Friday, January 23, 2015

Quack Quack: Duck Boats Potentially Coming to the Sloop

Duck boat entering waterway in Wisconsin Dells (via Tribune)
According to the Chicago Tribune:
Duck boat tours could be coming to the Chicago River as soon as this summer. 
Entertainment Cruises, a cruise operator based at Navy Pier, submitted a proposal to guide tours on the boats, which run on land and water. The company operates more than 30 ships in cities across the country. 
"With this you get the best of both worlds," said Dan Russell, vice president and general manager for Entertainment Cruises. "It showcases all of the best that Chicago has, which is formidable, obviously. We think it will be a fun package."

Duck boats do not look like ducks. The bulky, amphibious vessels were once used by the U.S. military in World War II. Since then, duck boat tours have gained popularity in places like Boston, Seattle and the Wisconsin Dells. The Boston tours have served as a model for Chicago, Russell said.

So you may be asking, "what does this have to do with the Sloop?", well apparently one of the entry or exit points from the Chicago River would be near Polk Street:
Construction for the new duck boat endeavor could begin as soon as Jan. 28, when the review process by state regulators is scheduled to be completed, Russell said. 
The boats, which hold 37 passengers, require special ramps to enter and exit the Chicago River. Under the proposal, the ramps would be constructed at Marina Towers and West Polk Street. The Marina Towers ramp would be 25 feet wide by 73 feet long, and the West Polk Street ramp would be 20 feet by 73 feet. The latter would be constructed by modifying an abutment at the former Polk Street Bridge, Russell said.
The article doesn't say anything about routes or whatnot, but if this moves forward expect to see some ducks on Sloop streets.

(Hat tip:  PO & SC!)

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