BOSTON (CBS) — A sure sign of spring, the Boston duck boats are getting ready for the new season. Thursday is opening day, so Wednesday was the shakedown, and a chance to train new narrators and drivers.
“We’re on a duck named Waterfront Wanda,” says Bill St. George, as he takes a test run as a new narrator for Boston Duck Tours. He’s learning the duck boat ropes not only informing, but also entertaining riders. “It’s the best job in town. How can you beat it,” he says.
At the same time, Victor Antolini is getting his chops back as a driver. “You get to see people from all over the world coming into visit Boston to see the beautiful sights,” he says.
It’s all about being ready to start the season when Boston Duck Tours takes to the streets again. “We’re getting the operators ready to drive the vehicles through the street, and we’re getting the narrators ready to greet the guests and the tourists and tell them the history of the city,” says Johnny Kinsman from the Duck Tours. He’s watching the trainees and providing feedback.
Kinsman says Bill nailed it. “He’s got a great cadence and a great delivery and a lot of knowledge to back it up,” Kinsman says. “Just being with people and showing people the great city we all love, full of history, full of charm, full of character,” is the best part for Bill.
“I hope the passengers come away with a great experience of Boston,” adds Victor.
“Once the river starts thawing and the weather gets better, we become a harbinger of spring in the town,” says Kinsman.
Boston Duck Tours has had some safety problems in the past. Three years ago a young woman was killed in an accident with one of the vehicles. Since then they have added an array of cameras to the duck boats as well as electronic sensors. They’ve also doubled the staff aboard each vehicle. The driver no longer acts as the narrator. Now it’s two people, one drives, the other talks.