Boston Duck Tours
One of the most popular excursion companies in this city is Boston Duck Tours. Hop aboard a World War II style amphibious landing vehicle that travels on land and water, and enjoy a fully narrated historic tour of Boston. The vehicles actually drive right into the Charles River, where excellent views of the Boston and Cambridge skylines can be seen.
Some local folklore has arisen from Duck Tours, with the company commencing operations here in 1994. The vehicles are known as DUCKS, the drivers are called conDUCKtors, who endeavor to provide the best introDUCKtion to visitors and residents of the city. The primary stops are located at the New England Aquarium, Museum of Science, and Prudential Center, which are of course the Duck Stops.
Normal tours depart from the Science Museum or The Pru and are 1 hour and 20 minute in length. Tours starting at the the Aquarium are 55 minutes in duration.
A partial list of sights along the normal tour include Back Bay buildings such as New Old South Church and Trinity Church in Copley Square, Arlington Street Church; the Public Garden and Boston Common; the famous Shaw Memorial and State House on Beacon Hill; a big splash into the Charles River with superb views of the Hatch Shell and Esplanade Reservation; and to many more sights including Park Street Church, Granary Burying Ground, King's Chapel, Parker House, Faneuil Hall, Holocaust Memorial, Mayor Curley Park, Union Oyster House, USS Constitution, and Bunker Hill Monument.
Group sightseeing tours as well as school field trips are often booked with Boston Duck Tours. The company publishes an orientation packet with complete information needed for a group trip. Duck Tours offers discounts for group tours, and also during certain months of the year. The vehicles are handicapped accessible (seats limited) and chaperones are required during school field trips. Knowledgeable and friendly staff can provide any questions about booking a group tour.
Please remember that the amphibious DUCK vehicles operate during inclement weather, and guests should be prepared. Some seats are covered and some are not, and tours run regardless of weather. The DUCK vehicles do not have restrooms of course, so plan ahead.
About the DUCKs, they are amphibious vehicles developed for World War II. They are General Motors trucks, enveloped in a water-tight shell. The nickname actually derived from their original US Military acronym DUKW: D=designed in 1942; U=amphibious vehicle; K=front-wheel drive; and W=two rear driving axels. An amusing early nickname of the vehicle was "old magoo" due to their unique appearance. Of special note is that after the Boston Red Sox finally broke the Curse of the Babe in 2004, a historic parade of DUCKs carried the team victoriously through the streets with thousands of spectators in attendance.
Duck Tours Ticket Locations & Web Site:
New England Aquarium
(whale watch booth)
1 Central Wharf, Boston, MA 02110
Museum of Science
(inside the building, past the gift shop)
1 Science Park, Boston, MA 02114
Prudential Center, Huntington Arcade
(inside the mall, across from Barnes & Noble)
Huntington Avenue & Belvidere Street, Boston, MA 02199