I am most definitely NOT a tour or group tour person, but when we were in Boston, it was for a Viet Nam Reunion of my husband's, so one of the activities was the 'DUCK TOUR' and actually, I found it to be quite good; and certainly if one's time is limited, as it gives you a great overview of the city as well as inlcuding going on the water, as you are riding in a WWII Amphibious Landing Vehicle!
See the website below; tickets are available 30 days in advance as well as at the booth on same day.
The "DUCK", an authentic, renovated World War II amphibious landing vehicle. Your are first driven around Boston with a narrative tour of Boston's Historical sites.
Then the "DUCK" goes into the Charles River for a nice scenic ride. A fun thing to do on a summer day.
Price as of April 2013
Children aged 3 to 11 $22.99
Children under 3 $10.50
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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.
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.
THERE ARE 29 DUCK BOATS (in 2008) taking visitors around town. It is a 90-minute excursion, and you cannot get off until the trip ends, but trust me, those 90 minutes will go by fast. Our driver ("The Great Geribaldi") was fantastic. He was funny, intelligent and informative. Oh, and he was a good driver too! All drivers must be Coast Guard licensed. The trip is not cheap, an adult ticket costs $29.00 (in 2008). Of course there are senior citizen rates, child rates, etc. And don't expect just to walk in and catch the next Duck Boat leaving; you need to plan a bit in advance. The Duck Boats leave from the Museum of Science, which sits by the Charles River in Cambridge. Its in my photo above.
Walking through the Boston Streets we saw the Duck Tours pass and everyone on board looked as though they were having a great time. They visit the major sights and look as though they go on water. Looks like a favoured tour for the young and young at heart.
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.
Every knows about the duck tours in Boston, right? Well, starting May 21st, 2007, there's a new Duck Tour operator offering daily land & sea tours of Boston, departing from Charlestown Navy Yard (near the USS Constitution). I had the chance a few weeks ago to take a preview tour.
This is a different tour than those other guys. Super Duck Tours uses more modern vehicles, Hydra-Terras, which carry up to 49 passengers, and are much more sea-worthy --- the water portion of the tour goes into Boston Harbor for a sea-side view of Old Ironsides (with the Bunker Hill Monument in the background), the Zakim Bridge, TD Banknorth Garden, and the historic North End. The other guys go into the Charles River.
The only negative I can see is that there is very limited parking available near Charlestown Navy Yard, so you'd probably want to think about public transportation: there's an MBTA Ferry from LongWharf (F4 Line), MBTA Bus (Number 93), or a 15-minute walk from the North Station T Stop.
When my Mom, sister and niece were coming to visit me in Boston, I was at a loss for what to do. What could possibly entertain a 5 year old, a 54 year old, 23 year old AND a 32 year old? Boston has many exciting things to do for children, but I wasn't really sure I knew what those things were. I bought three Go Boston Cards and the guide book suggested a few must-sees for families, the Duck Tour was one of these Must-Do Boston Attractions. We got on the Duck Tour at Hynes Convention Center near the Pru, I'd seen the Ducks around town but would never ride on them unless I was a tourist, but today I was a tourist whether I liked it or not.
The tour guide hammed it up for us from the start, laughing, jokes, quacking, annecdotes--this tour guide did it all. The guide took us all through the city in an open-air "Duck" which is aqueous as well as a large military vehicle dominating the Boston city Streets. Marybeth, my niece loved the quacking as well as the view from the Duck-like-bus--she also had no trouble pointing out the things she wanted to see and do--including a street performer as we passed Fanuiel Hall. The tour only lasted about an hour, but it was well worth it. My sister got a perfect overview of the city and my niece was never bored.
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!
If you wish to take an informative, fun, child-friendly tour of downtown Boston, be sure to take a Duck Tour. These vehicles, which navigate both the city streets and "that dirty water" of the River Charles, are driven by perky tour guides who will answer any questions you like about the historical city. Some tours provide entertaining duck whistles, which make an amusing quacking sound that the Guides ask you to make when passing another Duck Boat. Sometimes, you may even be invited to drive the boat in the water near the end of the tour. I personally went on one of these during a field trip to the Science Museum, also an interesting destination, and it was one of the finest experiences of my traveling career.
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!
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 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 !)