Traveling Ted is a blog that takes readers along on my adventures hiking, canoeing, skiing, and international backpacking. Many blogs focus on one aspect of backpacking, but I tackle both the outdoor adventure side and international exploration as well.

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I was in the Boston area after three weeks of adventure in Maine. I was staying with my cousin and her family just outside the city for three days. We ventured into downtown to walk around and enjoy a beautiful New England fall day. We jumped on a Boston Duck Tour at the New England Aquarium for a unique perspective of the city.

Boston Duck Tour

Our transport on the Boston Duck Tour

Related: Chicago River architectural boat tour

A boat tour is always a good idea

In Chicago we have boat tours on the Chicago Architectural Boat Tours that cruise up the Chicago River. It is a great way to experience the Chicago skyline from a different perspective. I always recommend this tour to people from out of town that ask me. It is also the first tour I would take visitors on when visiting me. I have been several times, and I never get tired of it. Therefore, it made perfect sense for my cousins to take me on this land/water cruise.

Boston Duck Tour

My cousin Natasha and son Thomas who took the helm of the ship later in the tour

What is a Boston Duck Tour

Duck boats are amphibious, so they can drive on land and splash down on the water. They were used during World War II in both the Pacific and the European theater. They were mainly used to shuttle men and supplies back and forth from the beachheads. Now they have been converted or replicated in order to shuttle tourists around the city of Boston.

Boston Harbor

Boston Harbor from where the Boston Duck Tour began

Greeted by the ConDUCKtor

Our tour was run by Captain Foghorn. I cannot remember his real name, but that is how he is listed on the website. From the fact that they call themselves ConDUCKtors, and our tour leader calls himself Captain Foghorn it is evident that the company has a sense of humor.

Downtown Boston

Scenes from the beginning of the Boston Duck Tour

When we boarded, the person that took our tickets informed us that the tickets we ordered were not good for today. We had a moment of panic, until the ticket dude broke out in a wide grin and said he was joking with us. Light hearted humor was the theme of the tour from the moment we boarded and throughout the 80 minute adventure.

Boston Duck Tour

Faneuil Hall – Part of the land scenery on a Boston Duck Tour

Drive through Boston hot spots

The first 60 minutes of the tour is on land. The Duck boats show of their wheels and tool around the city. Some of the highlights we saw included Beacon Hill, Cheers, Old State House, and many more. Their website lists all of the attractions that are included in the tour.

Duck tour Boston

The view out the front of the Duck boat – Photo by cousin Natasha

The Duck Tour does not stop. This is not a get off and look around get back on type of tour. We do stop a few times and idle while Captain Foghorn added some interesting tidbit of what we were looking at, but there is no opportunity to walk around.

I would recommend doing this tour as your first activity in Boston. The tour conductor gives so many tips on where to eat and what to see, you want to use that intelligence right away. You might want to bring a little notebook to write down all the places you want to explore in more depth after the tour is over.

St. Charles River Duck Tour

Splash, the Duck Tour enters the Charles River

Splash on the Charles River

The highlight of the trip though was the experience on the water. We splashed on to the Charles River. It was amazing how easily it was done. We just drove down a boat ramp slowly and voila, we were a boat.

St. Charles sunset

Charles River sunset was the Boston Duck Tour highlight for me (Actually second, spending time with cousins was number 1)

It was nearing sunset, so we had some great views of the Boston and Cambridge skylines as the we approached the golden hour. There were many other boats along the river including sailboats and kayaks, which added to the picturesque scene.

St. Charles Boston Duck Tour

Captain Thomas steering us through the Charles River

In good hands with Captain Thomas

Captain Foghorn allowed any of the kids on the tour to take control of the steering of the boat while on the Charles River. My cousin’s son Thomas took full advantage although under the Captain’s watchful eye. Captain Foghorn duputized him temporary Captain, and he expertly guided us through this five-minute span of the tour. A few other lucky kids also leapt at the option to drive the boat.

Boston Duck Tour

Captain Foghorn gives Captain Thomas a thumbs up

A tour that was definitely worth it

I usually shun popular tourist activities and prefer to do things myself; however, I enjoyed and would recommend this tour. It provides a lot of information, showed a lot of cool things including tourist hot spots, and the beautiful river, and did it in a fun way. Our conDUCKtour was really nice and had a great sense of humor. Looking at the pictures of the other tour guides, I think they all seem to have a similar sense of humor and it is obvious the company encourages them to be personal and funny.

Captain said whoever got the tickets deserve an atta boy. My cousin Natasha and her husband Chris and children Thomas and Lucas all deserve an atta boy for their wonderful hospitality.

Adventure on!

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