Friday, April 12, 2024

River Boat Tours In Chicago

About The Chicago River Boat Architecture Tours

Wendella Chicago boat tours resume as COVID restrictions ease | ABC7 Chicago

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.

Shoreline Sightseeing Classic Lake Tour

Shoreline has been offering tours since 1939, and their experience shows.

We highly recommend this guided, historic sightseeing tour on Lake Michigan.

You can bet that your guide will have more than a few jokes as they describe Chicago history through the current landmarks along the waterfront.

Duration: 40 minutes


Classic Lake Michigan Tours depart from West Dock Navy Pier, 600 E Grand Ave, across from McDonalds .


Cruise Through An Unforgettable Wedding Day

COVID-19 Statement: We are committed to taking the proper precautions to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our guests and team including ensuring that our boats are cleaned and sanitized throughout the day and service. We also have restrooms on board each vessel with running water and plenty of soap. We continue to follow the recommendations of public health officials and are monitoring the evolving situation.


Your wedding is the start of your lifelong journey together, so begin that journey in a truly memorable way – a wedding cruise down the Chicago River.

Just imagine your outdoor wedding unfolding beneath magical views of the citys magnificent skyline. Then dancing the night away on a floating deck as glittering skyscrapers glide by.

A private wedding reception aboard Chicago’s First Lady Cruises is a night you and your guests wont soon forgetand thats before summer fireworks illuminate the night over Lake Michigan! Talk to us about how we can make your Chicago outdoor wedding dreams become a reality.

To check available dates, call us at 358-1330, email or chat with us online during regular office hours. Our sales office is open year-round and looking forward to your call!

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Book Chicago River Boat Architecture Tours And See The Top Attractions Architecture And Landmarks In The Windy City

Highlights include: Scenic & Historic Architecture Beautiful Parks Skyscrapers Chicagos Lakefront Museum Campus: Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium & Adler Planetarium Sports Stadiums: Guaranteed Rate Field, Soldier Field & Wrigley Field Neighborhoods: Chinatown, Wrigleyville, Lincoln Park, Gold Coast, Hyde Park, Woodlawn & River North Plus many more historical sites! A 90-minute Architecture River Cruise aboard Chicago Line Cruises.

Chicago Tours

See the Chicagos top attractions and landmarks.

Due to COVID-19, this tour is not operating at the moment.

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.

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Chicagos First Lady Cruises

Take a stroll along Chicago Riverwalk and board Chicagos First Lady Cruises.

This is one of the most popular tours in Chicago.

If youre an architecture lover, this tour is a must-do as their guides are well-trained volunteers from the Chicago Architecture Center.

For an extra 5 USD, you can upgrade the ticket to include Chicago Architecture Center admission.

Another option is to book a private vintage yacht that includes a bartender.

This is suitable for small groups of friends or family looking for a more personal tour on the river.

Pay extra for an alcoholic beverage package, so you can have a glass of wine while soaking up the Chicago sun.

For a romantic date, book your seats on the Evening River Cruise and have a few cocktails.

If youre planning a wedding or a private event, Chicagos First Lady Cruise could be a perfect option for you.

  • Tours: Architecture, evening & private
  • Prices: from $50 USD adults
  • Departure Address: Southeast corner of the Michigan Avenue Bridge at Wacker Drive.

See the skyline views on Mercury Cruises most popular tour the 90-minute Urban Adventure Cruise.

Youll see landmarks including Willis Tower, Aon Center, and John Hancock Building.

Although, what really sets them apart, are their Canine Cruises.

Its the only cruise in Chicago where passengers are allowed to bring their pet dogs!

Water bowls and a newspaper-lined restroom are available onboard for your dog.

If you prefer evenings, there are two available.

Kayakers Struck By Sightseeing Boat On Chicago River Cpd Says

Two women were struck by a sightseeing boat while kayaking on the Chicago River Tuesday.

CHICAGO — Chicago police said two kayakers were hit by a sightseeing boat on the Chicago River Tuesday.

Police said the incident happened near the State Street Bridge while two women were kayaking the river.

It was not immediately clear how the incident happened, but police said their Marine Unit responded.

One woman refused treatment at the scene, police said. The other woman was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in good condition with minor injuries.

Chicago police did not say whether any citations would be issued to the women or to the sightseeing boat. No further details were available.

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Chicago Architecture Boat Tour

A 90-minute history tour on the Chicago River from the comfort of an open-deck boat with views of the Civic Opera House, Wrigley Building, Willis Tower and more.

Adult tickets start at $49. Tickets for students under 18, Seniors, Military, Veterans, COVID-19 Healthcare Workers, and First Responders are $25.

For more information click here.

Chicago River Boat Tour

Wendella Chicago River Tour | Chicago Travel Vlog

Whisking you from the DuSable Bridge to the Willis Tower, under the gaze of the Wrigley Building and out beneath the 100-storey John Hancock Center, this short, sweet, but informative Chicago River Boat Tour usually ticks all the boxes.

The on-board narration will tell tales of how this city led the way in the construction of huge skyscrapers. And youll learn intriguing titbits about the towns industrial growth and waterways.

In all, it lasts around 75 minutes, with a central meeting point on Michigan Avenue.

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Chicago River Boat Cocktail & Live Jazz Cruise

Join us Sunday Nights for Chicagos Only Jazz Cruise!Be immersed in iconic Chicago Jazz while cruising the historic Chicago River!

Live Music by internationally known jazz guitarist, Geordie Kelly and his band.

The Chicago style of Jazz came out of both the Mississippi Delta and New Orleans Dixieland style with pioneer musicians like Louis Armstrong & King Oliver creating its unique sound.

The scene is very active today with numerous Jazz clubs, local talent and the hugely popular Chicago Jazz Festival!

Chicago is widely considered the Capital of Jazz Music.

Geordie Kelly has performed extensively in North America, Europe, Asia, and in parts of Africa.

He has been privileged to share the stage with artists such as Larry Coryell, Ed Calle, Bobby Shew, Phil DeGreg, Maureen McGovern, Frank Mantooth, Bob Bowman, Ritchie Cole, Little Anthony and the Imperials, The Virginia Symphony Orchestra, and The Turtle Island String Quartet.

His recordings have met with tremendous success all over the world including Canada, Australia, The Netherlands, Italy, Switzerland, Japan, Spain, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Estonia, South Korea, and Israel.

Geordie will be joined each Sunday by fellow Chicago Jazz Musicians & Vocalists.

Drinks may be purchased individually with a credit card on the boat.

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Night Boat Tours And Firework Cruise Discounts

Like most metropolitan cities, Chicago looks entirely different after dark.

Several cruise companies offer services at night, allowing you to get a good look at the lights from the city while youre drifting down the river.

Some of these opportunities are only offered during the summer months, but they often include fireworks.

There are currently 3 different discounts available for the following Chicago night boat tours:

  • Group Rates
  • Discount Sites
  • Kids are Free

If youre looking for the best opportunity to save money on a night boat tour or cruise, discount sites will likely provide your best chance at a good deal.

Major discount sites tend to feature all the latest fireworks and holiday cruises.

Depending on whether or not they have additional coupon codes, you could end up saving even more than you would with group rates.

NOTE: Although you’ll find the most popular companies listed below, there might be a few we miss which are sold at a discount through websites like Groupon and LivingSocial.

If you can’t find what you’re looking for, consider checking these discount sites to find a service that fits your needs.

Enjoy impressive views of Chicagos skyline from Lake Michigan, with an uninterrupted view of the weekly fireworks display.

Tour-goers love to watch the reflection of the lights on the water, as well as the buildings!

Reviewers say to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the tours start time, and this is well worth the money!


  • NOTE: Returns May 28th, 2022.

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Spirit Of Chicago Sunset Dinner Cruise With Buffet

Nothing says romance like dinner on the water. But you can take that one step further, by making that water Lake Michigan, and the backdrop the twinkling lights of the legendary city of Chicago.

Cue this three-hour cruise past the landmarks of Navy Pier and Soldier Field. As you go, youll dine on a sumptuous buffet of all-you-can-eat American favorites.

Then the music starts, with a private DJ spinning tunes as you watch the lights and stars come on over the Midwestern skies. Talk about a night to remember

Dine On The Water With Odyssey Cruises

Wendella River Boat Tours on the Chicago River with Skyscr

Odyssey dining cruises are the perfect way to create a memorable moment in Chicago. Choose from a river or lake dining cruise, complete with delicious cuisine, cocktails, and entertainment.

Their glass-enclosed river vessel is particularly stunning. It offers passengers panoramic views of the citys most iconic buildings as you glide along the Chicago River. They also offer a lakefront dinner cruise option that departs from Navy Pier.

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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 you’ll find with other services, but at least you’ll 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.

Chicago River Boat Architecture Tour

  • Learn more
  • Instant confirmation
  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
  • Spot landmarks such as the Wrigley Building and the Tribune Tower
  • Multiple cruise departure times throughout the day
  • Live on-board commentary ensures you dont miss anything
  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
  • Spot landmarks such as the Wrigley Building and the Tribune Tower
  • Multiple cruise departure times throughout the day
  • Live on-board commentary ensures you dont miss anything
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • 465 N McClurg Ct, Chicago, IL 60611, USA
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Children must be accompanied by an adult
  • Near public transportation
  • Most travellers can participate
  • This experience requires good weather. If its cancelled due to poor weather, youll be offered a different date or a full refund
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 175 travellers
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • 465 N McClurg Ct, Chicago, IL 60611, USA
  • Returns to original departure point
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Children must be accompanied by an adult
  • Near public transportation
  • Most travellers can participate
  • This experience requires good weather. If its cancelled due to poor weather, youll be offered a different date or a full refund
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 175 travellers

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Chicago Urban Adventure River And Lake Cruise

A scenic 90-minute cruise along the Chicago River and Lake Michigan shoreline with views of Chicago landmarks like the Marina City, the Skydeck Chicago at Willis Tower and Navy Pier.

Prices start at $42 for adults, $18 for children aged 5 to 15, and free for children under 5.

For more information click here.

The 7 Best Chicago Architecture Boat Tours Of 2022

Chicago Uncovered: Chicago River architecture boat tour
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River & Lake Architectural Cruise

Put yourself in the hands of a bona fide Chicagoan who knows the ins and outs of this awesome metropolis, all by opting for a whirlwind tour of Windy City construction.

There is oodles to get through in just 75 minutes. Tales of post-war building booms, Art Deco influences, the erstwhile military locks, and the iconic metalwork of the DuSable Bridge from 1920 all begin to flow.

Meanwhile, camera lenses will point to the skies, as symbolic structures like the Willis Tower drift on by.

Theres also instant ticket delivery, and you can show your admission on a smartphone.

Shoreline Architecture Firework Tour

Get all of the information on a daytime architecture tour, with an added grand finale: seeing fireworks on the lake!

Whether you depart from Navy Pier or Michigan Avenue, youll tour the main and south branch of the Chicago River before traveling out onto the Great Lake for the best view of the weekly fireworks display.

Pro tip: Dont forget your camera! Even though it is nighttime, the lights of the city offer perfect photo opportunities. Youll have your postcard-worthy photo in no time!


Depart from one of two locations:

  • Navy Pier Entrance, Polk Bros Park. GPS: 600 E Grand Ave
  • Michigan Avenue Bridge . GPS: 401 Michigan Ave

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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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Best Night Tour: Chicago Fireworks Architecture Cruise

Chicago Tours

During the summer months on Wednesday and Saturday nights, The Navy Pier puts on an impressive display of fireworks that illuminate the city skyline. Take in the show while learning about the architecture on the Architecture Fireworks Cruise, a 90-minute narrated boat ride on the Chicago River. During the tour, guides will explain the importance of the balloon-frame construction that changed how homes were built, and how the Great Fire shaped history. The boat passes by 40 iconic buildings, such as the Aon Center, the John Hancock Center, the Willis Tower , the Wrigley Building and the IBM Building.

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Best River Cruise Tours In Chicago

Chicago is home to two stunning waterfronts.

You can explore the city cruising along the Chicago River or Lake Michigan.

But with so many tours available, which one is best for you?

You can get on board a cruise tour and admire the spectacular Chicago skyline.

Or dress up elegantly for a dinner cruise, relax, and enjoy Chicagos gorgeous shores with fireworks show at night.

Theres even a tall ship cruise for those looking for a different experience.

In this article, well show you the best river cruise tours around Chicago to get the most out of your trip.

Check these out!

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