Buckle into an amphibious World War II vehicle and take off on an entertaining duck tour of Washington DC. You’ll travel by land and water and view plenty of landmarks narrated by your comical captain during this 1.5-hour tour. Motor past the Washington Monument and other famous memorials before you make a splash into the Potomac River for unique water views.
90-minute Washington DC duck tour
See famous monuments and the Smithsonian from land and water
Splash into the Potomac River for a different look at the nation's capital
Hear live narration about the sights aboard the amphibious vehicle
I'm in D.C. mostly on business, so I didn't have time to make the rounds of the many destinations here. The 90-minute Duck Tour fit perfectly into my schedule! Bob, our captain, was friendly and had just the right amount of corny humor that you'd expect from a tour like this. Our amphibious vehicle took us past monuments and many important government buildings, and Bob was informative about each one. When we got to the water, he told us a little about the history of the vehicle we were in -- it's a genuine military vehicle dating to WW II. Kids in the group got to steer us around in the water, which was a thrill for them!
All in all, the experience left me happy and glad I booked this tour. Two pieces of advice:
1. Make sure you have some cash on hand to tip your guide. I was embarrassed because I only had two measly dollars in my wallet, and Bob deserved better than that.
2. Call ahead to ask exactly where to go. Union Station is a big place and you won't get useful instructions emailed to you when you buy these tickets. But you do get a phone number to call, and that's what saved me. I had to start inside, near the taxi stand exit, where I presented my electronic ticket and they printed me a paper one, then I went out to the curb with my paper ticket and met the captain to get underway. It's a smooth process once you find out where you're supposed to go! Don't rely on my instructions, though, because by the time you read this the procedure may have changed. Call and ask!
The authentic WWII Duck is a neat vehicle. However, not much legroom for someone over 6 feet, and the seats are a bit small in width for a heavier person - no way to fit two people side by side if you're big and tall. Those infantrymen were young, fit, and nimble.
Our guide was a personable retired man. Pleasant enough, but most of his commentary centered on complaining about pedestrians and pointing out wildlife - much more of a nature tour than I expected.
As we drove through DC, he pointed out some of the buildings and had a few interesting facts and a couple of rather lame jokes about them.
When we finally reached the water, I was hoping the tour would begin to ramp up. Instead, we looked at ducks in the water and sat under planes as they landed at Reagan. And you could drive the old metal tank if you wished. Then we exited the water, drove quickly by a few more DC monuments and buildings. You did get to see the Pentagon from the water. And the Washington Monument in the distance. But all in all, it wasn't worth it.
If you have a limited amount of time in DC, this is a fun way to get an overview of the monuments. We did drive past the Lincoln Monument, the White House, the Smithsonian Museums, the Capitol Building, Arlington National Cemetery and into the Potomac River. We could see the Washington Monument from pretty much everywhere and while in the Potomac, everyone who wanted to had a chance to drive the D.U.C.K. We watched a plane land at Reagan National Airport which was pretty exciting. Our tour guide was great about sharing interesting facts and told us when great photo spots where coming up. We weren't able to get off the DUCK and it we didn't make many photo stops but it was a fun experience and I would recommend it for a quick overview of the city. Captain Bucky was great!
I love the Duck Boats! This was the greatest way to get an overview of all D.C. In a short time. Our driver was extremely knowledgeable about all the sights, museums and monuments. The best part was when we went into the Potomac river! He took us out into the middle, then let anyone who wanted to, drive the boat.
I totally recommend Duck Boats for the first day you are here, they are way more fun than a bus!
Our trip was wonderful. It was relaxing, informative and friendly. The captain was awesome, funny and knowledgeable. Our group was a family of 7. We had wanted to do this tour for years, and it was worth the wait. We will certainly do it again when we are in Washington DC.