Duck tours, never again
London Duck Tours (London)
Member Name: Judey
London Duck Tours (London)
Date: 07/10/10, updated on 08/10/10 (132 review reads)
Disadvantages: More than I could possibly list
A London Duck Tour is much more than a sightseeing tour; it's the only way to experience the spectacular sights and sounds of central London by land and river without leaving the comfort of your seat. Let our entertaining and knowledgeable guide lead you around the key landmarks of the capital, before splashing down into the Thames at MI6!
So step aboard a Duck for a unique adventure, delivered on vehicles originally used for the D-Day landings in 1944!
Info taken from www.londonducktours.co.uk
Are you sold ? we were, sounds great, an ideal sight seeing family treat.
We took a duck tour with our two children back in July. Our children were nine and elevenand I was desperate to let them do the full London tourist bit seen as it was the first time they had ever been to London. The duck tours are advertised as suitable for families and the whole idea of getting a bus tour followed by the water cruise really appealed.
Two for the price of one, how could we refuse. I paid the £58 for the family ticket and started to hype it up to the children. I wanted it to be really special.
We boarded the bus an hour later for our tour, the kids were really excited, we were welcomed on board and we were off, five minutes into the road tour we were informed that the route had changed because of the Gay pride event happening, now this was where it all started to go down hill. The Gay pride event is well published and details, dates and other information is available months before so why were we not informed at the time of booking and paying. (we did book on the same day as the tour)
We were driven around for about 20 mins at a fairly high speed, and shown what seemed to be the darker side of London. We didn't get close enough to any famous landmarks to actually see and because the duck doesnt stop or slow down it's all fairly pointless. Our guide talked non-stop about London being well known for the drugs, the prositution, the murders (ok starting to think this wasn't really suitable for the younger members of our family)
This turned into talk of fires and London burning to the ground. It was twenty minutes of doom and gloom and by the time we reached the waters edge I was rather hoping our guide may fall in and drown.
We sat and waited on board the duck while our driver went for a peee, yes that is what we were actually told. The splash down was mean't to be amazing but damp duck comes to mind, it was dull to say the least.
Our guide didn't really tell us anything for the twenty minutes we spent bobbing around the thames. He did however manage to inform us when a piece of rubbish floated by.
Once out of the water we had to wait for a change of driver and then we were taken straight back to the drop off point. The children learn't nothing of any value from the guide and I had such high hopes for the whole experience.
My nine year old did ask what a prostitute was? great just what I wanted her to learn about.
We were of loaded at the drop off point and asked if we wanted to reward the guide with a few bob for such a great experience. Needless to say he got nothing. We were not the only people on our tour that thought it was a disgusting waste of money.
We proceeded straight around the corner to the main booking office to express our concerns to be told that the duck tours were hosted in the style of horrible histories, now I have read these books with the children and they are nothing alike.
While we know that London may have a seedy past to glorify and only focus on these aspects does not give a true picture of this country's capital. I would not recommend the duck tours to anyone with children under twelve and I would not recommend the tours to anyone who has any interest of learning about London's wonderful history. I will certainly never be going on one of the duck tours again.
Our complaint was just brushed under the carpet and we recieved a very disappointing, hope you come back to ride the ducks again. Maybe when the Thames freezes over.
To be honest I know a lot of people have commented on how much they enjoyed tours at other locations but a lot depends on your guide really they are the entertainment and will either make or break your trip and the guide we had was terrible.
Summary: Waste of £58