The Duck Tours are a great way to see Boston and Cambridge from the water, and from the road. Using converted WW2-era amphibious troop transports, the Duck Tour takes you out onto the Charles River, and then on the road into downtown Boston. All the while, the driver/tour guide is giving you history and stories of what you're seeing, and also encouraging all of the passengers to say "Quack! Quack!" from time to time. It's a fun time!
This is truly unique. Boston Duck tours are a great way to see the city and learn some history. The duck is an amphibious vehical that starts like many of the other bus tours in Town, the gimmick is it plinges into Boston Harbor and sails around with fantastic commentary by the driver. This is a great time for tourists and locals alike. Book in advance.
If you are touring with children,.... a Duck Tour is the way to go! Or if you just want to have a relaxing yet fun hour and a half, as the duck tour isn't something that you get off/on. Although, its sometimes hard to hear everything the driver/tour guide tells you as they drive by the sites, so if you really want to hear the history behind the sites, do a beantown trolly or other such tour, or walk the Freedome Trail!!
I'll put the Duck Tour here, but it could easily be placed in the Tourist Trap catagory. Why? Hear me out.
Having taken one of these "aquabus" transportation trips before, in Montreal, we were prepared for the experience. $24 per adult will buy you about an hour and a half quickie tour of downtown Boston and the vehicle will glide onto the waters of Boston Harbor for a vroom around.
Our tour guide/driver on the Duck, a sweet and friendly older man did do an excellent job at explaining the historic happenings and sites as we toured however due to the fast-pace of the traffic, it didn't allow for any good, quality picture taking. The loud sounds the vehicle made muffled some of the commentary and this vehicle is not for the fragile of body - you will feel every bump and nook in the road.
And unfortunately, I'd not recommend this tour for extremely tall or very heavy people, as the seats are crammed very close to one another and the teenager in the seat behind me kept his knees buried in my back which made for a most unpleasant ride. Not liking to have my picture taken either, they will take your picture before you board. For what reasons, I don't know, unless they plan to sell you your picture after the ride.
Would I do this again? No. While I didn't have a terrible, horrible time I walked away with quite a few sore muscles. The ride on the water was nice and you can get some good shots of Boston this way, just be sure that the plastic-covered windows doesn't reflect with the sunlight or it will show up in your pics. Seats are not assigned, so it is ona first-come, first serve basis.
Arrive at least 15 minutes before departure time. Tours start at either the Prudential Centre or the Museum of Science.
The Ducks are amphibious vehicles used by the US army during World War II, especially in Normandy. They can transport 32 persons by the streets and on the river.
The tour lasts 1:20 including 20 mn on the Charles River.
When the driver (the captain) orders the passengers say "coin- coin" (houps !)
Unless you know a local Bostonian who is willing to take a whole day to show you around Boston, taking a Duck Tour is a must for you to get aquainted with your unique surroundings. Heck, even if you do known someone to show you around you should still take the tour. It is fun, informative and entertaining.
I've taken the tour 3 or 4 times as various friends and family came up to visit me. I learned something new on each tour and found it worth the $ each time.
Briefly, the 'Duck' is a WWII land & sea vehicle. It is captained by a conDUCKtor who drives you through the streets of Boston and, following SPLASH DOWN, up an down the Charles River... spouting information, jokes, and random quacking all the way.
A few tips: If you want to take the tour on say, A Wednesday, please go get your tickets on Tuesday. This is a VERY popular tour to take and I have been closed out of tickets before. I always used to get my tickets by going to the Prudential Center in the mall area. This is also where the tours leave from. You can't miss it because all of the Ducks are colored quite brightly.
This is Boston, bring a jacket. Even in the summer, once you get on the Charles you might be cold.
Finally, if your departure time is noon, get there at 11:15 or 11:30. Seating is first come first serve, so get there with your party as early as possible, otherwise you may have to sit seperated on the Duck, and that's no fun.
Yes, some of it is cheesy, but go with it, I promise a good time.
Duck boat tours are a lot of fun and, in my opinion, necessary for the first timer to Boston. You get to go on this big, bad army... thing that drives you through the streets of Boston and then takes you into the dirty Charles. Sometimes the operator lets you drive it while youre in the water. I got to chase a sailboat.
They are pretty expensive ($20) so it is a one-time only thing usually, even though they try to make you come back again by having the tour guides have different personalities (Pirates, puritans, etc)
Although it may seem like a lame, touristy thing to do, I have to admit I thought it was great. You get a nice tour of the city guided by an informative and entertaining driver. The historical information and little-known facts about Boston's history that was provided along the tour made the trip for me. Everyone I have recommended this to has loved it.
These bizarre-looking tour vehicles really make a big splash in Boston for both tourists and the locals. They aptly call them, what else? 'Duck Boats'. This is a great way to save your feet some blisters after following the red painted line on the Freedom Trail's sidewalks that often change from cobbled to brick to cement and then back again, and the tour guides really love 'quacking up' their audience with plenty of ducky humor. The 'Bears' you see riding inside this one, are some of our famous Boston Bruins hockey players.
These amphibious boat-cars are even more fun than they look and shouldn't be missed. Kids love 'em, too!
The Duck Touris a unique way to get around Boston. As you can see on the map on the left, you will see most of the downtown area, especially because these WWII amphibious vehicles also splash into Charles River. You have to be in a good mood, because it can be a bit annoying to say 'quack, quack' all the time (you have to!), but it can be a lot of fun!
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