Safety at Boston Duck ToursClick here to see a video regarding Boston Duck Tour vehicle safety.
Click here to download our safety letter for guests.
Branson Response Summary
In response to the tragic accident in Branson, Missouri, there have been calls by legislators and the media to increase regulations and/or shut down the amphibious vehicle industry completely. Most, if not all, of these people do not understand the differences in companies, vehicle design, operating environment, etc.
Boston Duck Tours
At Boston Duck Tours, the safety of our Guests and our Employees is our number one priority and we will continue to work closely with our partners at the US Coast Guard, Department of Public Utilities, Boston Hackney Division and Department of Transportation to ensure we maintain these safety standards.
Almost all amphibious vehicle companies, including Boston Duck Tours, are independently owned and operated. We have been in existence since 1994 and have never had a water accident such as what happened in Branson. We employ over 200 people including Mechanics, Drivers, Narrators, Guest Service Representatives, Sales Representatives and Managers. We have carried almost 11.5 million guests since inception in 1994 and average about 600,000 each season.
Vehicle Design – Truck Ducks
Our Ducks are not WWII DUKWs and are not the same as the Duck in the recent Branson incident. Our fleet is comprised of what are known as “Truck Ducks”, which are based off a much larger and stronger chassis. They are purpose-built for tourism and are not a converted surplus vehicle. The hulls are all brand-new construction and were designed for much greater stability, much greater capacity and much greater safety. The hulls themselves are heavier gage than a WWII Duck and all the old corrosion and stress points have been eliminated. Our oldest Truck Duck was built in 2006 and the newest was built in 2014. They share no parts with a WWII DUKW, and are a “Duck” in name only.
We are inspected by the US Coast Guard every spring before our season begins and we meet or exceed their regulations. We are also inspected by the Department of Public Utilities (they are the bus inspectors in our state) every spring. We have an outside audit of our fleet done every year by a qualified outside inspection firm. In addition, all of our 28 Ducks are inspected twice daily by our Mechanics and once prior to departure by our licensed Class B Commercial Drivers who complete a Department of Transportation required inspection check list.
Most of our Ducks have retractable canopies which act as a means of egress. In addition, we have Velcro windows that can be unzipped or pushed out easily. Finally, we have a windshield that can be lowered for egress. These features have all been approved for use by the US Coast Guard.
At Boston Duck Tours, we operate on the Charles River, a protected waterway with depths averaging about 16 feet. Since the River is narrow, if there was ever a water emergency, the Duck could easily ground itself on the river bank within minutes.
We continuously monitor the weather conditions from our three locations. We do not allow our DUCKs to go into the Charles River if there is lightning in the area or if conditions are forecasted to exceed our operating parameters set by the US Coast Guard. Our Certificates of Inspection (COI) states we may not operate if winds are over 25 knots or waves are over one foot. With respect to life jackets, just like any other licensed passenger vessel, we follow the regulations of the US Coast Guard which requires that we have a life jacket on board for each passenger. They are readily available above each seat in the event of a water emergency.
Corporate OfficesBoston Duck Tours 4 Copley Place, Suite 4155 Boston, Massachusetts 02116 (v) 617.267.DUCK (3825) (f) 617.450.0065
General Information(e) Info@BostonDuckTours.com
Media Relations(No Donation Requests) (e) BSchwartz@BostonDuckTours.com
Guest Feedback(e) Feedback@BostonDuckTours.com
Souvenir Photo Inquiries(e) service@PhotoGenicInc.com
Company HistoryContrary 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, 200-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 4,600 during our peak season today. 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. The company is now Boston’s Most Popular Tour and one of the best things to do in Boston!
Mission StatementOur mission is to operate a profitable and unique sightseeing tour that is perceived by the leaders, citizens, and guests of Boston to be of historical and educational value, a positive asset to the community, and FUN. We accomplish this by:
Doing Our Part
Quack-Quack Give Back!Boston Duck Tours is grateful for our success in Boston. We make a sincere effort to share our good fortune with the community in which we live and work. Our charitable focus is on “Clean Water”, “Education”, and “Veterans”. You can help – if you’d like to round your bill up to the next dollar, your change will help support six very worthy causes: Charles River Clean Up Boat Their mission is to remove the floating trash from the Charles River. NEADS/Dogs for Deaf and Disabled Americans Their mission is to train Service Dogs become an extension of their handlers and bring freedom, physical autonomy and relief from social isolation to their human partners who are deaf or have a disability. Community Boating Their mission is the advancement of sailing for all by minimizing economic and physical obstacles to sailing. The Charles River Watershed Association Their mission is to improve the water quality and recreational potential of the Charles River. The Bostonian Society Their mission is to study and preserve Boston’s uniquely important history. The First Corps of Cadets Museum After the Civil War veterans of the the First Corps of Cadets, ICC, decided to start a museum to store the collection of uniforms, artifacts and papers gathered by members of the Corps since it’s inception. In 1876 The Veteran Association of the First Corps of Cadets, VAFCC, was founded. Boston Duck Tours will match 100% donated by our valued guests at the end of our season. Over the past 7 years, Boston Duck Tours has raised over $226,000, ultimately raising $452,000 for these local charities after our 100% match.
Clean WaterBecause we operate in the Charles River, Boston Duck Tours is a major supporter of the Charles River Watershed Association, a non-profit organization that works with government agencies and other non-profit groups to improve the water quality and recreational potential of the Charles River. In 2004, Boston Duck Tours became the first major financial supporter of a new volunteer organization, the Charles River Clean Up Boat. Volunteers use the boat to clean the river and riverbanks of floating trash. In addition to our financial support, several Boston Duck Tours employees have volunteered to work on the boat. A new joint effort with the The Esplanade Association, although in its beginning stages, should prove to be a beneficial partnership.
EducationEvery year, Boston Duck Tours visits numerous area schools to present educational programs on Boston’s history, as well as entrepreneurship. Special presentations are offered to veterans, business groups, and senior citizens. We have also served as mentors to students interested in pursuing a career in the travel industry. Every year, hundreds of school children learn to sail on the Charles River at Community Boating, the nation’s oldest public boating program, and a cause that we have supported for many years. We are also charter members of the Student and Youth Travel Association (SYTA) and the SYTA Youth Foundation that raises money for youth travel scholarships. Boston Duck Tours is active in supporting local teachers through the Massachusetts Teachers Association and in honoring the Boston Teachers of the Year.
VeteransOur original Ducks (DUKWs) were built in the 1940s to be used in WWII. DUKWs played a crucial role in the allied invasions in Sicily, the Pacific, and the biggest invasion of all, D-Day. Each day we run our amphibious tours, we honor the women who built them and the men who drove them in combat. Our Veterans hold a special place in our company and we strive to pay tribute to them in every way we can. We offer discounted rates for Military personnel and their spouses. Each year we offer free rides to all Veterans during the week of Veteran’s Day. Any time a WWII Vet wants to take a tour, it’s on us. In 2011 we became a major sponsor of the Run to Home Base – the Home Base Program (created and supported by the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital) will help to ensure that local veterans who served our country receive the clinical treatment they need for combat stress and/or traumatic brain injury, and that their families get the guidance and support they need. Not only will we support them with our dollars and marketing outreach, but we also have a group of dedicated employees raising money and running the 9K race. In 2013 we added the First Corps of Cadets Museum to our program. The First Corps of Cadets Museum houses priceless historic holdings including the first Confederate Flag captured in the Civil War, the weapons fired at Lexington and Concord, the pike from the Mayflower, the best US Army Weapons Collection in the world, a painting of John Hancock’s home on a panel from his front door, military uniforms from the Revolutionary War to present, etc. We are proud to support the Corps and their mission to preserve this great nation’s history. In 2018 we added NEADS to our list of worthy causes. This program pairs highly trained NEADS dogs with qualified veterans of our armed services who could benefit from canine assistance. NEADS has matched 92 Service Dogs with veterans since 2006, when the program began. Since it was established in 1976, NEADS has placed over 1,500 Assistance Dogs with people who are Deaf or have a disability. NEADS Assistance Dogs for Veterans: Help with the transition to prosthetics Retrieve and carry objects Press buttons and pull open doors Turn lights on and off Accompany the veteran in public places Assist with tasks for veterans in a wheelchair Respond to sounds for veterans who have hearing loss Offer valuable social interaction … and much more! *formerly referred to as Canines for Combat Veterans (CCV) Boston Duck Tours currently donates $2.00 for every military style rubber duck sold. These ducks are now affectionately known as the “Camo Duck”. We have donated over $16,000.00 to NEADS to date. Boston Duck Tours also had the honor of naming the Pawsitively Strong fund and are lead donors. This fund provides Assistance Dogs to survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing who have sustained a permanent physical disability.
DonationsEvery year, Boston Duck Tours donates thousands of tickets to youth groups, senior citizens, and non-profit organizations. During the week of Veterans Day, any veteran or active duty member of the Armed Forces can take a Duck Tour free of charge. In addition, military personnel always receive a discounted ticket price. Donation requests are filled on a first come, first served basis beginning on January 1st of each year. Donations are allocated to organizations raising money for a good case through an event, raffle or silent auction. We do not offer monetary donations and reserve the right to deny a request for any reason. Please Note – We have stopped accepting donation requests for our 2018. Please feel free to send your request after Dec 1 for our 2019 donation allocation. We require:
- Request must be on official letterhead
- Return address MUST be included
To keep all parties together we now automatically assign seats when you purchase your tickets. You will be able to find your seat assignments on your tickets after you purchase online, over the phone or in person.
Boston Duck Tours has 3 ticket booth locations.The Museum of Science ticket booth is located on the right hand side of the front entrance of the Museum of Science. Our ticket booth that looks like a mini DUCK. Specifically “Miss Emma Science”. The New England Aquarium ticket booth is located outside the New England Aquarium, right next to the Simons IMAX theatre. This booth also looks like a mini DUCK. Specifically “Annie Aquarium”. The Prudential Center ticket booth is located outside of Star Market at 53 Huntington Ave. This booth also looks like a mini DUCK. Specifically “Liberty Teresa” You may also purchase our tickets at either Bostix booth located next to Faneuil Hall or in Copley Square!
Our New England Aquarium departure location is the closest to Black Falcon Cruise Terminal. You can take an Uber or taxi to any of our departure locations or catch a ride on the Silver Line bus to South station which will connect you to our subway system. The New England Aquarium departure location is a short walk from South Station, the Museum of Science is at Science Park station off the Green Line and the Prudential Center location is easily accessible from Copley station off the Green Line. Directions to the New England Aquarium departure location from Black Falcon Cruise Terminal By taxi By public transportation Directions to the Museum of Science departure location from Black Falcon Cruise Terminal By taxi By public transportation Directions to the Prudential Center departure location from Black Falcon Cruise Terminal By taxi By public transportation
Yes, gift cards can be purchased online in any denomination by clicking here.
We take advance telephone reservations for groups of 20 or more, based upon availability (excluding children under 3 from original count). You can make your group reservation by calling us at 617-450-0068. We suggest that you call as early as possible to increase your chances of getting the date, location and time you want, as some dates are sold out months in advance. If you have fewer than 20 people, you may also purchase tickets over the phone. (Please note that there is a $3.50 per ticket convenience fee for tickets purchased over the phone.) Otherwise, you may purchase our ticket booths at the Prudential Center, Museum of Science, The New England Aquarium or at the Bostix booth at Faneuil Hall Marketplace. Prudential Center, Museum of Science and New England Aquarium Ticket booths open at 8:30 a.m. Our booth at Faneuil Hall opens at 10am. All tickets are sold based upon availability for specific departure dates, times and locations, are non-refundable and may not be exchanged. Tickets may be purchased starting 30 days in advance. More tickets are made available on the day of the tour starting at 8:30am. On weekends and during the summer season, tickets often sell out by noon, so we suggest you buy your tickets as early in the day as possible. Tours depart rain or shine.
You may purchase tickets over the Internet any day within 30 days in advance of a particular tour date. A limited number of tickets go on sale at 8:45 a.m. five days prior. Once these tickets are sold out, the only other way you would be able to get tickets is to go to one of our ticket booths early on the day of the tour. If the advance tickets on the Internet are sold out, then the advance tickets at the ticket booths are also sold out. To order, go to online tickets. Please note that there is a $2.00 per ticket convenience fee for Internet tickets.
No, you may print your e-ticket or simply present the ticket on your mobile device if you do not have a printer readily available. Either form is perfectly acceptable.
No. We release only a portion of our tickets on the Internet for advance sales. Same day tickets are always available for sale at our ticket booths. Prudential Center and Museum of Science Ticket booths open at 8:30 a.m. The New England Aquarium ticket booth location opens at 9 a.m. and our Faneuil Hall ticket booth opens at 10am. On weekends, holiday and in the summer months, if you do not arrive as soon as the ticket booths open, then we can not guarantee there will be tickets available for that day.
Besides Boston Duck Tours tickets, you have the option of purchasing discounted tickets to the Museum of Science, New England Aquarium, Skywalk Observatory & Old Town Trolley. You may also purchase Boston Duck Tours’ merchandise by clicking here.
All tours are approximately an hour and 20 minutes in length. An hour on land and 20 minutes in the water. Tour times may vary from time to time due to traffic patterns and construction.
Absolutely! We have wheelchair accessible DUCKS from our Prudential Center and Museum of Science departure locations. If you are booking online you MUST call us at 617-450-0068 and tell us you have a guest that needs to stay in their wheelchair as we need to pull 3 extra seats to fit the wheelchair in the DUCK. If booking in person ensure you tell our Guest Service Representative that you have someone in a wheelchair so we can also pull the 3 extra seats. Each Duck in our fleet is equipped to have up to two wheelchairs strapped onto the back deck. Wheelchairs are boarded first along with one guest in your party. Other guests in your party will board in the order in which they arrived and where they are in the line. Guests also have the option of transferring into one of our seats. We will gladly set up the wheelchair lift to assist those guests who are not in a wheelchair, but are unable to climb stairs.
No. The tour is approximately 80-minutes without stops along the route. Tour times may vary due to traffic patterns and construction.
All tickets are sold based on availability for specific departure time and location, are non-refundable and may not be exchanged. If Mother Nature precludes us from offering the water portion of our tour, half the ticket price will be refunded upon request.
Gratuities are certainly appreciated for a job well done at the discretion of the guest. All groups of 20 or more and private Duck charters will include an automatic 10% gratuity which can be returned to the group if the tour is unsatisfactory. All student groups of 20 or more will have a 5% gratuity added to their tour.
Unfortunately due to scheduling challenges, it is not possible for individuals to request a particular ConDUCKtor or Duck. Groups may be able to request a specific ConDUCKtor with enough advanced notice. You would need to give at least one month notice.
While we do splash into the Charles River, you will not get wet. You may, however, get a light spray on the River depending upon the direction and strength of the wind.
You can use your printed Internet confirmation as your ticket and go directly to our Duck Stop boarding area. If you’re not able to print the confirmation, you should still go directly to the Duck Stop and a Guest Service Representative will tell you where to sit for boarding.
The water portion is approximately 20 minutes of the 80-minute tour. Tour times may vary due to traffic patterns and construction.
No, insurance regulations do not allow alcohol on board the Duck. Boston Duck Tours reserves the right to refuse boarding of or terminate the tour for any guest that appears to be intoxicated.
Yes, you are required to get a ticket for any child under 3. The discounted price is $10.50.
Only service animals are permitted on the tour.
Although the Ducks are heated and may be enclosed, you should dress appropriately for the weather on the day of the tour. It is often breezy on the Charles River.
It is up to the Driver or ConDUCKtor to determine if he/she will allow guests to steer the Duck on the Charles River.
The first tour departs at 9:00 AM & the last tours leave approximately one hour before sunset each day.Schedule for tours at Museum of Science & Prudential Center is: Dates of Operation – Last Tour of the Day* March 21st through April 18th – 6:00 PM April 19th through May 15th – 6:30 PM May 16th through August 5th – 7:00 PM August 6th through August 25th – 6:30 PM August 26th through September 12th – 6:00 PM September 13th through September 29th – 5:30 PM September 30th through October 16th – 5:00 PM October 17th through October 31th – 4:30 PM November 1st through November 7th – 3:30 PM November 7th through November 25th – 3:00 PM *Estimated times. Schedule for tours departing from the New England Aquarium: Daily from April 1 – November 25 – Tours depart from 9am until an hour before sunset Please call 617-450-0068 for actual last tour time.
Yes, a Guest Service Representative will take your stroller for you during the tour and return it once the tour has ended.
The $2 per ticket fee is a Convenience Charge for tickets purchased on our website in advance. Since we only accept advance reservations for groups of 20 or more, this allows individual guests to reserve tickets for a specific departure location, on a specific day and for a specific time. It can save someone from driving into town, parking and standing in line to purchase tickets based upon what is available at that time. Of course there is always the option of buying in person, without the service charge, either 30 days in advance or on the day of the tour.
Yes, we are the only city tour in Boston to offer tours using GPS technology to provide tours in 9 different languages. These tours ONLY depart from our Prudential Center or Museum of Science locations. We now have tours in Mandarin, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Brazilian dialect Portuguese, Japanese, Cantonese & Korean that depart from our Prudential Center location only!
As a Boston Duck Tour ticket holder, you are entitled to HUNDREDS of dollars worth of savings to local stores, attractions and restaurants including great savings at the Museum of Science, New England Aquarium and Prudential Center. See the entire list of discounts. You will also receive a complimentary city guide when you purchase a Boston Duck Tours ticket. If you purchase tickets via the Internet, you can pick up your guide at any of our departure locations when you check in. It includes fun facts and helpful information on the city. Lastly, you will receive $10 off a Museum of Science Exhibit Hall pass, a free tea tasting from the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, free admission to the Sports Museum as well as a free weekday walking tour of Harvard with Trademark Tours – a $42 value for FREE! (Please note that free offer for Harvard Tour is only valid Monday – Friday for up to 6 guests (They offer the Harvard tour at 50% off on Saturday and Sunday for Duck Tour guests) and the TD Garden/Sports Museum is only valid for up to 10 guests)
The Prudential Center, The Museum of Science and The New England Aquarium ticket booth open at 8:30am and close after the last tour departs (Please see tour schedule above).
Boston Duck Tours runs rain or shine. However, we may be forced to cancel either the water portion or the entire tour itself under severe weather conditions. If Boston Duck Tours is unable to provide the water portion of the tour, guests will receive a 50% refund. If Boston Duck Tours is forced to cancel the entire tour, guests will receive a full refund. Cancellations are done at the discretion of the Dispatcher based on the current weather conditions at the time of the tour.
The CCF is not a tax, it is a Convention Center Fee that the state of Massachusetts charges all land and water based sightseeing tours of Boston. Unfortunately no entity may be exempt from this fee as it is not a tax, but a surcharge.
We are required by the United States Coast Guard to count every guest on board whether it’s a 10 year old child or a 10 day old baby. Although the infant would be on a lap, we are unable to sell the seat that the infant would be purchasing because our total number of guests on board can’t go over our approved limit.
BDT reserves the right to reassign seats.
Boston Duck Tours is looking for Drivers for our 2018 season from March – NovemberRequirements: Must have a clean driving record, a positive attitude and thrive in a team environment. Must be at least 21 years of age and able to pass a DOT Physical. A Class B Commercial Driver’s License with a Passenger Endorsement is required to Drive for Boston Duck Tours. Boston Duck Tours offers Competitive Pay and Great Benefits that include medical, dental, 401k, and many more. If you’re interested in joining the Boston Duck Tours family, reach out to Jobs@BostonDuckTours.com or 617-830-5628
MechanicsWe provide a well-organized, clean, safe, professional and fun work environment where you will enjoy being part of the extraordinary team that keeps our 28 DUCKS in top operating condition. We offer competitive pay with year-end bonus and pay increases for demonstrated welding ability and/or obtaining a Class B CDL as well as benefits that include medical, dental, 401k and much more. Email: Jobs@BostonDuckTours.com or call 617-830-5628
DetailersThis position is responsible for keeping our Ducks thoroughly clean inside and out and other duties as assigned. This is a great entry level opportunity. We are currently not hiring detailers but always accept resumes for future consideration.
Guest Service Representatives (GSRs)Looking for energetic team players to work indoors and outdoors, April through November. Involves ticket and merchandise sales and guest interface.
Sales Representatives (SRs)Looking for detail oriented team player to handle a large volume of phone calls and process orders in the group sales office. Professional telephone manners and data entry skills required.
To learn about these and other career opportunities at Boston Duck Tours call 617.830.5628
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Privacy StatementBoston Duck Tours respects the privacy of your information. Therefore, we provide this brief explanation about our online information practices as they may relate to your personal information. On our site, we request that you enter personal identifying information such as your name, address, telephone numbers and credit card numbers when you purchase tickets or merchandise from us. We use this information to expedite your purchase as well as to inform you of additional services that may be of interest you and to maximize your experience in using our site. In addition, we automatically gather general statistical data about our site and its visitors, such as your computers IP addresses, Internet browser, pages viewed, number of visits etc. We use this data to improve our marketing efforts, to analyze site usage, to improve content and product offerings and to customize our site’s content, layout and services to better serve your needs. Our use does not reference you by individual name, e-mail address, home address or telephone number and we will not sell, rent, or share this information with any other organization, except in some instances where we may share the information with a Boston Duck Tour Authorized Partner who we feel can help you meet your needs. For your protection, we also use reasonable and current security methods to prevent unauthorized access to data, maintain data accuracy, and to ensure the proper use of your information. By using this site, you signify your agreement with the Boston Duck Tour Privacy Statement. We reserve the right, at our discretion, to change, modify, add, or remove portions of this statement at any time. Your continued use of this site following changes to these terms means you accept those changes. If you have any questions or concerns please contact Group Sales at 617-450-0068.
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