History of APVs


In the early 1940s as World War II began to enter its most critical phase, the Allied Forces looked towards Europe and began planning an invasion on an unprecedented scale. Unsurprisingly, along with the intention of invading and liberating almost an entire continent, came countless logistical, strategic and tactical problems. Perhaps the most crucial problem to solve was that of troop, supplies and equipment movement. Specifically, how could the Allies transport and then land an invasion force of many thousands, in addition to military hardware, food, water and medical equipment?

An inspired solution was found through the invention and subsequent production of the DUKW by the General Motors Corporation in America. The DUKW was an amphibious vehicle that was more than capable of carrying soldiers and supplies into the European Theatre of World War II. DUKWs were designed to withstand driving onto beaches in 15 foot seas. In addition to carrying up to 30 troops or 2.5 tons of cargo, DUKWs were used in other capacities. For example, machine guns could be added to the DUKW and it could then be used as a firing platform! It was this versatility that made the DUKW perfect for the planned Allied invasion of Europe, and on June 5/6 1944, the DUKW entered into military history as the primary method of transport used by the armies involved in the Normandy landings. It was not just the invasion of Europe that the DUKW was confined to- they were also successfully used in Allied operations in the Pacific Theatre and Sicily.

For those with an interest in the technical aspects of the DUKW, it may interest you to know that DUKWs weigh about 7 tonnes, are 31 feet long and 8 feet wide. They have six wheels and can be driven in rear wheel or all wheel drive. The DUKWs were an amphibious version of the General Motors Corporation 2.5 ton, 6×6 truck and were successful in transporting troops and supplies directly to shore in both Europe and Asia.

About 22,000 DUKWs were originally built, but only a few hundred are still in operation today.



The Larc V was originally a military vehicle built for the U.S. during the Vietnam War era (1963-1970). They were used to transport cargo and soldiers from supply ships onto the beaches and jungles of Vietnam, a distance of up to 1.5 miles from ship to shore. In total the U.S government spent about $900 million dollars to produce approximately 900 vehicles.  Of the 900 created 500 have been destroyed, 200 are being refurbished by the U.S government for future use, about 100 have been dismantled, and about 100 are privately owned worldwide.

The Larc V was designed as a boat capable of being driven on land, and is currently the most stable amphibious vehicle ever built. The Larc V features:

  • Material: Aluminum
  • Height with Top: 12 feet
  • Land Speed: 28 mph
  • Water Speed: 10 mph
  • Capacity: 40 + 2 crew
  • Length: 35 feet
  • Width: 9.9 feet
  • Tonnage: 19,000 pounds
  • Draft: 3.5 feet



The Hydra-Terra is used for APV operation across 7 different countries including Austrailia, Japa, Dubai, Portugal, Cayman Islands and Hawaii. The Hydra-Terra is the only Coast Guard approved "T" Vessel with revoluntionary positive buoyancy foam-filled conpartments. 

The manufacturers of these vehicles, Cool Amphibious Manufacturer's Intenational (CAMI), say their design is fully patented and UNSINKABLE; even with the drain plugs removed and the full engine room flooded!

The V shaped hull is designed to cut through the water and the center steering location allows for incredible visibility for the captain. All the Hydra-Terra's controls are conveniently located in the captain's cockpit.

  • Height: 11' 6''
  • Interior Height: 6' 6''
  • Capacity: 30 to 49 passengers + 2 crew
  • Length: 30 & 40 feet
  • Width: 2.5 meters 
  • Weight: 17,000 lbs
  • Work deck space: 250 sq. feet


Salamander Amphibious Vehicles

Salamander AV design and manufacture ‘The Salamander’ – The next generation amphibious passenger vehicle, with capacity for 36 passengers plus 2 crew, allowing seamless transition from road to water making it the ideal solution for any passenger amphibious travel requirements worldwide

The first Salamander 'Sally' is already in the Viking Splash Tour fleet in Dublin, Ireland. Sally 2 & 3 will be operational in Liverpool in the summer of 2020.

The Salamander APV has a number of design features: 

  • Designed to EU standards for both road and marine;
  • Euro VI engine emission standards compliant;
  • Built to ships classification standards I,e DNVGL and S.I 274:1985;
  • Suitable for fresh, brackish or saltwater conditions;
  • Modern vehicle utilising a MAN, high quality chassis and drive train;
  • Certified to operate in class C/Zone 2 waters i.e. 1.2m wave height;
  • Carries 36 passengers plus 2 crew;
  • Width 2.5m, Length 10.9m, Height 3.6m, Weight 15t laiden;
  • Access for persons with limited mobility;
  • Weather independent - fully enclosed and air conditioning available;
  • Speed - land = 90km/h water = 7 knots (approx)
  • Completely customisable to customer requirements;
  • Four-wheel drive option;

Innovative Features:

  • 10% buoyancy by way of foam compartmentalisation, therefore remaining afloat even in a fully flooded state
  • Uses mechanical sponsons to provide additional stability in the water. Sponsons are housed on the roof of the the vehicle during road transit before being lowered to water level for the maritime portion of the tour
  • Bespoke cooling system (patent pending)
  • Bespoke electrical system
  • Twin propeller propulsion system, powered by hydraulics, providing increased maneuverability in water.


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