The London Duck Tour
The London Duck Tour is a brilliantly unique way of seeing our capital from a new perspective. Whether it’s your first visit or you were born and bred here the Duck Tour is guaranteed to educate and entertain. I enjoyed a ride on one of these bright, amphibious military vehicles with my family during the Summer holiday break and it was a absolute hit all round.
The tour uses DUKW ex military vehicles used as landing craft in WWII. The history of the ‘ducks’ is embraced as part of the tour with a historic military theme running through many of the interesting stories our guide relayed as we explored the city. For true military enthusiasts there are even themed experiences such as D Day Duck and the James Bond Tour.
You board the ducks just behind the Festival Hall on South Bank. The check in area is easy to find and we were greeted promptly by a friendly member of staff. When it was our turn to embark we queued alongside our vehicle waited for our name to be called. We were then introduced to our driver and our guide. Our guide was extremely knowledgable both about the key London sights and their historic relevance. He was literally full of information and had a comically charming way of relaying his anecdotes. He had both adults and children in stitches a number of times…usually by poking fun at the general public (think spy spotting outside the MI6 building!?) All members of staff we came across were both friendly and professional and a true credit to Duck Tours.
The tour takes you past more famous land marks than I can recall. To name a few you’ll visit Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Nelson’s Column, the Houses of Parliament, the Ritz, Buckingham Palace and Lambeth Palace. Plus, I guarantee your guide will have some quirky snippet of information about each location that you weren’t aware of before.
The highlight of the tour for us was exploring the Thames whilst bobbing along in our Duck. You enter the water at Lambeth and it is quite a splash you make as you go in! The vessel takes you under the Lambeth bridge and behind the Houses of Parliament spending about 25 minutes in the water. Great fun and can get quite choppy when the tide is coming in!
Catch it while you can!
Sadly the day before our visit London Duck Tours announced that Thames Water has exercised its statutory rights and given notice to acquire their launch pad at Vauxhall. This means that from September 18th London Duck Tours can no longer carry fare paying passengers on the River Thames. This is incredibly sad as the Tours have been operating in London since 2002. At this time the future of London Duck Tours is uncertain…so catch it while you can!
Prices: Adult £27 / Child £19 / Family ticket £79 / Under 1’s travel free
Ideal age: 8 upwards
Duration: 75 – 90 minutes dependent on traffic