About Our Boat Partner
Were proud to partner with Chicagos First Lady Cruises, operator of Chicagos finest fleet of cruising vessels. Its boats hold up to 250 passengers and feature open-air upper decks, full-service bars, climate-controlled lower cabins and upscale marble and granite restrooms. Being onboard is sure to be an experience youll never forget.
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Which Neighborhoods Should I Visit In Chicago
Chicago has an abundance of neighborhoods, all with their own culture, history and attractions. Pilsen, Hyde Park and Wicker Park are some of the best for food and culture.
- Pilsen is in the south-west of Chicago. Here you can soak up the colorful street art or catch a local act at Thalia Hall.
- Hyde Park is just south of downtown and is home to the University of Chicago campus. If you’re there in summer, head to 57th Street Beach.
- Wicker Parkis in the north-west and has been nicknamed Chicago’s hip neighborhood. Head here on an evening to enjoy the abundance of bars, clubs and music venues.
Reserve Now & Pay Later
Find your experience
Make a reservation
Choose when to pay
Enjoy your experience
Your payment will be processed one day before the end of the free cancellation period specified in the product’s cancellation policy, based on Pacific time. For example, if you book an experience in Paris with free cancellation up to 1 day before, scheduled to start at 1pm on Saturday October 5, your payment will be processed on Thursday October 3 at 1pm Pacific Time if your experience in New York City has the same cancellation policy and is scheduled to start at 3pm on Saturday October 5, your payment will be processed on Thursday October 3 at 3pm Pacific Time .
If there is no start time set on the experience, payment will be processed at midnight Pacific time. For example, if you book an experience in Paris with free cancellation up to 1 day before, for Saturday October 5, your payment will be processed around 9am Paris time on Thursday October 3.
*Up to 9 days depending on the booking/product
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Speed Boat Tour Discounts
Anyone looking for fun and excitement on the Chicago River will want to consider a Speed Boat cruise.
These trips are more like a roller coaster ride than they are a boat tour.
As you ride through Chi-town at top speeds, youll see some of the most important landmarks in the city.
Guides will usually point out significant sights as you enjoy a thrilling experience.
There are only 3 ways to save money on these Chicago boat tours as of right now:
While the last option is definitely the strangest discount of them all, group rates are probably the best way to save money on these speed boat tours.
NOTE: Youll find the most popular speedboat companies below, there might be some we are missing which are sold at a discount through websites like Groupon and LivingSocial.
We recommend checking these discount sites if you cant find a service that fits your needs and expectations.
Its Fun To Ride A Boat Through Downtown Chicago
The architecture tour is done on a slow-moving boat on smooth water . The river cruise cuts right through the heart of downtown, so there are skyscrapers on either side of you the entire ride.
Even if you tune out the speaker , its a lovely ride. It goes all the way from the edge of Lake Michigan, near Navy Pier, to the near west side of the city.
SheBuysTravel Tip: The temperature can be significantly colder when you get near the lake. Bring a jacket, even if its a warm weather day. This is the Windy City, after all.
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Why Tour Chicagos Architecture With Us
We are born-and-raised Chicagoans ourselves, passionate about the community that we know and love. That passion and desire spills into all of our tours, drawing on personal experiences for curating a tour that just cant be duplicated by a book or a movie. We want you to experience everything firsthand. Why tour with us?
- Expertise: All of our tour guides are either architects, architecture students, or architecture historians, making for an in-depth and personally rooted kind of touring experience that covers all of the discreet details.
- Variety: We offer a variety of uniquely different tours that cover everyones individual taste. We offer the Chicago River Boat Architecture Tour that takes you down the famous Chicago River there are several different options such as Architecture, History, Jazz/ Cocktail Cruises and Firework Viewing Tours
- Flexibility: We want you to enjoy your Chicago River Boat touring experience, which is why were happy to talk with you and learn more about how our tours can accommodate you, your party, or your corporate outing. Our tours run daily, with availability always posted on our website here.
Chicago River Boat Architecture Tours
Welcome to Chicago River Boat Architecture Tours! Were proud to present you with an in-depth, expert architectural-based river boat tour that delves into one of the most remarkable American cities today. Known for unique, daring, and historical architectural pursuits, its hard to cover all of the design and building treasures that make up the Windy City today. If youre ready to learning more about the designs, people, and innovations behind these creations, throw on your captains hat and get ready to cruise along the Chicago River and see what architects from around the world travel to see in Chicago.
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Discover The Windy City From The Water
Set Sail on a Premier Charter Cruise
Architecture boat tours are one of the best ways to delve into Chicagos history. Youll see the different art styles on the buildings that line the Chicago Rivers shores while expert guides explain how the city was rebuilt after the 1871 Great Chicago Fire. We offer 90-minute architecture tours that cover all three branches of the Chicago River, or you can book a private boat tour for your event that covers Chicago River and Lake Michigan. Check out our cruises below to learn more.
Chicagos Best 90-Minute Architecture Boat Tour
About Chicago Line Cruises
Sometimes all it takes is a suggestion. Terry Johnson and Paul McCarthy founded their vessel-chartering business in 1980. But when a good friend recommended they offer expertly narrated tours on the history and the iconic architecture of Chicago, the pair jumped at the opportunity. Praised as the 2018 Concierge Preferred Winner, Best architecture tour available by the Chicago Sun-Times and Most engaging tour of the bunch by Time Out Chicago, their river cruises take passengers on three types of educational, 90-minute tours of the city. Chicago Line Cruises has transported more than three million Chicagoans and visitors along the river for entertainment, stunning views, and a deeper appreciation for architectural design.
- Learn how Chicago became the birthplace of the first buildings to be dubbed “skyscrapers.”
- Hear how the Great Chicago Fire paved the way for an architectural renaissance.
- See a broad selection of modern architectural styles and discover the distinctive characteristics of each.
- Experience Chicago’s first architectural river cruise.
- Hear the overarching story of how Chicago transformed from a swampy marshland to a world-class city.
- Learn about the Chicagoans whose innovations helped influence architecture and commerce around the world.
- Savor a cup of Starbucks coffee while a guide recounts Chicago’s triumphant and tragic moments.
- Historical tours are presented in partnership with the Chicago History Museum.
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The Chicago Water Taxi
For a fast and cheap cruise on the River, hopping on a water taxi can be a convenient way to travel for local commuters and travelers.
Many of Chicagos popular attractions can be seen along these routes, and each of the station stops offer fantastic things to do, see, and eat.
NOTE: Due to the pandemic, Chicago Water Taxi is currently only available on Saturdays and Sundays. Cash is no longer accepted and you must purchase tickets with a debit or credit card.
While there are no guides on these boats, the sights are comparable to the ones on any of the sightseeing cruises listed above, and at a huge discount!
Duration: 15 to 30 minutes
There are a few deals available for senior citizens and members of the military. If this describes you, chances are youll be able to save a lot of money on tickets.
- 50% off one-way tickets for Seniors & people w/ Disabilities.
- Active Duty military w/ ID ride for free.
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Chicago Tours & Sightseeing
Explore must see landmarks & discover new attractions with a sightseeing tour! Perfect for visiting friends & family or discovering a new destination in-depth, LivingSocial’s has the best deals on tours in town. From helicopters, to river cruises, walking tours and more, start your sightseeing adventure today.
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Chicago Architecture Boat Tour And More
Groupon sent this email to their subscribers onJune 23, 2022.
Chicago river tour paired with architecture & history lessons about the citys most popular landmarks
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Seadogs Lakefront Speedboat Tour
If youre looking to have some moderate thrills as you do your sightseeing, and you dont mind the wind in your hair, we recommend Seadog.
Race through the water as you hear about the Windy Citys most famous landmarks along the shoreline.
Light and humorous, reviewers have a hard time knowing if they like the speed or the speeches more!
Beware: We see a pattern in the reviews of guests who are unhappy with the will call ticket option due to long lines.
We recommend buying E-tickets in advance, which saves you from the long line and can help ensure you get a great seat by showing up about 20 minutes in advance.
Duration: 30 Minutes
Depart from South Navy Pier, 600 E Grand Ave. . Look for the red & white ticket booth just across from the Ferris Wheel.
The deals provided by this company are a bit different from what youll find with other services, but at least youll be able to save some money.
- 15% off tickets if you bring your dog for the ride.
- Special group rates offered for Skydeck Chicago.
- Children 2 and under are free.
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Shoreline Water Taxi Service
Another affordable taxiing service is Shoreline, which offers a route on the lake as well as the river.
We like this service for their unique lake route, which is the cheapest way to view the skyline while on Lake Michigan notably the Museum campuses.
Duration: 15-40 minutes, depending on the chosen route.
- Taxis operate 10 am-6 pm, at least every 20 minutes
Price Options and Packages:
There are no reservations for Shoreline taxis, as they are a commuter service. Tickets can be bought on site.
Single Ride Extended River Route | Lake Route
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Our Commitment To Your Touring Experience
We believe that tours should be entertaining, enlightening, informational, and perfectly organized, every single time. A tour shouldnt feel laborious in any way you should feel an effortless inclination to learn more about what we present at your fingertips. With our Chicago architectural tours, thats exactly what we strive to provide, basing each tour from the perspective of an expert with the real-life example in the background.
If youre thinking about booking a tour with us, know that our commitment to flexibility and accessible makes our Chicago Architecture Tours easy and convenient:
- Tours run daily:
- 3 pm *Not Available Friday thru Sunday Summer Months*
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Learn About Our Group Discounts And More
Located Downtown for Your Convenience
Looking for a fun way to go sightseeing with your group? We offer discounts on groups of six or more adults , as well as 40% plus discounts for students, seniors, first responders, military & military families, veterans, COVID-19 heroes, and school groups. Did we mention kids aged 3 and under are also free? Our marina is located in the south loop and is right off the expressway with easy parking options making it easy for you to bring your out-of-town visitors out on the water. Additionally, we are the closest dock to McCormick Place, the main convention center in Chicago, making it easy for business travelers to experience Chicagos famous architecture boat cruise. With the best prices in town and one of the longest architecture tours around, you cant go wrong with Tours & Boats!
About The Chicago River Boat Architecture Tours
Chicago is known around the world for its architectural feats, both inside and outside of the buildings. From the 100-year-old Art Deco, Neo-Classical, and Gothic Towers, to some of the tallest modern-day skyscrapers, Chicago is where old meets futuristic architectural endeavors. It has something for everyone in a way that no other city replicates today.
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Which Chicago River Tour Is Best
Some of the most highly rated river tours in Chicago include the Tall Ship Windy, Chicago Cruise Events and the Seadog Lakefront Speedboat Tour.
- Tall Ship Windy. Learn about Chicago’s architecture on this majestic sailing boat. Choose between an evening or daytime sail.
- Chicago Cruise Events. Take in the city’s skyline at night aboard a luxury yacht. Enjoy the fireworks, watch the sunset or soak up the views with a refreshing cocktail.
- Seadog Lakefront Speedboat Tour. Short on time? Catch all of Chicago’s top landmarks in 30 minutes with this speedboat tour.
Lunch And Dinner Cruise Discounts
In addition to the various night tours offered on Lake Michigan, youll also find a nice selection of dinner cruises as well.
Instead of focusing on the excitement of a fireworks show, this boat trip is all about enjoying a meal while you drift alongside the city and experience the skyline in style.
There are a total of 3 different ways to save money on lunch and dinner cruises in Chicago:
- Military Discount
Although the discounts available for these services arent always big, even 10% – 20% off a cruise that costs $100 on average is going to be a pretty good deal.
Its also worth noting that the free drink offer from each cruise company is likely one of the easiest discounts to enjoy.
NOTE: This section lists the most popular dinner cruise companies, but there might be a few we miss which are sold through websites like Groupon and LivingSocial.
If you can’t find exactly what you need here, we recommend checking these discount sites to find a service that fits your expectations.
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Frequently Asked Questions And Answers
What did people search for similar to architectural boat tours in Chicago, IL?
People also searched for these in Chicago:
What are some popular services for historical tours?
Some popular services for historical tours include:
What are people saying about historical tours in Chicago, IL?
This is a review for historical tours in Chicago, IL:
“Amazing experience! Book this tour for an outstanding look at the beautiful buildings in Chicago. Our tour guide was so interesting and gave so much information. I would recommend this cruise to anyone visiting Chicago! Even had complimentary Starbucks coffee onboard so it was an added treat. I couldn’t stop taking pictures and then telling everyone about the boat trip when I got home. Made me fall in love with Chicago even more!”