Since 1942, the DUKW has been carrying people from land to water to land again. Originally the DUKW was a military vehicle, but one of Pamama City Beach’s latest attractions has these amphibious buses dressed in yellow giving creative tours of the beach.
Duck Adventures has two of these yellow, open-aired boat-buses giving tours daily. Opened in February, their “wall of fame” is already quickly growing with pictures of happy travelers blowing their duck billed noise making “quackers”.
You’ve probably seen them driving around town – you know, those big yellow boats on wheels with “Tame the Duck” on the side?
About the DUKW
The designation of DUKW is not a military acronym; rather, the name comes from the model naming terminology used by GMC:
- “D” indicated a vehicle designed in 1942,
- “U” meant “utility”,
- “K” indicated driven front wheels,
- “W” indicated two powered rear axles.
The DUKW was used by the US Army, US Marine Corps and Allied forces in landings in the Mediterranean, Pacific, on the D-Day beaches of Operation Husky, Normandy and also during the battle of the Scheldt, Operation Veritable and Operation Plunder.
They’re 31 feel long, 8.25 feet wide and capable of up to 50 mph on the road and 6.4 mph on water. The original DUKW’s had 6 cylinders, but the Duck Adventure models have 350 V8’s and all new transmissions.
Tame the Duck Tours
Currently they have two tour boats with a third scheduled to come online in the first weeks of summer. Each boat holds 28 people.
Tours run every two hours daily beginning at 10 am and ending at 6 pm, and they run about 75 minutes. They operate out of the Shoppes at Edgewater and travel a route on the east end of Panama City Beach. A “west end” tour is in the works, but won’t launch this tourism season.
Beginning the second week in June, tours will run every hour on the hour.
The tour leaves the Shoppes and heads east on Front Beach Road to Thomas Drive, then down Thomas Drive to the Curve. From there they head north to Captain Andersons where they take a right to launch at a private boat ramp just to the east of Lighthouse Marina.
Once they enter the water they tour Grand Lagoon and “land” the same place they “launched”. The tour then takes you up Thomas Drive to the Fly Over, down Front Beach Road to Middle Beach Road, then back to R Jackson Blvd.
All along the tour, the guide/captain offers an entertaining narration of fun local hotspots, must-see places and live events you can’t miss.
Tour Costs and More Info
- Adults $24.95
- Kids 12 and under and seniors $17.49
- Kids 3 and under are free
- Family of four special – $69.95
For more information, visit their website or swing by and take a peek!
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