We’ve always wanted to ride the boat that makes a splash as it literally drives into the Ohio River; so this summer we made it our just before school starts family fun activity and created a memory to last a long time. We came with a group of nine friends, family and neighbors. I was quite impressed that the youngest (5 years) and the oldest (85 years) members of the group had just as much fun as the rest of us and we all agreed it was well worth the admission price (which seemed a bit high before we took the trip.).
Ride the Ducks is the nation’s largest amphibious tour operator and amphibious vehicle manufacturer. Their mission is to “create memories worth repeating” ™ by offering guests an entertainment sightseeing experience that is fun, informative and engaging.
They certainly met that goal! Located at the Newport on the Levee outside the Aquarium in the center of the entertainment complex, you can purchase tickets ($15 adults $11 children) at the souvenir shop or online before you arrive. From there you board the boat at street level. We were impressed with the customer service experience all along the way. Before we boarded we were given “Wacky Quackers” which I can still hear quacking in my ears.
Our Captain and the narrator (Katie) were very professional and quite entertaining. After a brief safety instruction they got right down to having fun. We crossed the bridge and entered the river near the Showboat Majestic from the Public Landing adjacent to the Serpentine Wall. The music was always fun and appropriate. Katie was full of fun information about the city, that after living here for more than 19 years, was completely new and interesting. Following a brief cruise down the river and learning interesting historical and fun facts about the cities on both sides of the river, the Captain took a break and allowed the kids (of all ages) drive the duck. The tour concluded with a cruise through downtown Cincinnati where we made lots of noise, danced, made people on the street smile and learned more fun facts about the city. Did you know the largest (by 12 inches) skyscraper in the city is under construction and it will be topped with a very large replica of Princess Diana’s tiara to crown the city as the Queen City.
Ride the Ducks Newport is a seasonal event and they expect to operate through mid-November. The Duck cruises every day (with the exception of Sunday, September 6 due to the annual Riverfest celebration) almost hourly from 12noon -8pm and 11am on Saturday and the tour lasts less than an hour. I highly recommend doing this before the season ends, its great fun. For the price of a meal out, you can create a memory that will last way longer than the typical restaurant experience.