ALBANY, N.Y. - They have been a part of the City of Albany's landscape since 2004, but after next Sunday the Aqua Duck boat tours will no longer be seen.
New York State's only amphibious tour company announced Thursday the duck vehicles have been sold, meaning the guided tours will end.
The president of the company calls the announcement bittersweet, saying the purchaser of the ducks wanted them delivered by mid-July, which is why this season will be cut short.
They jave made a splash for nine seasons, and in ten days the Aqua Ducks will offer a final guided tour.
"We've devoted a good nine years to this program, and it's kind of hard to close it up, but on the other hand, we're very happy with the accomplishments we've enjoyed," says Bob Wolfgang.
Wolfgang, the president of the Albany Aqua Ducks, retired as Albany's Chief of Police in 2004 and opened the business that year.
"This is a lifestyle job, it's 24 hours a day, it doesn't stop," says Wolfgang. "So we sent out word at the beginning of the year that if anyone was interested in purchasing them, we'd entertain offers."
Now with a deal made, tourists and residents of the Capital Region only have a few days left to take a tour of Albany via land and the Hudson River.
"It's one of the things we do when we're traveling around," says Ed Schillemore.
Schillemore and his wife are visiting the area this week from Canada and the duck tour sparked their interest.
"What we like to do is go in the different towns, cities and take a guided tour," says Schillemore. "It's narrated, so you see what's there. If you see something you like, you can go back and visit it later."
While Schillemore and his wife caught the tour just in the nick of time, other tourists will have missed the boat.
But Wolfgang says it's been a good run, and the company has fullfilled what it set out to do originally. "We've touched 175,000 people on our tours, and that's not a bad thing."
Wolfgang says the ducks' purchaser has requested for it not to be announced where the vehicles will be going.
However, all booked charters will still be honored. The trolleys are a division of the Aqua Ducks.
Daily tours will continue to be offered through July 15.
The company employs about 40 people in a variety of full and part time positions.
For a full schedule of remaining tours visit: www.albanyaquaducks.com
341 Northern Blvd., Albany, NY 12204
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