Ride the Ducks

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Ride the Ducks
Amphibious vehicle tours
Industry Tourism
Founded Branson, Missouri, 1977
(41 years ago)
Founder Bob McDowell
Headquarters Branson, Missouri, United States
Number of locations
Subsidiaries Classic Cable Car, Amphibious Vehicle Manufacturing
Website www.ridetheducks.com

Ride the Ducks is a national duck tour operator and eponymous tourist attraction in U.S. locations such as Branson, Missouri, Stone Mountain Park, Georgia[1], and Guam. The company formerly operated in Newport, Kentucky, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and San Francisco, California. It makes use of over 90 amphibious vehicles (nicknamed "ducks") to provide tours of cities by boat and by land. Ride the Ducks was purchased by Herschend Family Entertainment Corporation in 2004[2]. Herschend sold a majority interest in the company to an independent investor in 2012[1][3].

Ride the Ducks of San Francisco continues to operate Classic Cable Car Sightseeing, in which customers can take a city tour on a San Francisco Classic Cable Car[4], although Duck boat tours in San Francisco were suspended in 2015[5].

Similar duck-boat based tours operate in other cities (such as Cincinnati, Boston, Portland, Seattle,[6] and Toronto), but they are not operated by Ride the Ducks. Ride the Ducks has provided vehicles to some of these other companies, such as their relationship with Boston Duck Tours.[7]

The Ducks

Ride The Ducks logo 1986 - 1995

The actual vehicle is based on the famous World War II DUKW amphibious design (see post-war use). Today, the company manufactures its own amphibious vehicles that incorporate advances in marine design and safety.[8] Drivers are certified by the Coast Guard and hold commercial drivers' licences, and the vehicles are all equipped with personal flotation devices.[9]


The duck boats operated by Ride the Ducks have been involved in a number of incidents. In July 2010 one of the amphibious vehicles stalled on the Delaware River in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and was struck by a barge, sinking the duck boat and killing two of the passengers. The National Transportation Safety Board determined that the probable cause of the accident was the tugboat operator's inattention to his duties.[10]

On May 8, 2015, a Ride the Ducks boat struck and killed a woman crossing the street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania's Chinatown section. Witnesses at the scene say that the woman crossed against a red light while viewing content on a tablet and was struck while in the boat's front blind spot. The incident is still being investigated.[11]


  1. ^ a b "About us". Ride the Ducks. Retrieved 24 September 2015. 
  2. ^ "Ride the Ducks | About Us". ridetheducks.com. Retrieved 2017-11-16. 
  3. ^ Capital, Genesis. "Herschend Family Entertainment Sold a Majority Interest in Ride the Ducks > Genesis Capital". www.genesis-capital.com. Retrieved 2017-11-16. 
  4. ^ "Classic Cable Car Sightseeing and Charters | San Francisco Sightseeing Tours and Cable Car Charters". Classiccablecar.com. Retrieved 2013-02-18. 
  5. ^ "Ride the Ducks | SF Statement". ridetheducks.com. Retrieved 2017-11-16. 
  6. ^ "Fun and unique tours of Seattle! Call 206-441-DUCK!". Ride the Ducks of Seattle. Retrieved 2013-02-18. 
  7. ^ "About Ride the Ducks". 
  8. ^ [1] Archived February 26, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ Phillips, Bianca. "Splashdown | We Recommend". Memphis Flyer. Retrieved 2013-02-18. 
  10. ^ "Families of Philadelphia 'duck boat' victims get $15M settlement". Cable News Network. Retrieved 15 December 2013. 
  11. ^ "Woman Struck, Killed by Duck Boat in Philadelphia's Chinatown Section." 6abc.com. ABC Inc., WPVI-TV Philadelphia, 8 May 2015today it was. Web. 8 May 2015.

External links

  • Official Website

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