The famous Aqua Ducks might have flown away, but the tour guide’s former co-owner is spreading his wings and entered a new venture offering top-notch tours of the Capital District and beyond.
Bob Wolfgang, former president of the Albany Aqua Ducks, formed a new tour company, Harmony House Tours, with Diane Conroy-LaCivita, executive director of the International Center of the Capital Region and a partner in Harmony House Marketplace, and Kathy Condon, president of Condon Communications.
“After the ducks left for Florida, we said we’d be back at some point,” Wolfgang said. “We saw the void left in the community for those seeking ways to see the Capital Region.”
Harmony House Tours keeps the area touring tradition alive and focuses on historic, educational, recreational and simply fun outings.
“The tours are everything under the sun,” Conroy-LaCivita said. “It is not like a big company, but what we do basically is micro-tourism to focus on the area so people can experience the wealth that is here.”
She said Wolfgang poses great expertise about the region and state, with several years of touring experience. All of the tour guides are the same people that worked for Wolfgang during his previous venture.
“The guides are all very, very experienced and they love doing it,” Conroy-LaCivita said. “We are very hands on and no tour leaves without an expert escort. To be an expert escort you really have to know your stuff.”
One unique tour recently added is “Albany Hops and Haunts,” which is a walking tour offering a toast to the paranormal. The downtown Albany tour features city bars and their ghost legends, along with some locations where ghosts reportedly have been spotted. This intoxicating ghostly tour is being held every Tuesday in August and kicks off at 7 p.m.
For a more traditional tour, downtown Albany walking tours explore the more than 400 years of the city’s history and during July you can once again hop aboard a trolley for a 90-minute guided tour of the city.
“We encourage people to explore their backyards and beyond,” Conroy-LaCivita said. “To get out to enjoy, explore and discover and see how rich New York State is.
If stepping more out of your backyard interests you, there is the Cooperstown Brews Tour allowing attendees to sample beer from four of Central New York’s well-known breweries.
If your tastes are a little cheesier, you’ll want to check out the Washington County Cheese Trail and More tour on Sept. 6. Along the tour you’ll visit six creative farmstead cheese makers in the county before traveling to Harvestfest at Salem Art Works. The day will end of a “Farm to Fork” dinner featuring music and a barn dance.
The individual attention is what Conroy-LaCivita said separates the company from other tour agencies.
“We have done tours for as little as one person,” she said. “We offer tours from 1 to 100 plus people.”
To check out everything Harmony House Tours offers visit its website at harmonyhousetours.com or call 518-238-2233 for more information.