Boston Duck Tours
Contrary to local belief, the unique idea of a Duck Tour did not originate in Boston. Duck operations have been in existence in the Midwest for decades, and in fact, continue to thrive. What we did, however, is take a unique product and improve and enhance it, while at the same time bringing it to a major metropolitan city. Although this sounds simple, the process from start to finish took nearly two years, "100 halls of government" and fierce determination by an ex-banker who felt that there was more to life than the standard 9-5, corporate world.
Opening in Boston required approximately 30 permits from various regulatory agencies. The permits were difficult to obtain partly due to the infamous bureaucratic red tape, but also because most people had never heard of Ducks and simply thought the idea of a land/water tour in Boston was crazy. At one point, Andy Wilson, Founder, was told that it would be easier to build a skyscraper in the center of the Boston Public Garden!
What began as a four-Duck, 15-employee business on October 4, 1994, has grown to a 28-Duck, 125-employee powerhouse in the Boston tourism market. Since inception, Boston Duck Tours was voted by Boston Magazine as "Best of Boston" in the city tour category, and voted Boston.com's "Best City Tour". The company also was honored by the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce at their Small Business of the Year Luncheon, Andy was named Small Businessperson of the Year for Massachusetts, and Andy also received a Spirit of Enterprise Award from the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau. On a busy day in 1994, we carried 600 passengers, compared to 4,000 during our peak season. The growth of Boston Duck Tours has been extremely important. However, we firmly believe that growth at the expense of quality is unacceptable. We continuously strive to improve upon the quality of the Ducks, the tour and our employees and not grow to the point where we become intrusive on the local community. We remain committed to strengthening the mutually beneficial relationship we have worked so hard to establish with the city of Boston.
In 2000, Andy Wilson left Boston Duck Tours to pursue other projects. His management team took over the company and has continued to build upon its foundation.
We really enjoyed the tour. Our guide Betty (I hope I remembered the name right) is a very charismatic person, she provided a lot of interesting information about Boston history and places to see. However the part of the tour on land seemed a bit hectic. Betty told many interesting facts about Boston but it was in a bit of a hurry because she had to adjust the story to the speed of the Duck and the Duck itself cannot move much slower as the traffic, I suppose. I am not sure if this downside can be improved somehow. But as a tourist first time in Boston I wished that the ride could be not so hectic and the story could be told in a slower and calmer pace, so Betty could tell us even some more interesting details about the city and its history ;) Nonetheless I still recommend the Duck tour, if you haven't taken it yet. It is an interesting experience. Especially if you have kids because the guide will invite them to drive a Duck on the water for a little while :) But if you are looking for a more detailed unhurried tour with more extensive information about Boston, its history and places of interest, or would like to see some other sights off the beaten path / Freedom Trail, I would recommend to try another tour.
Went on our second duck ride today and it was great! Even with the altered route for Columbus day, professor quackenstein and Capt Andy did a great job! Very interactive and knowledgeable. My son loves it, and we'll definitely be going again. Thank you Boston Duck Tour!
We really enjoyed the tour although it was a chilly day guide was very engaging and informative learned some new things even though I grew up in Boston recommend for adults and kids alike
These 3 ratings are only and only for our tour driver and guide. He was really awesome. I couldn't give 5 ratings as the staff who guides you to the respective ducks. They asked me to board to the wrong duck twice. I would have not mind much but its because of my 70+ aged parents who has to suffer it along with me. We missed our 10:30 tour because of this boarding and un boarding in wrong duck and then have to wait till 12:30 tour. Though they gave us free museum passes but I don't know who can do the vast museum tour in 2 hours? Also we have to pay extra charges for parking and then our connecting plans were also got delayed. Again we were boarded in wrong duck for 12:30 tour which was quite frustrating. After waiting for 2 long hours and boarding in wrong duck will definitely make you frustrating. But it was relieved somewhat by tour guide Thanks to him!
The sites were wonderful; however, the narrator alternated between explaining the history of the sites and making terrible, sexist jokes about women, wives and shopping. The jokes fell flat. More time should have been spent explaining the sites and their history. Later on the narrator developed a coughing spell so severe that he couldn't continue and the driver had to take over. This part was good, but too little too late. It was disappointing that the narration was so bad--should have had more history and less jokes about women and wives who spend their husband's money.