**Disclosure: My family received tickets for the DC Ducks Tour at no charge in order to facilitate this post. All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**
Have you ever dreamed of going for a ride in an original WW II DUKW amphibious vehicle? You can. The DC Ducks Tour is a really fun way to get a quick tour of DC and ride in a Duck boat at the same time. The Ducks were originally built as amphibious military personnel carriers immediately following the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1942 and in case you are still confused, the Ducks can ride on land and water.
The tour, which leaves from Union Station, lasts about 90 minutes, but ours ran a little over because of traffic. The tour guide was great, too. He was full of knowledge. He told us about everything we were passing as we drove around, along with some fun facts and trivia along the way.
Once we left Union Station, we drove down along the National Mall, past the Smithsonian Museums, various monuments and memorials such as the Washington Monument, The US Capitol Building and the Lincoln Memorial – and then we headed out onto the Potomac River, where we drove past the Pentagon and had great views of both Virginia and Washington DC.
Don’t worry about getting wet, the tour guide will hand out complimentary ponchos before the tour leaves Union Station.
Once we hit the water, the driver let all the kids on the tour have a go at steering the boat down the river. One of my children may or may not have just stayed in one spot turning the boat around in circles.
After your cruise on the water, the tour will head back to Union Station, where you started.
Overall, it was a really fun tour. If you’re in DC for a short visit, a Duck Tour is the way to see a lot in a short amount of time. The only thing I feel like I need to mention regarding this tour would be that they don’t stop so that you can take pictures of the monuments you drive by. Sure, the tour guide did drive as slowly past major points of interest for as long as he could, but it wasn’t always possible to get a clear shot because he had to keep up with traffic.
Oh, and at the end of the tour, everyone gets quackers! They are shaped like a duck bill and when you blow – it quacks! LOUDLY!
Buy tickets at the information desk INSIDE Union Station or online. Tickets are $39 (adult) and $29 (kids 0-12) at Union Station, but if you get your tickets online, they are $35.10 (adults) and $26.10 (kids).
Online reservations are recommended, however seats are available for walk-ups on the 1/2 hour. They are sold on a first-come first-serve basis. Union Station is located at 50 Massachusetts Ave, NE.
I recommend that you line up to go on the tour about 20 – 30 minutes before your scheduled tour time. They will start loading the Duck about 15 minutes before the tour sets off, so if you are there a few minutes early, you be assured to get a good spot on the Duck.
DC Duck Land and Water Tours operate daily tours from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, every hour on the hour from mid March through October.