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The weird cruise tradition I’d never heard of

I was today years old when I discovered an odd cruise activity that involves ducks. 


There’s a lot to be said on the benefits of cruising. You don’t have to lug around a suitcase as you hop from one country to the next, forget hours lost at an airport, you can get to remote regions in style and fun…


But for those new to cruising, there are some things serial cruisers do that are just straight up weird. 


While I know finding your room can be hard, I find it strange when people come equipped with all the art and craft necessary to decorate the door to their room. Some will put their names on their doors, others will put what their celebrating. I can’t remember the last time I saw this done on a hotel room door. 


But in recent years a new tradition has grown. Hiding ducks. 



Back in lockdown, my neighbourhood took to decorating and then hiding pebbles through our national parks. My daughter would get a thrill both from finding and hiding one of these treasures.


In much the same way, if you’re on a cruise, you may find a rubber duck. These little cuties could be anywhere and will usually include a tag that says something punny like ‘Con-quack-lations!’ or ‘Oh what luck, you’ve found a duck’. The tag will also usually include the name of the person who has hidden the duck (often a child) and there will be a request for you to take a picture with you and the found duck on social media. 


There are about 109,000 members of the original Cruising Ducks Facebook group. The Australian version only has 6,300, but considering our recent cruising ban, this is pretty good. 


One group member Mary Wolek likes the idea of hiding ducks because they "swim, fly, and walk freely," and it provides "a feeling of camaraderie [by] sharing a gesture of: let's enjoy our journey, together. It's an amazing feeling to realise we are all in this together”.


An 11 year old is said to have started the trend, having hidden 50 ducks back in 2018 on a 7 day Carnival Breeze cruise out of Galveston, Texas.


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Published: 14 June 2022

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