London Duck Tours

Attractions, Ships and boats South Bank
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See London from the street and from the river, without moving from your seat – in a WWII amphibious landing vehicle

If you’re looking for a unique way to see the sights of London, they don’t come much more strange (or yellow) than London Duck Tours – amphibious landing craft that tour the roads and then splash down into the Thames for a river cruise finale.

Known during World War II at DUKWs, these odd-looking vehicles were originally created using the automotive expertise of General Motors and the skills of a company of New York City yacht designers. These ‘Ducks’ were crucial to allied invasions in wartime, most notably the D-Day landings, and a handful of the surviving craft have been painted in rubber-duck colours and refurbished as tour buses.

A classic sightseeing London Duck Tour sets off from the gardens close to the London Eye, crossing the river by bridge and going past the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey and Downing Street. The route continues up to Trafalgar Square, along Piccadilly, then down towards Victoria past Buckingham Palace and on to the river by Tate Britain.

At this point, the vehicle splashes down into the river (safely of course – no stuntman-style leaps from Vauxhall bridge, you’ll be pleased to hear) and you cruise back to where you started. The tour takes about 75 minutes and the tour guide gives you a running commentary (in English) along the way.

For those who fancy something a little more unconventional, there are several themed options, including a James Bond Tour, which tours key spots featured in the films. This tour can be booked as a private hire experience but also runs as a regular public tour on the third Sunday of every month. The D-Day Duck Tour, meanwhile, gives you a chance to see historic sites and hear wartime tales of London during the Blitz. This tour takes place on the first Sunday of every month.

Private hire tours include the ‘Pirates of Westminster’ treasure hunt – a longer tour in which everyone on board the ‘Moby Duck’ has to carry out tasks along the way and work as a team to solve the pirate-themed trials in order to catch the ‘treasure’. (There’s a Pirate Adventure for children aged seven and over, too.) The ‘Code Breaker Challenge’ uses the DUKW as a ‘boffin HQ’ while you search bunkers, tunnels and strange spaces to crack a secret code and fight evil plotters who are planning to steal London’s biggest tourist attractions. Something for everyone, then.

By: Laura Lee Davies


Venue name: London Duck Tours
Address: 55 York Rd
Opening hours: Tours daily from 10am
Transport: Tube: Waterloo
Price: Classic tour £24, £20 concs, £16 under-18s, free under-ones, family £70
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So sadly Duck tours will be no more very soon because Thames Water have reclaimed the land that they use to take off into the water however dont be sad! You still have one more week (until Sunday 17th) to get on a duck tour.

We took our cousins who arrived from Australia and so 6 of us merrily booked online for the Classic sightseeing tour and then skipped merrily over to the bus stop which is just by Ping Pong at the Southbank.

The tour was very informative and light hearted which was perfect for all ages. The traffic wasnt bad which meant we sped along the Strand and other bits of London which are slightly more obscure including the channel 4 headquarters where if you frame the picture just right you can make the ‘4’ with the right perspective. You trundle along till you get to Vauxhall where you swap drivers and then enter the River Thames. Again more facts and you learn about the vehicle youre on. It was used during world war two although they reversed into the water instead of going head first.

All in all the 75 minutes whizzed by but i thought it was worth the money and plain good fun. Touristy, yes. Smiling, yes. Winner.

Top tip, the earlier you check in at the bus stop, the sooner you will board the boat to get the best seat. I think this is a very good queuing system which means no rugby tackling to get the best seats.

Another tip: its cold on the boat as its completely open so take a scarf!


After living in London for over two years, I didn't think that I would get much out of a London duck tour. But when a friend recently came to visit London for the first time, I thought this would be a unique way for her to see some of the city. 

I was pleasantly surprised and ended up loving the tour. I learnt some new things about the city of Westminster and it was just a lot of fun seeing the central part of London from a different point of view. The drive takes you around to see Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, Trafalgar Square, 10 Downing Street and many more famous sites. For the river part of the tour, the duck starts a MI6 and carries on to the Houses of Parliament and back again.

I definitely recommend this, even if you have lived in London you're whole life and think you've seen it all!

The Duck tour was great. The tour guide was very knowledgeable. A good tour drivind round Westminster, Whitehall, Horse Guards Parade, St James' Palace and Buckingham Palace and Millbank before the Duck entered the Thames by the MI6 building.

Great if you want a good chance of sinking or catching fire, still keeps the tourists happy!

Very friendly staff informative talk worth every penny of the ticket price the children enjoyed it WELL DONE TO OUR GUILD AND DRIVE :D

Absolutely a MUST in London! I've been on it three times, worth every penny and such a unique experience - even if you live in London! Fantastic and the tour guides are so entertaining! :p