We always thought our son would enjoy a Duck Tour…especially since he’s such a Transformers fan…imagine something that has a vehicle mode and a boat mode! Probably the closest he’s going to get.

Last summer we’d thought about doing one but were slightly deterred by the headline about one catching on fire and all the passengers being forced to jump into the Thames. No, thanks!

This summer, we had some lovely ladies that we used to work with in the Antarctic visiting for a couple weeks. After one had moved on to her next travel adventure, we were trying to figure out what to do on the other’s last day that she hadn’t done before on previous visits to London and that our family could participate in. So we decided on a Duck Tour.

The pick-up point near the London Eye.

The pick-up point near the London Eye.

It was quite appropriate as well, since it was Victory in Europe weekend, and the Ducks had been used in France during WWI! According to the tour website, the Ducks (DUKW) played a vital role in World War II and were originally used to carry supplies from ships to points on land, negating the need for loading and unloading of smaller boats, which saved time and countless lives. More than 40% of all over-beach supplies in Normandy were transported by the Ducks during the first four months.

King George VI, accompanied by Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay and the First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Andrew Cunningham, touring the beaches at Normandy in a DUKW amphibious vehicle, 16 June 1944. (Wikipedia)

King George VI, accompanied by Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay and the First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Andrew Cunningham, touring the beaches at Normandy in a DUKW amphibious vehicle, 16 June 1944. (Wikipedia)

The land portion was better than I expected as they covered a bit of off-the-beaten-path info rather than the usual tourist banter over the major sites. The whole thing lasted about 75 minutes, and we probably spent 1/3 of that in the water at least. We cruised into the Thames near Vauxhall Bridge and motored down to the Houses of Parliament before turning around and puttering slowly back up.

Heading toward the Thames near Vauxhall Bridge.

Heading toward the Thames near Vauxhall Bridge.

Boat mode!

Boat mode!

A lovely view of Parliament.

A lovely view of Parliament.

Me and our son checking out the view. It was a bit windy, so we kept the plastic tarp rolled down.

Me and A checking out the view. It was a bit windy, so we kept the plastic tarp rolled down.

A fellow Duck on the water.

A fellow Duck on the water.

I think the only thing that was disconcerting was how close the water came to the bottom of the windows after being 10 feet in the air while driving around on land. But our son loved it! And it was definitely a first for the rest of us as well.

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