(NECN: Josh Brogadir, Boston) - It's been a brutal winter, and now Boston's Duck Boat tours are feeling the effects of it.
Crafts like Beantown Betty and Haymarket Hannah won't be rolling through the city 11 days from Thursday as planned on account of a still icy Charles River.
They are a sign of Boston spring, taking a dip in the Charles typically long before their feathered namesakes have all returned from warmer venues.
But this year, the Duck Boats might not make it into the water on the day planned for their return, March 17.
The adjusted push back is to March 21, and in a winter filled with delayed openings, it would be their first late start in the company's 20 year history.
"Ever? Ever? That's pretty crazy, it didn't seem that cold this winter. But I guess it is," said runner Nina Souliopoulous.
"Many years before we've seen frozen rivers and cold weather, but for some miraculous reason it's always melted in time for us to open. This is the first year we've actually been very scared about not opening on opening day," said Boston Duck Tours CEO Cindy Brown who adds that delayed ducks shouldn't present a major pinch to their bottom line.
"We were excited to start the anniversary year off with a bang on St. Patrick's Day and kind of go full force. But in the grand scheme of things, we are slow this time of year, so ridership and attendance-wise it won't make a big difference," she said.
Along the ice covered Charles, freezing temps didn't dissuade runners from heading out, and cyclists also powered through the cold.
But taking a cruise on the water in this chill?
"Those poor Duck Boat drivers I guess, it's pretty frozen up. I've never seen it this frozen up this late in the year," said Chris Lowe, of Somerville, who is training for the marathon.
It's possible if there's a big enough warmup, they will launch on time.
They're watching the weather to see if there is enough thawing.