“ Sightseeing National / Address: 32 Anchor Courtyard / Albert Dock / Liverpool / L3 4AS / England „
Last week we had a 2 night vacation in Liverpool without the kids, which was really delightful. One of the highlights is a trip we took on the Yellow Duckmarine. As we got off, we were told 'If you liked it tell everyone, and if you didn't don't bother,' and i immediately thought of sharing on Dooyoo.
What is a Yellow Duckmarine?
It is an amphibious vehicle that can travel on land or water. It was designed originally for use by the military in World War 2 by Roderic Stephens, an American who worked for Sparkman and Stephens in New York. They were used to transport men and supplies from ships to land when there were no port facilities. Apparently these machines had a life expectancty of just 3 days as they were slow moving and an easy target. (No - not because they were painted bright yellow like these ones.) These have been decorated to fit in with the Beatles and their song 'Yellow Submarine' and are used to give a tour of the Docks and the City of Liverpool.
What do you get for your Money?
You get a one hour tour of the area over land and water. It departs from just beside the Albert Dock, and goes over land first to show you the Liverpool Pierhead, the Cunard and Liver Buildings which Liverpool is so famously known for. You then go into the centre of Liverpool and see some of the other famous sights like the Cavern Club, the 2 cathedrals in the city, the Railway buildings, and the Chinese quarter featuring a big gate. This was accompanied by lots of explanation of what we were seeing by the tour guide, who peppered his description with lots of silly stories and jokes.
As well as being a good way to get your bearings in a strange to us City, you got a good idea of the history and had a lot of fun. It was a really pleasant trip and we had a very amusing hour on board.
So How Much Will It Cost You?
It depends on if you travel peak time (school holidays and Bank Holiday weekends)
Ticket Off Peak Peak
Adult £9.95 £11.95
Child (2-15) £7.95 £9.95
Family (2 Ad +2 ch) £29.00 £34.00
Add one child to above £5.00 £7.00
Sen Cit, Student, Reg £8.95 £10.95
Disabled and Carers.
The only negative to the Duck is it doesn't cater for people who need wheelchairs as the access to the Duck is via 5 very steep and slippy steps. It was quite hard getting up into it. I think it would also be rather tricky with very small children though they will take them with a boarding pass.
I felt the price was a bit steep before we boarded, but the tour is really comprehensive in the historical areas it shows you, and it is definitely a unique experience in the journey around the Docks. You can walk around the city yourself and read up about it if you choose, but as we were only there for a couple of days we got an impression about the different areas we were shown, and then went back on foot to the areas we wanted to spend a bit more time looking at.
The Duck is not that huge -the one we went on held 30 people maximum, and the smallest only 22. We were on quite a small seat so we had to get cosy. They recommend that you arrive early if you want to try to guarantee you sit with your group. You can't exchange your ticket if you don't get sat together. Fair enough really, but it would have been less of an experience to me if i went and couldn't sit and talk to my husband.
As a casual user of the service, (ie we had not seen any information before hand about where to buy tickets) we assumed we could just pay as we boarded. In fact, you need to go to a special ticket office within the Courtyard at Albert Docks. This ended up being a bit of a rush in very poor weather, so it is good to get this bit right. The staff were helpful and directed us where to go.
The turnover also seemed quite high. The day we went they were using 3 or 4 of the Ducks, so the tours were departing about every 15 minutes around lunchtime, although this can be about every 75 minutes in off peak times.
I would say, if you are new to Liverpool, or perhaps haven't been in a few years (as the center has been so redeveloped in recent years due to being the 2008 City of Culture) then it is definitely useful to take a tour to get your bearings. There is also an open top bus tour running from virtually the same spot, but this experience was very unique and there is no way you could see the Docks as well via the Bus. Nice to see where Fred (This Morning's Weatherman) used to read the weather from.
This year was my 40th Birthday, and my family were thinking what to buy me. I'm quite a simplistic person really, and most things I want, I have already purchased or resigned myself that it is not just going to happen. So the speed boat I saw in Earls Court Boat Show back in the 1980's, will sadly be just a dream.
However my daughters and my wife thought of the next best thing.It was a trip on the yellow duck. Until recently I used to work in the Albert Dock in Liverpool and I would see all the tourists queuing up to go on this. I would see them on land and in the water on the way to (and from) work. So what is it all about?
The ducks (or DUCWS) 'were built in the USA by General Motors and started life in the mid 1940's as military ship to shore transports'. Many were used to bring fighting personnel to the shores of France on D Day, although they would have looked a lot different. The roof wouldn't have been there. No seats either. And they certainly weren't yellow. Yes these vehicles have been modified a fair bit in order to take visitors on days out in Liverpool.
When I went back in January,it was actually very cold. It was hovering above freezing. However we had booked our slot,so needed to go.
The tickets priced at
Ticket Type Off Peak Peak
Adults £9.95 £11.95
Children £7.95 £9.95
Concessions £8.95 £10.95
Family (2 adults & 2 Children) £29.00 £34.00
Additional Child (upto 3 per family ticket) £5.00 £7.00
Upon arrival we checked in with the office, just on the corner of the Atlantic Pavillion building and parked up in the car park, very close by. In our case, as we come from Liverpool, we didn't want to take in any other sightseeing, however there is plenty to see and do, so you could make a day of it. The Beatles Exhibition is only a 100 yards or so away, along with the Maritime Museum.
Once our time came we were asked to embark on the vehicle.This was up some very steep steps, and certainly not suitable for those who are disabled. I couldn't see any other way on either, so if you do have disabilities please check. I was sat near the back, and before driving off, they put canvas/plastic covers down, for added protection against the elements and the water.
Upon driving off we were immediately entertained by the driver and tour guide. They were both extremely friendly and Scousers too. As we were driving they would have a commentary and a laugh with the 30 or so soles on board.
I love history and believe I am fairly well versed on the Liverpool olden days, but I learnt lots on this day. I was so impressed by their knowledge. After a while the 'duck' drives into the Albert Dock, down a ramp. It makes a huge splash too. The kids were laughing and screaming and thought it was great fun. This was cue for our guide to throw a big rubber fish, into the passengers, and pretend that we had sprung a bit of a leak. Hilarious stuff!!
As we travelled around the dock, we were given more of the history talk. Then it was back on the road, and eventually back to the beginning. In all it was about an hour.
I found it really great fun.I have already said we'll go back when it is a bit warmer. I would highly recommend this to anybody looking for a day out in Liverpool.
I honestly think this bus/boat is the funniest looking think I've ever seen. When I first came to Liverpool I decided to go sightseeing to get my barings, and immediately came across this little beauty! It's a big yellow bus, which doubles as a boat, and is cleverly titled the 'yellow duckmarine' (in homage to the beatles' 'yellow submarine', geddit?). Seeing this thing trundling around the streets of Liverpool is funny enough, but actually being on it...so, so funny!
The tour starts on the Albert Docks, a beautiful area of Liverpool, and proceeds to visit many of the beautiful landmarks in Liverpool, such as the Museum of Liverpool Life, the Tate gallery, and the wonderfully gothic Anglican Cathedral (my favourite sight in Liverpool). There is a live commentary throughout, which is quite informative. Once the bus has toured the streets of Liverpool, the water is the next stop! The bus drives down a ramp off the Albert Dock, and sails through the water, continuing the tour! It's a lovely sightseeing trip to take, and is much more fun and eventful than one of the normal sightseeing buses. Liverpool is such a beautiful city with so many gorgeous and vibrant sights to see, I highly recommend it.
It costs around £12 for an adult, and £10 for a child, and lasts for around an hour. There is a family ticket available, for two adults and two children it costs £34. All prices I've given are for peak times, and the off-peak prices are a few pounds cheaper. I think that children might get bored for the first part of the tour, but once the bus drives into the water they might pay more attention! I hope this has been helpful, thanks for reading!