Duck Tours – Review for families

Looking for something different to do with the kids? Get quackin' with a London Duck Tour

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What is it?

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It’s an amphibious travel tour of London. Essentially, it’s a boat tour with a twist. The twist? The boat also has wheels. Find it at the Duck Stop, close to the London Eye in Central London.  

Best for:

Toddlers & Preschool / 5 – 8 / 9 – 12. This ride is recommended for ages 3 and over.

Ok for:

Babies / 12 +. Children under 3 are not recommended on the tour, but can come along at their parent’s discretion.

Cost

£££. No question that it’s an expensive family activity. Adults pay £24 and children up to £16. It’s around £70 for a family ticket.  

What’s on offer

Yes, you heard me. A boat ride with wheels. 

The London Duck Tour offers a range of five public and private hire tours around the sights of London.  The tours begin on land and end with an almighty splash into the River Thames. This is made possible by the special ‘Ducks’, which were originally used in World War II and were rebuilt according to safety regulations to create the vehicles for this wacky, one-of-a-kind sightseeing tour.

Learn things about the areas from your guide, an English-speaking person who makes facts fun with their commentary.  You’ll spend around 75 minutes on the Duck, with around 30 people on board. There is the option, however, to hire your own duck.

Buggies, infant car seats and luggage are not allowed on board but can be stored in their shop at the owner’s risk.

Highlights

The commentary has been described as “engaging”,  “amusing”, “entertaining” and “fun”. It’s also very personable, as there are so few passengers on board at any one time. Even local Londoners were hearing facts about the capital they’d never heard before.  

It’s a really unusual and different experience for children to enjoy and will be a fun, unique variation from the bus tours families are used to.

The views of the big sights are great – particularly while on the water.

What to watch out for

– According to several TripAdvisor users, the Duck sometimes doesn’t working and the company will offer a land tour with vouchers for river cruises instead. Before boarding or booking, make sure you know that the Duck will be going in the water that day. 

– Don’t forget plunge into the river is worth at least half the ticket price, as you can get a clearer view of and see more sights in London from a standard double decker tour bus.

– The tour is very expensive, so definitely check the company’s refund policy and speak clearly to staff about any issues, if you’re concerned, before purchasing.

– Pirate Treasure Hunt, Pirate Party and he Code Breaking Challenge tours are only available as private hire.

– The City Tour is private hire unless there is some reason the Classic Sightseeing Tour cannot go ahead

– Discount codes for tickets can only be arranged via the booking office’s telephone number.

– The tour is NOT ‘hop on hop off’.

– Food or drink is not allowed aboard the vehicle.

– There are no toilets on board and no opportunity to stop for bathroom breaks throughout the tour.

– The bus, like a public bus, has no seatbelts. The speed of the boat is no more than 4 knots at its fastest, which works out at less than 5mph.  

– Some children may find the transition from land to water a bit weird or perhaps nerve-wracking or scary, so bear this in mind when you visit.

– Pregnant women may board the Duck and take the tour, but at their own discretion.

MFM tips

– Even in summer, it can get quite cold being out on the river, so bring some warm clothing. Toilet breaks and family meals should all be done by time you get on the bus, perhaps somewhere along the South Bank.

What the owners say

“When you hop aboard one of our distinctive yellow vehicles, you enter the wonderful world of amphibious travel.  See the world famous sights of London, learn interesting facts about the city, and be entertained with an action packed live commentary before the thrilling splashdown onto the river Thames!  It’s terrific fun for everyone from three to ninety three.”

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Visit the official Duck Tours London website

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