual budget will depend on your personal plans. Think about how much you want to spend on souvenirs, shopping, entertainment, food, drinks, excursions and attractions that aren't included in your trip (eg. helicopter flights etc). Please bear in mind that North America has endless things to do and see. Not all possible optional activities are listed in our
The cheapest and most convenient way to acquire money is via an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) which are plentiful throughout all cities and towns, and even at roadside stops. This allows you to draw funds from your personal account at a superior exchange rate. Bank fees for these withdrawals can be either a flat rate or a percentage of the amount withdrawn. Check with your bank for information on their international fees.
Don't forget your PIN and make sure you know the telephone number for cancelling your card if it's stolen. Keep this in a safe place. When using your debit card, check your receipts and keep them to compare against your statement when you get home.
Occasionally banks will also allow cash advances on your credit card, but it's not recommended to rely on this method only. We recommend that you carry some cash for situations when ATMs can't be accessed.
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, participating in optional activities, and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
If you are happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many destinations.
The following amounts are based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers:
Restaurants: We suggest 15% to 20% of your bill.
Bars: Recommended US$1 for each drink ordered to ensure you are served again.
Local guides: We suggest US$5-$7 per day for local guides.
Another charge not normally listed in North American costs is the state and federal taxes, keep this in mind when your bill comes out slightly higher than the original price listed.
All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.
The following national holidays are observed in the US, which can affect our itinerary as traffic can be extreme, and shops, restaurants and attractions can be closed:
- New Year's Day
- Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.
- Washington's Birthday
- Memorial Day
- Independence Day
- Labor Day
- Columbus Day
- Veterans Day
- Thanksgiving Day
- Christmas Day
LEGAL DRINKING AGE:
Please note that the legal drinking age in the US is 21 and in some parts of Canada it's 19.
27 January 2012. The 2012 North America brochure incorrectly advertises that 2 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches and 1 Dinner are included in this trip. ***No meals are included in the price of this trip***. Our apologies for this misprint.
Maximum of 13 travellers per group.
Your fellow travellers
As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part.
On some trips accommodation is available only on a shared basis with other travellers, who might not necessarily be GoHop travellers. Arrangements vary depending on the trip from twin to multishare, so refer to the daily itinerary for more details on your accommodation. In some situations you may have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure you have your own room.
Hotel (2 nts)
The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in your selected accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.
Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for your arrival, especially if you're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible, which means you won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, you can store your luggage and explore the new destination.
If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.
While travelling with us you'll have the opportunity to experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. On our camping trips we often cook the region's specialities so you don't miss out. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility.
No meals included
Boat, Private vehicle
Our large fleet of vans are fully equipped with dual air-conditioning system, V8 engines and any camping or cooking equipment needed for your trip. Most have cloth-upholstered seats and carpeted interior with radio/tape or CD players. Your baggage is transported in a trailer which is towed behind the van.
The vans are regularly serviced in our own maintenance facility and continuously checked and serviced by a well established network of maintenance and service facilities throughout the continent. However, unforeseen maintenance problems can still occur while on the road and we appreciate the patience of our travellers as we make necessary repairs as quickly as possible.
Beginning 01 January 2013, all private vehicle trips through the United States, including Alaska, will feature mobile Wi-Fi hotspots. Please note that trips in Canada will NOT have Wi-Fi hotspots in your van. Whilst travelling in the van, use Wi-Fi to check-in back home and share your background and cultural interests with your fellow travellers. Some usage restrictions may apply depending on demand and use. Hotspot devices provide wireless connections for up to five devices (up to two for optimal service and speed). Many camp grounds and hotels supply Wi-Fi for additional use outside the van.
All driving times mentioned in our itinerary are intended as a guide only and represent the minimum driving time - not including lunch stops, fuel stops, photo stops, traffic congestion, adverse weather conditions or any last minute alterations to the itinerary for any unforeseen circumstances. Please note that there are some long driving days on this tour - we'll have some starts as early as 7am and late arrivals at our final destination, sometimes after dark). As always, your group leader will make stops for viewpoints, short walks and lunch/rest breaks to help break up the journey.
We recommend you are fully prepared for these long travel days by reviewing our notes and indicated drive times (which are based on average drive times from past trips). Some travellers prefer to bring pillows on board for added comfort, others prefer reading material or games and puzzles. The reality is that to get from one fabulous location to another, the distances are great and we like to think at least some of the adventure is in the journey - not just the destination. You'll be on board with up to 12 other passengers plus your group leader so patience and cooperation goes a long way in making this journey a comfortable one.
SEAT BELT POLICY
Safety is our priority and therefore our travellers are asked to sign a document on Day 1 of the itinerary indicating your understanding of our seat belt policy.
This Short Break Adventure is a "join in" group departure, which means fellow passengers may either join or leave during the trip and even your leader may change. Your group leader’s role involves organising the overall operation and smooth-running of the trip, managing trip logistics and camp responsibilities. Your group leader will work towards making the trip as safe and enjoyable as possible for all travellers. GoHops North American trips are built around the co-operation and participation of all the group members under the supervision of the group leader. On our camping trips, the group leader will show the group how to set up and use the equipment, and will form work groups to take turns cooking, cleaning and shopping. Everyone is expected participate and carry their share of the workload, making camp chores easier. If the everyone participates it will be quicker, easier, and more fun.
Your leader will provide basic information about the sights and cities you will be visiting but please note that our leaders are not 'tour guides' in the traditional sense. They are adventure travel specialists and are there to organise your trip, arrange activities and help with questions or problems you may have while on your tour. They are also responsible for driving the van and navigating. Your leader will provide you with all the important information you need to embark on your own explorations.
We endeavour to provide the services of an experienced leader however, situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.
The allowable driving times for drivers is strictly controlled in North America. This ensures our drivers are well rested and are not over-tired from too many hours on the roads.
While your group will have a minivan for all included activities on the trip, please note that the services of the van and the driver may not be available for your use during free time, or after you have arrived for the day. If you need a special trip into town you may need to arrange transport or a taxi.
It's strictly forbidden for non-qualified rangers to present any information about some National Parks in North America, therefore we adopt a system (as requested by the park rangers) where our leader will encourage travellers to visit the information centres in the National Parks for details about the site.
Newark Airport Hilton
1170 Spring Street
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Joining point instructions
Transfer from Newark Airport:
Transportation from this airport is the cheapest and most convenient. From Baggage Claim at the airport, take the Airtrain to station P4 and wait for the Newark Airport Hilton Complimentary Shuttle. This will bring you directly to the Hotel and a shuttle arrives/departs every 15-20 minutes. It is customary to tip the driver who helps you with your bag ($1-$2 per bag).
Transfer from JFK or LaGuardia Airport:
From JFK and La Guardia airports you must transfer to New York Penn Station in Manhattan first. NY Penn Station is located at 31st and 7th Streets in Midtown. You will need to change at NY Penn Station and take another transfer to the Newark Liberty International Train Station, then board the Airtrain to P4 Station where you will find the Newark Airport Hilton
Complimentary Shuttle bus that goes directly to the Hilton.
1). To transfer from the airport to New York Penn Station:
By Shuttle: The "Super Shuttle" service can be found adjacent to the Baggage Claim Area of the Airport and costs approximately US$25.00 (including tip) to the NY Penn Station.
By Bus: The most convenient service is the "New York Airport Express Service Bus". This bus departs from both airports every 20-30 minutes (7am- midnight) and stops are located at the 'Express Bus Stop' at each airport terminal. Cost is US$15.00. For reservations or for more info call (718) 875-8200 or visit their website at www.nyairportservice.com/. Use taxis for transport during the hours of midnight-7am.
2). To transfer from NY Penn Station to Newark Liberty International Airport Train Station:
Trains depart New York Penn Station every 10-15minutes to Newark Liberty International Airport Train Station. Purchase ticket at the ticket window for Newark Liberty International Airport, ticket cost around $12.50, and wait till the train board displays your track. ALL trains that go to Newark Liberty International Airport Train Station are displayed as "EWR." The train ride to the airport station is about 22-25 minutes. You will be asked to show you ticket while on the train.
3.) To transfer from Newark Liberty International Train Station to the Newark Airport Hilton:
After exiting the train follow the sign the read: "AIRTRAIN." Board the Airtrain and get off at P4 Station. Outside P4 station look for a the Newark Airport Hilton Complimentary Shuttle Bus. This bus will take you directly to the hotel and arrives/departs every 15-20 minutes. . It is customary to tip the driver who helps you with your bag $1-$2 per bag.
For more information and alternative routes please see the New Jersey Buses and Trains website at www.njtransit.com or the New York Port Authority website at www.panynj.gov.
Most of our tours start at our joining point hotels at 7.30am in the lobby, where you will meet your group and tour leader. There are some exceptions, so please check your vouchers. Make sure you have your bags packed, eaten breakfast and have checked out of your room before meeting your leader in the hotel lobby. You will spend a few minutes filling out paperwork and meeting your fellow travellers before departing the hotel.
If you would like to reserve additional nights in our hotel before your tour, please contact our sales team for additional information and associated costs.
We don't expect any problems (and nor should you) but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, please refer to the Joining Instructions section above for who to contact.
If you have pre-booked an airport transfer (where available) and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the starting point hotel, again following the Joining Instructions in these trip notes. Should this occur, please apply to your travel agent for a refund of the transfer cost on your return.
No refund is available on missed transfers or portions of your trip owing to a different flight arrival or delayed flight arrival. Any additional cost incurred in order to meet up with your group is at your own expense.
Liberty State Park, New York, NY, 07305
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Finish point instructions
From Liberty State Park enter the City via a ferry (at your expense) across the Hudson that drops off in lower Manhattan, just blocks from the World Trade Center complex. From here you can easily access public transport throughout the city.
For cases of genuine emergency or crisis, please contact 1-800-786-8735 (within the USA)
From outside the USA please call +1 707 483 9460
Police and Ambulance - In case of an emergency, local authorities can be contacted by calling 911 – this is the toll free phone number for the police, fire department and the ambulance in the USA. In case of doubt, call the operator on 0.
Please also make sure you have access to an additional US$400, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (eg. a natural disaster, civil unrest or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.
Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. As a general rule most countries expect that you will have at least 6 months' validity on your passport. On arrival visitors may be asked to present return tickets and evidence of means to cover your intended stay.
We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change - it's important that you check for yourself. Residents from other countries must consult the relevant embassies or your travel agent
USA TOURIST VISA:
Ireland: No - ESTA required
UK: No - ESTA required
Entrance requirements to the USA have changed in recent years so please read the following instructions carefully, even if you have travelled to the USA before.
Many countries now operate under a visa waiver program (meaning a visa isn't required) however you still need to obtain an authorisation which confirms that you have been approved to travel. This authorisation must be obtained in advance of travel.
Many citizens from Visa Waiver Program countries can travel to the USA without a visa for a 90 day stay, if they meet certain requirements. Travellers from all Visa Waiver Program countries must present a machine-readable passport (which meets US requirements) at the port of entry to enter without a visa, otherwise a US visa is required. Canada doesn't require a visa for many foreign nationals however you should check to see if this applies to your country. You can get further information from the US Department of State and the
Canadian government websites:
Also please note, all travellers from Visa Waiver Program countries must obtain an electronic travel authorization prior to their flight from the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) website: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov
All ESTA registration applications or renewals require a US$14.00 fee paid by credit or debit card. You should apply for your visa waiver authorisation at least 1 week prior to travel to avoid any last minute delays. You will require your passport details and your address in the US (you can use the starting point hotel/hostel address).
Issues on your trip
While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.
We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please contact our operations base on 1-800-786-8735 (toll free in the USA and Canada) or +1 707 523 1800 (office hours).
You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.
What to take
What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. On the vast majority of our trips you are expected to carry your own luggage and although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes), we recommend keeping the weight under 10kg / 22lb.
Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.
All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, GoHop.ie reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.
Medical prescriptions written outside of the US and Canada aren't accepted at pharmacies. Therefore, we recommend you bring along your personal medications in the necessary quantities for your trip.
DEHYDRATION & SUN PROTECTION:
The most likely medical incidents to occur on our trips are dehydration, over exposure to the sun, and twisted ankles from walking on uneven ground. While hiking please ensure you drink enough water to remain hydrated as some hikes don't have refill stations for your water bottles. The sun (especially in desert areas in the West) can be harsh, particularly in the warmer months. Ensure you apply adequate sun protection cream and wear a hat. Travelling with sunburn can be uncomfortable.
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.
We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.
In addition to any included activities on your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. Our local representative may be able to assist you with available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and GoHop.ie makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that our local representative has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.
Whilst travelling throughout North America it's not uncommon to encounter bears within campsites and national parks. Your group leader has been specifically trained for these situations and, if camping, will inform the group on how to 'bear proof' the camp in the evenings or when the site is unattended. There's absolutely no reason to be alarmed by this possibility as it is extremely rare for bears to attack humans.
Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.
When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the trip until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by our local representative.
If you have credit card insurance our local representative will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact telephone number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.
We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects.
A couple of rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. GoHop's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our local representative has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.