By Rachel Holt

BOSTON (CBS) – Yet another sign of spring arrives in Boston on Thursday. Boston Duck Tours will begin operating for the season, their 27th year in the city.

Dan Foley, or “Professor Quakenstein,” is starting his tenth season as a “ConDUCKtor” at Boston Duck Tours.

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“I am looking forward to having guests on the ducks, enjoying our beautiful city,” said Foley.

“When we switch up, put our pedal on and then splash in the water, the reaction from the crowd is always one of the most amazing things,” said Geno Forgit, Boston Duck Tours Captain.

Business was far from smooth sailing last year, with a shortened 2020 season that began in July.

“Our business was down 92 percent last year compared to ‘19. We’ve lost business travel, conventions, meetings, field trips, international,” said Cindy Brown, Boston Duck Tours CEO.

According to Brown, that led to a $4.5 million loss in revenue. While tourism remains down, the company is shifting its focus to the locals.

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“Last year we got a lot of people that were more local to Boston. After the tour they will say to me ‘I never knew that about Boston,’ about one thing or another,” said Foley.

With tours starting April 1, Brown is feeling optimistic about this season, telling WBZ-TV, “we’re really only about a week and a half off from a normal start date. We should be in really good shape to have a much better year than last year.”

Starting out, 15 of the company’s 27 duck boats will be in use, operating at 50 percent capacity.

“We’ll be able to have a group on the duck and then we’ll space them with other groups so it will be a little more spread out. Obviously the windows on the ducks help for air flow,” said Brown.

“I am really looking forward to getting back to work and, you know, just driving through the city and seeing everyone out there again,” said Forgit.

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For information on Boston Duck Tours, visit: bostonducktours.com.

Rachel Holt