Tired of London, Tired of Life - A website about things to do in London

6 April 2010

Take the London Duck Tour

We've all seen them thundering around central London, and splashing down ramps into the river, but how many of us have ever actually taken the London Duck Tour? Your author must admit he has never got round to it, but he hopes to take one of the tours, which depart from Chicheley Street in Waterloo daily, one day soon.

If you've never heard of them, the tours use 'DUKWS' amphibious vehicles, which were first used during the D-Day landings in Normandy, to conduct tours taking in London landmarks like Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and Trafalgar Square on land, before launching into the River Thames from a slipway in Vauxhall, and conducting a water-borne tour of central London.

Around 21,000 'DUKWS' vehicles were built to take the D-Day troops ashore, designed following a partnership between the General Motors Corporation and the New York yacht designers Sparkman & Stephens. The idea of using them for tourists was pioneered by the Boston Duck Tours, in the USA, and was only fully established in London as late as July 2003.

The vehicles depart from Waterloo roughly every 15 minutes during peak days with 30 passengers, and tours take 75 minutes and cost about £20. For more, see http://www.londonducktours.co.uk/


  1. Having been on the Duck Tour, I can honestly say it is more than a little dissapointing. Give it a miss

  2. Fair enough Phil, duly noted. I just felt like I had to write about it at some point...

  3. I really enjoyed it - but having done it more than once (taking visitors, it's not that good!), can say that the guides vary a great deal and as a result, so can the experience.