Florida Guide > Other Activities
Miami Duck Tours
When I first saw the name ‘Miami Duck Tours’ my first thought was that it was some kind of trip for birdwatchers or maybe even an experience similar to that of visiting the Peabody Hotel on International Drive, Orlando, to see their world famous ducks on parade.
However, this tour is a somewhat unique if not distinctively out of the ordinary tour of Miami in an amphibious vehicle which gives you the opportunity to see sights on both land and sea. The term ‘duck’ is derived from a successful World War 2 amphibious vehicle called a DUKW, which was pronounced ‘duck’! The official name comes from its design which used a combination of letters from the model naming terminology used by GMC; the D indicates a vehicle designed in 1942, the U meant ' utility (amphibious)' , the K indicated it had all-wheel drive and the W was an indication of it having two powered rear axles.
The tours start from Washington Avenue in South Beach and last about ninety minutes. You are first taken, via Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue, on a tour of the South Beach and the Art Deco areas. Having viewed some of the splendid buildings for which Miami Beach is renowned as well as the homes of the rich and famous, where you can hope to spot the likes of Enrique Iglesias, Anna Kournikova, and the legend that is Oprah Winfrey, the Duck then heads for Watson Island via the MacArthur Causeway. It is here that the boat reveals its adaptability as it enters the waters of Biscayne Bay. This part of the tour cruises by Palm Island and Hibiscus Island and affords you a peek at Star Island, the home of Gloria Estevan, and then on to the Flagler Memorial, before returning to Washington Avenue.
The whole tour is fully narrated by the well-informed if slightly wacky tour guide. Not only will he impart lots of local knowledge, interspersed with corny jokes, but he is likely to send you ‘quackers’, quite literally, as he encourages you to make duck noises at intervals during the tour.
Tour tickets cost $32 for adults and $18 for children aged 3 – 12. As the tours are very popular it is recommended to book online before you travel, especially if you are only visiting Miami for a day or two. Please also note that while the tour does not go into ocean waters you are quite likely to get wet. The boats entry into the waters of Biscayne Bay is not called ‘splash-down’ without good reason!
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