Disclaimer: Real ducks were NOT used or harmed during this ride! No we haven’t created a hybrid purple duck!
When we say duck here, we do not literally mean the yellow feathery creatures. The Seattle duck is a World War II era amphibious vehicle that runs on both land and water. So we decided to take the 90 min tour for Father’s Day and have some family fun.
All of us were looking forward to the duck ride but as we boarded our purple duck, the LO (little one) got a bit whiny and any amount of singing and rocking did not seem to soothe him. We weren’t sure what to expect during the entire 90 min ride now! But as soon as the ride started, the music started to play and the wind blew against our faces through the huge windows, LO fell asleep in mommy’s arms.
Our amazing Tour Guide
Your tour is as good as your tour guide. Helen Joy, our tour guide, was an exuberant young lady, keeping us engaged with her jokes, little general knowledge pieces and some interesting props. She even demonstrated the “Flying Fish” from Pike Place market with a stuffed dummy fish! She also told us stories about the great Seattle fire and the gold rush, albeit in an interesting rap form, which was cool.
When the Duck swam in the Lake
Unfortunately for us, it was the Solstice parade in Fremont and so that part of the tour was diverted to Ballard. Well, basically the duck tour is a family-friendly tour and the solstice parade participants are supposedly cycling wearing nothing on their bodies but some body paint!
What we Saw
- Floating Houses: These are multi-storied (Upto 3 levels) houses with one level below the water level. They are not actually floating and are grounded to the lake floor.
- House Boats: These are like RVs on land. They can be towed around using attached boats.
- Fishing Vessels
- Other Ducks
- Ballard Bridge and Fremont Bridge: These are drawbridges. So when a big vessel needs to pass through below the bridge, the traffic on the bridge has to be stopped and the bridge parts to let the vessel pass through.
When the Duck hopped on Land
What we Saw
We caught glimpses of:
- Pike Place Market
- The house from the animated movie “Up”
- Westlake Center
- Seattle Great Wheel
- Olympic Structure Park
- Pioneer Square
There are tours starting from two locations.
- Seattle Center (near the Space Needle) – We boarded from here
- Westlake Center
Any ride starting from any of the two points follows the same exact route. There are no stops, and passengers remain aboard the duck at all time.
- This ride is no Hop-On Hop-Off tour, neither do they give you a detailed tour. It just gives you glimpses into the major attractions of Seattle and a feel of the city, where water is undoubtedly a big part of the landscape. So, take this ride if you want to experience a unique and novel way of viewing the city or if you have very less time and just want to catch the highlights.
- An infant below 5 years of age gets a seat at just $5!
- Do not worry about entering the water in this vehicle. It is equipped with adult and kid life jackets. Also, it can catch maximum speed of 4.5 knots in water, which believe me isn’t fast at all. It is more of a leisurely stroll.