Results 11-13of 13 Reviews
May 9, 2002
Duck tours are the best way to see the sites of Boston in a short time – even if city tours remind you of 6th grade social studies. Although the ConDUCKtors know everything about Boston, it’s their stage skills that keep me bringing out-of-town guests back for a ride. Where else can you quack at strangers in public without people wondering if you’ve just been released from a psychiatric institution?
So what’s a Duck? A Duck is an amphibious vehicle the military invented and used to move supplies and people from ship to shore during World War II. On land they’re trucks, in the water they’re boats. Not only do you get a tour of Boston, but also a taste of what the Greatest Generation was working with in WWII. You really have to wonder how America managed to win a war by storming the beaches of Normandy in these things. Someone discovered these relics in a junkyard somewhere and the idea of Duck Tours was born. (I wish I had thought of it first!)
The Duck Tours start at the Prudential Center. As you board the Duck, you’re greeted by the conDUCKtor. Ours was "The Sarge," a burly, but lovable guy whose territorial dispute with a real duck had our Duck in stitches. As the tour wound through Beacon Hill and the West End, Sarge narrated the sites and history of Boston in such an entertaining way that I wished he had been my 6th grade history teacher. In addition to Cheers, the Common, the Fleet Center, the State House and other major sites, you’ll learn about the "Taj MaJail" and the Harvard Bridge that is 364.4 Smoots plus one ear long.
The best moment is "the Big Splash." The Duck transforms from bus to boat and splashes into the Charles River. The Duck swims up the river as far as the Hatch Shell. Better yet, they let you drive the Duck! Not on the streets of Boston of course but on the river. (Driving in Boston is crazy enough in a car!) Even kids can drive! Don’t worry. The Ducks don’t move very fast and there’s not much to hit in the river. You even get a sticker to prove that you drove! Don't be shy. Drive the duck!
After about a ½ hour on the river, the Duck storms the beaches of the Charles River and the land part of the tour continues through Charlestown, the North End, the Theater District and back to the Prudential Center. (OK, there’s no storming of beaches, but I’m still wondering how we fought a war with these things.)
Tours run rain or shine from April 1 to December 1. Tickets sell out quickly in summer and on weekends. Unless you have a group of 16 or more, you can’t make reservations but you can buy tickets up to two days in advance online or in person. Check out www.bostonducktours.com for full details.
From journal The Best of Boston
May 4, 2002
From journal Exploring Boston
August 8, 2000
From journal Boston - Like a Resident or a Tourist