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.
How to get 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 pass.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Boston Duck Tour Facts
- Boston Duck Tours began in 1994, making the company 25 years old in 2019.
- The ‘DUCKs’ are replica WWII amphibious landing vehicles.
- The New England Patriots used the Boston Duck vehicles as their parade floats after winning the Super Bowl in 2002.
- Since then, the Boston Duck vehicles have been used in 12 sports championships parades.
- When a professional Boston sports team wins a championship, the players ride through the streets in Duck Boats. They wave to fans and display 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.
- “Cue the Duck Boats” is now a popular catchphrase among Boston sports fans.
What is there to see and do on the Boston Duck Tour?
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. (For your convenience, tours taken through Go City Card now depart from all three locations!)
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.
What sights will I see on the Boston Duck Tour?
You will see dozens of famous Boston sights 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
What attractions are near the Boston Duck Tour?
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 also offer tasty cocktails and apps if you want to avoid the commitment of a full dinner.
Getting In: Skywalk Observatory tickets are included with the Go Boston Card.
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.
Don’t miss enchanting Hall of Human Life, where you can explore the biology and science behind how the human body functions.
Getting In: Museum of Science tickets are included with the Go Boston Card.
New England Aquarium
Another departure point option for duck boat passengers, the New England Aquarium is also a can’t-miss attraction in its own right.
It’s filled with an abundance of marine life from playful penguins to fearsome sharks and beyond. There’s even a touch tank exhibit that kids love.
Their signature exhibit is the four-story tall Caribbean Coral Reef, featuring sea turtles, tropical fish, eels, and much more.
Getting In: New England Aquarium tickets are included with the Go Boston Card.
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.