Visitors to Boston can get an amazing tour both by land and by water with the Boston Duck Boat Tours – among the city’s most popular attractions for visitors and locals alike.
Visitors will learn the history and many fascinating tales of the most popular and historic sites in Boston, all while riding in a World War II-era replica duck boat.
Check out our helpful guide for taking a famous Boston Duck Tour, packed full of ways to save on admission, tips for visiting, other nearby attractions, and much more.
Looking for Boston Duck Tour Discount Tickets?
We’ve got you covered – Boston Duck Tour admission is available with the below money saving options, so you can choose the attraction pass that’s right for you:
1. All-Inclusive Pass – All you can do. Includes admission to dozens of attractions. Available on 3, 5, and 7-Day Go Boston Cards.
2. Explorer Pass – Choose as you go. Includes admission of up to 5 attractions.
3. Build Your Own Pass – Select the attractions you want to visit prior to visiting.
The Go Boston Card is a digital pass that you can easily access from your smartphone, which essentially includes a built-in ‘Boston Duck Tour promo code’ that give you discount admission to visit this attraction.
Tips for Taking a Duck Tour of Boston
While always an enjoyable experience, there are a few tips that will help you get the most out of your tour.
Take the tour first on your vacation. With more than 30 sights to be seen during the tour, chances are you will discover a new historical landmark or interesting sight you didn’t know about before. This will help you plan out what you want to see more of later, and what’s not worth the extra time.
Utilize the all-inclusive admission passes. The Go Boston Card includes admission to many of the other top attractions that Boston has to offer, including the Museum of Science, New England Aquarium, Skywalk Observatory, and dozens more.
Yell “Quack!” The conDUCKtor will likely encourage passengers to trumpet out a duck’s call during the tour, and pedestrians will often respond in kind. Don’t be surprised if, in the middle of an interesting story about how bronze statues of eight ducklings and their mother came to be installed in the Public Garden, a passerby happens to quack at you first.
Bring your camera. Boston is a beautiful and historic city, and on every street you will find something worth capturing on film.
Get the photo. If you forget your own camera, Boston Duck Boat Tours sell prints of group photos with the duck boat and conDUCKtor for an extra charge at the end of the trip.
Tell the conDUCKtor if it is your birthday. Those celebrating a birthday, anniversary, or other special event may be invited up to pilot the ship as you cruise the waters of the famed Charles River. Most people will drive a car at some point in their life, and many will drive a boat. But how many can say they have piloted an amphibious landing craft?
Buy a T-shirt. Your tour doesn’t have to end just because you pulled back up on dry land and the conDUCKtor let you off. There is a full range of merchandise available, including sweat shirts, tote bags, onesies for the little ones, and, of course, rubber duckies.
Call ahead if you have special needs. The duck boats are wheelchair accessible, but given that three seats need to be removed for a wheelchair to fit, guests needing that accommodation must call 617-267-3825 in advance. The wheelchair lift can also be used to assist passengers who have trouble climbing stairs.
Call ahead to request a particular conDUCKtor. While they cannot guarantee that you will be able to ride on South End Sara or that Dr. Fabulous will be your guide, if you call at least a month in advance they will try to accommodate your group.
Tip the driver. While the discount ticket for the duck tour is included with the Go Boston Card, we still suggest you show your appreciation for the conDUCKtor by leaving him a tip.
What to Do There
Tours are roughly 80 minutes long, with 20 of those minutes spent on the Charles River. Duck boats depart from and return to the Prudential Center, the Museum of Science, or the New England Aquarium. (Please note that tours taken through Go City Card depart from the Prudential Center and the Museum of Science only.)
As the conDUCKtor regales guests with the history of the Old State House, Cheers, the Big Dig and more, the duck boat heads towards the Charles River and splashes down into it. While cruising on the normally placid waters of the river, guests get to see the Boston skyline, and that of Cambridge on the opposite bank as well.
Each Duck Boat is named in honor of a local landmark, and each conDUCKtor has their own persona and gimmick. You may find yourself, for example, on Faneuil Holly, the duck boat named for Faneuil Hall, otherwise known as the Cradle of Liberty.
You might also end up on North End Norma, named for the Italian neighborhood at the tip of the Shawmut peninsula. At the helm of the duck boat may be Captain WeirdBeard, the nephew of the famed pirate Blackbeard, or Worcester T. Filibuster, a lifelong politician who has yet to win an election.
You will see dozens of sights and landmarks on your tour. They include the following:
- Prudential Tower
- Christian Science Church
- Copley Place/ Arts Square
- New Old South Church
- Arlington Street Church
- Boston Common/ Public Gardens
- Swan Boats
- Beacon Hill
- State House
- Robert Gould Shaw Memorial
- Mary Dyer
- Old Scollay Square/ Government Center
- Old West Church
- West End
- TD Garden
- Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge
- Museum of Science
- Charles River
- Longfellow Bridge
- Hatch Shell
- Bunker Hill
- Main Street, Charlestown
- Old North Church/North End
- Rose Kennedy Greenway/North End Parks
- Holocaust Memorial
- Faneuil Hall/ Quincy Market
- Old State House
- King’s Chapel
- Granary Burying Ground
- Make Way for Ducklings
- Newbury Street
- Trinity Church
- Hancock Tower
- Boston Public Library
Having toured the streets and waterways of Boston for more than 20 years now, the Duck Boat Tours have become an integral part of the city’s life.
In fact, when a professional Boston sports team wins a championship, the players ride through the streets in duck boats, waving to fans and displaying their well earned trophies. You could find yourself in the same seat Tom Brady, Paul Pierce, David Ortiz, or Zdeno Chara used during their victory parades.
Things to Do Nearby
There are plenty of other great attractions located nearby. Here are a few we suggest adding to your itinerary…
If you leave from the Prudential Center, check out the Skywalk Observatory on the 52nd floor for a bird’s eye view of the all the attractions you just saw at duck’s eye level.
If you’re hungry, check out the Top of the Hub restaurant for an unparalleled dining experience. They als offer tasty cocktails if you don’t want to spend the money on a pricier dinner.
Museum of Science
Tour goers leaving from the Museum of Science shouldn’t miss the 700 exhibits and numerous live demonstrations inside.
Kids will love the electricity show in the world’s largest open-air Van de Graaff generator is a sight to behold.
The Mugar Omni Theater, located at the museum, is the only domed IMAX theater in New England and only one of 60 worldwide that offers 180-degree domed viewing.
They’ve also recently opened the enchanting Hall of Human Life, where you can explore the biology and science behind how the human body functions.
If you’re already going to be at the Prudential Center to pick up your duck boat tour, then it’s worth your time to browse a few of the popular shops in this mall.
It’s filled with everything from the very high end to fast fashion with everything in between, and locals flock here for many of their shopping needs.
Explore the mall itself, and the streets around it. Who knows — maybe you’ll score an awesome deal!
Save on Tickets with a Go Boston Card
Remember, the Go Boston® Card is the best choice for maximum savings and flexibility, which includes Boston Duck Tours tickets, plus admission to your choice of other top attractions.
Save up to 55% on top museums, tours, and activities vs. paying at the gate. Visit multiple attractions for one low price.