Chattanooga Ducks – ride on land and water in an amphibious vehicle.
I first learned about Chattanooga Ducks by a recent visit to the area, when I went to review Creative Discovery Museum back in June 2015. My daughter and I saw it and she liked the amphibious vehicle. It reminded her of Duck Dynasty as it was camouflaged. This vehicle is actually it is a renovated WWII amphibious landing craft. Plus you get a narrated adventure tour of downtown Chattanooga, TN with an unique visit of the area both land and water on the Tennessee River, plus a visit to Maclellan Island. They have been around since 1998, I believe they said.
Did you know The designation of DUKW is not a military pun – the name comes from the terminology used for military vehicles in World War II; the D indicates a vehicle designed in 1942, the U meant “utility (amphibious)”, the K indicated all-wheel drive and the W indicated two powered rear axles.1
Chattanooga Ducks Tours
Chattanooga Ducks are open 7 days a week for tours during the season and Wednesday to Sunday off season times. Check their web site for actual tour dates and times. As they could change after this review posting. The craft can hold up to 25 passengers.
The tour last no less than an hour and sometimes around one hour and twenty minutes. Our tour lasted about an hour and half.
They offer online and advance reservation. Half the tour seating comes from online sales. So make sure you reserve your seat as they can fill up fast!
Due to inclement weather, check with Chattanooga Ducks before you head out for your tour to make sure they are still doing it. There is no refunds for rain, if the craft reaches the water. If it has to cancel before it reaches water a rain check may be issued that will be good for one year. This policy could change at any time without notice.
There is no free parking either. It is all metered parking in the area. I paid $6, and I got to park across the street from where they are located.
My Review of Chattanooga Ducks
My daughter and I got to take the noon tour on August 5, 2015. It was a nice overcast day. We got there just before 11. We got there early so we got to pick our seats. I was told if you sit in the front, you can feel the heat of the engine. I was told the back to middle is about the best. Amber picked the very back.
I found out they have 3 operational vehicles currently. The Donald Duck, General Bradley (one we were on) and another one. They have a red one that is not operational. It is for to know where they are at. They are in the works of rebuilding another one.
The operator of the Duck must have a Commercial Driver License as it is considered a chartered vehicle. Plus, since they go on water, they must have a federal pilot license for operating a watercraft. Since the waterways are federally mandated.
On our tour we had Captain Berry. He gave us the safety speech, brief history of the vehicle we are in and even the company. He talked about his career life too. Part of this safety speech was about the life jackets and the requirements for use. He also talked about two perfect ships ever made. One of them, we know from the Bible.
Captain Berry as we toured Chattanooga on the water and land was very informative about stuff in the area. Places he recommended we go and do, like one walking across the walking bridge that crosses the Tennessee River. Captain Berry talked a lot about the Cherokee Tribes, since they have some factors on the river. He told us how some states and cities got their name and what they meant.
He talked about the 652 miles of the Tennessee River, the access via the dams to go along the whole river and more. History lessons were given too. He had great zeal and enthusiasm as he presented the tour to us aboard the Chattanooga Duck. He also used great humor in the tour too.
One thing to warn about
I will warn you, he did make mention about beer and skinny dipping and even Mardi Gras. I did say I would do an unbiased review. But, other than those things the tour was awesome. It was great learning about the stuff that went out. It was almost like Captain Berry was there along the journey as each events unfolded.
We even go to pass the Tennessee Aquarium while on the river and some history with that museum and the waterfront, etc.
Along the tour when we’re in the water, he said now the terminology will change, like when I say bow and stern and starboard and port.
Berry kept calling me the note taking guy. He would say hey you may want to write this down. He had now clue I was there for a review. I got the pleasure to talk to him after the adventure tour. He is a friendly guy as well. Knowledge about the area and seemed to know a lot about places where people were aboard were from too.
He even gave me great directions to my next stop, Chattanooga Zoo. He even looked up the weather for me and told me when it should start raining, so we can try to be done at that spot.
Down the Boat Ramp!
When you go down the boat ramp, we can go down slow (little splash) or fast (big splash). We went down fast, but warning for those who sit on the very back seat! You may get soaked!
I do highly recommend going on an adventure tour at Chattanooga Ducks. I even told our waitress, Cayla, at Applebee’s just a couple blocks down the road to go. Plus, I told several people I saw at the Chattanooga Zoo too.
I didn’t share all my notes with you. If I did, I would give away about all of Captain Berry’s script.
I think what I and my daughter really enjoyed the most, was being able to sit in the Captain’s seat when we were in the water. We both want to come back again. I honestly wished they had one of these here in Knoxville along the Tennessee River, maybe near Neyland Drive or that.
Bible Lesson to share Chattanooga Ducks
Maybe you can take your youth group, church group or the family. Maybe you can talk about Noah and the Ark. Captain Berry did mention about several floods. This would be a great way to share about Noah and the Ark and the great flood of the BIble.
You can share any number of other Bible Stories of the Sea.
More info on Chattanooga Ducks
They are not handicap accessible, as you must climb stairs to board the craft. But they do have staff that can help assist in boarding.
They do also have group rates available too and discounts via Groupon.
You may also tip your Captain if you wish as well.
More info at: chattanoogaducks.com
Disclaimer: I was given 2 tickets to do a non-biased Christian review of Chattanooga Ducks. Information taken is from their website, their printed brochures and my visit unless otherwise noted. #ChattanoogaDucks
1. History Section of Website | Chattanoogducks.com