Wisconsin Dells, Wis. (PRWEB) April 29, 2014
Traversing rugged trails and scenic waterways by way of amphibious Ducks is a great American vacation adventure shared by generations of families that migrate to Wisconsin Dells every summer. Part scenic tour, part adventurous thrill ride, Original Wisconsin Ducks unique land-and-water features make it a top attraction in the Midwest and a quintessential part of any Dells vacation.
“We often hear people say – I love the Original Wisconsin Ducks – when you merely mention a trip to Wisconsin Dells,” said Dan Gavinski, general manager of Original Wisconsin Ducks, which is marking 69 years in operation this summer and maintains its perch as the top bird – the largest operator of tour Ducks in the nation.
First built to carry troops and supplies from ship to shore during World War II, today Ducks are a unique way to see the beautiful scenery in and around the Wisconsin River. The whole family can load up together. From the Duck Dock, the lumbering craft sets out on a one-hour, 8½-mile journey through the quiet side of the Dells. Away from the hubbub of the area’s man-made amusements, the seven-ton Duck winds its way through lush woods, meanders into shaded canyons and charges to the tops of bluffs overlooking the Wisconsin River for great views and picture-perfect snapshots.
For most passengers, the big moment of the tour comes at “splashdown,” when the Duck Driver shows off the vehicle’s amphibian powers with a spectacular water entry. Each tour has two splashdowns. The first goes into the Wisconsin River where passengers get an up-close look at the famous sandstone cliffs along the riverbank. This unique stretch of the river is a spectacular geological site; the beautiful bluffs carved out by glaciers and shaped by wind and rain over time. The second splashdown takes the Duck into Lake Delton for a short jaunt across the manmade waterway.
“It may not draw as many high-pitched screams as the Dells’ waterslides, but the splashdown is definitely the biggest anticipation of a Duck tour,” added Gavinski.
While an Original Wisconsin Ducks tour is all about providing fun, keeping this fleet in tip- top shape is also serious business. At nearly 70 years old, the operation has built a stellar reputation for safety and maintenance of the authentic military craft. The crew responsible for the fleet’s upkeep has an impressive 170 combined years of experience working on the rare amphibious vehicles.
The unique amphibious feature of Ducks is what helped them earn their stripes during WW II. The vehicles were more versatile than other larger military craft. The mighty Ducks were workhorses, carrying thousands of troops and tons of supplies to the battlefields of Europe and the Pacific; shuttling from the large battleships right to the beachfront and up and onto the land. More than 2,000 Ducks were used in the historic D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944 at Normandy, France, which is touted as the greatest amphibious operation in history. This summer marks the 70th anniversary of D-Day, praised as a turning point that allowed the Allies to go on to win the war.
Today the only battles waged regarding Ducks, are by eager passengers who seek the coveted co-pilot’s seat at the front of an Original Wisconsin Duck. Vacationers laud the Ducks as a favorite; a nostalgic ride for many and an awesome example of how technology in the past helped our country gain advantage during the war effort. That’s a big part of why Original Wisconsin Ducks works hard to maintain the legacy of these distinctive amphibious vehicles.
With more than 90 vehicles, Original Wisconsin Ducks is the largest “flock” of amphibious tour Ducks in the United States. There are about a dozen Duck tours nationwide, with only about 300 operational Ducks combined. Original Wisconsin Ducks’ 2014 season runs mid-March through mid-November, weather permitting. Tours run every few minutes during the peak summer season. For more information about Original Wisconsin Ducks, please call (608) 254-8751 or visit http://www.wisconsinducktours.com.