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Chicago Architecture River Cruise

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Chicago, United States
Chicago Architecture River Cruise

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Number of travelers
0 Adults1 Adult2 Adults3 Adults4 Adults5 Adults6 Adults7 Adults8 Adults9 Adults10 Adults11 Adults12 Adults13 Adults14 Adults15 Adults0 Children1 Child2 Children3 Children4 Children5 Children6 Children7 Children8 Children9 Children10 Children11 Children12 Children13 Children14 Children15 Children0 Infants1 Infant2 Infants3 Infants4 Infants5 Infants6 Infants7 Infants8 Infants9 Infants10 Infants11 Infants12 Infants13 Infants14 Infants15 Infants
Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance. Learn more
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Safety measures
icon1 hour 15 minutes  (approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English and 1 more

Overview

Cruise down the Chicago River to see the city's famous architecture on this boat tour. With commentary from your onboard guide, watch the spectacular skyline glide by, including more than 40 notable buildings like Navy Pier, the Wrigley Building, and the John Hancock Building. Cover all three branches of the Chicago River, passing the East Bank Club, the old Post Office Building and the Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower).
  • Discover all three branches of the Chicago River with your guide, an expert in architecture
  • Enjoy the best vantage point to admire the distinct city skyline and architecture
  • See more than 40 buildings including the Wrigley Building and Willis Tower
  • Discover the major events that helped shape the architectural history of Chicago

Why Travelers Choose This Tour

This ultra-flexible cruise runs more than 20 times daily from Navy Pier and Michigan Avenue.
Saved to wishlist!
Guided architecture cruise of the historic Chicago River
Live commentary on board
Drinks (available for purchase)
  • 401 N Michigan Ave , 401 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611, USA

    FROM MICHIGAN AVE: Departs from 401 N Michigan Ave at the Shoreline Sightseeing docks. NE corner of Historic Michigan Ave. (Dusable) Bridge. Located alongside Chicago's Honored Pioneer Court.

  • 124 N Streeter Dr , 124 N Streeter Dr, Chicago, IL 60611, USA

    FROM NAVY PIER: Departs from 124 N Streeter Drive from the Shoreline Sightseeing docks at Polk Bros Park.

  • This activity will end right where it started.
    Make your way to either Navy Pier or Michigan Avenue (depending on option chosen) for your cruise departure. Board your riverboat and find a comfortable seat; a restroom and sometimes a full bar are available on the boat. Listen as your guide, an architecture expert, gives you an introduction to the city's landmarks. 

    Along the scenic route, see buildings by world-famous architects including Mies van der Rohe, Helmut Jahn, and Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. A boat on the river is the best vantage point to admire the distinct city skyline.

    Pass by more than 40 distinctive buildings, including the John Hancock Center, the Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower), the Wrigley Building, and the Lyric Opera House. Listen as your guide recounts the two major events that helped shape the architectural history of the city. Learn about how the invention of balloon-frame construction revolutionized how homes were built, and hear the dramatic story of Chicago's rise from the Great Fire of 1871. Both of these milestones led Chicago to become one of the cradles of modern American architecture.

    Your cruise ends at its starting point.
    Itinerary
    Stop At:  
    Chicago River
    Cruise takes place on the Chicago River.
    Duration: 1 hour 
    Admission Ticket Free
    Pass By:  
    Chicago Skyline
    Enjoy an amazing view of the city's skyline.
    Pass By:  
    Navy Pier
    50 acres of parks, promenades, gardens, shops, eateries and attractions, including a 15-story Ferris wheel.
    Pass By:  
    Skydeck Chicago - Willis Tower
    Tallest building in the Western Hemisphere
    Pass By:  
    Tribune Tower
    The neo-gothic tower's signature is the exterior collection of stones from other famous edifices, like the Parthenon, St. Peter's Basilica, Notre Dame, the White House and most recently, the Berlin Wall.
    Pass By:  
    John Hancock Center
    The John Hancock Center, is a 100-story, 1,128-foot supertall skyscraper
    • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
    • Not wheelchair accessible
    • All boats have full restrooms and some have a full bar
    • Some boats are single deck vessels, the type of vessel you are placed on cannot be guaranteed
    • Wheelchairs or other walking assistance equipment are not provided.
    • Tour times cannot be changed.
    • Near public transportation
    • Most travelers can participate
    • Departure locations cannot be changed
    • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 250 travelers
    • OPERATED BY Shoreline Sightseeing
    You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
    • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
    • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
    • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
    • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
    • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

    Learn more about cancellations.

    The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
    Q:
    What is the policy on sanitization during Chicago Architecture River Cruise?
    A:The policy on sanitization is:

    • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
    See all safety measures taken by Chicago Architecture River Cruise.
    Q:
    What is the social distancing policy during Chicago Architecture River Cruise?
    A:The policy on social distancing is:

    • Contactless payments for gratuities and add-ons
    See all safety measures taken by Chicago Architecture River Cruise.

    Traveler Photos

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    Traveler Tips


    • "Most of the boat is exposed, so make sure to wear appropriate attire in the case of rain or direct sunlight." See review
    • "There are 2 departure piers (East Michigan and East Grand) so make sure that you’re at the right place." See review

    Reviews

    5.0
    star-5
    8,037 Reviews

    Reviews by Viator travelers

    We perform checks on reviews

    Showing 1-10 of 8,037 reviews
    star-5
    Great choice
    Volodymyr_R
    , Jul 2022
    Great place ) Great choice ) Paid parking ( Great service) Wonderful restaurant) Excellent view from the top floor )
    star-5
    Great Way to Relax and See Chicago Architecture Without Traffic
    Anne_R
    , Jul 2022
    Great way to see the Chicago architecture in a relaxed environment without traffic. Family really enjoyed learning the history and unique facts that the tour guide provided. The tour guide was knowledgeable and funny.
    star-5
    The tour guide was...
    Randy_V
    , Jul 2022
    The tour guide was absolutely amazing his knowledge his jokes, his professional was the best I ever seen the tour was absolutely amazing
    star-5
    Great tour guide, very...
    Nicholas_M
    , Jul 2022
    Great tour guide, very knowledgeable of the architecture of the city adn very out going . Excellent tour of the city along the river.
    star-5
    Best tour in Chicago!!! Must do!
    Christine_Z
    , Jul 2022
    Becky was amazing …great information and funny!!! I would recommend this trip to ALL that come to Chicago!!!
    star-5
    Chicago architecture river cruise
    Valyncia_C
    , Jul 2022
    The highlight was seeing the beautiful architecture of the buildings and listening to the history of Chicago.
    star-5
    SPIRO Fantastico
    Cynthia_N
    , Jul 2022
    We took the 8:30PM cruise. It was no less than amazing. SPIRO was our fantastic guide. He has a genuine love and understanding of the city and it’s contagious. It was lighthearted and entertaining but I feel like I learned so much. Highly recommend him and I’m a big baby about getting too hot so I especially loved the night cruise. Enjoy Chicago!!!
    star-5
    Interesting and a lot of fun
    Mat_K
    , Jul 2022
    A worthwhile tour. Interesting to hear a lot of the history of Chicago architecture. I would highly recommend it for tourist or those living in Chicago.
    star-5
    So much fun!
    Shannon_D
    , Jul 2022
    The tour was great! Our guide was a man named Kevin who knew the city well and added a ton of personality to the commentary. Would definitely recommend, especially Kevin's tour.
    star-5
    Highlight of our Chicago Trip
    Kate_M
    , Jul 2022
    This was a great way to see the city! Our guide, Patrick, was knowledgeable and engaging. We left right after sunset and that made it extra special. We were surprised to see how long the line was to board even when we got there 30 minutes early.
    star-5
    Engaging tour
    Olaf_U
    , Jul 2022
    Second time we’ve been on the tour, they do a great job and the tour guides are very knowledgeable. Would highly recommend.
    star-5
    Architecture cruise
    Kelly_R
    , Jul 2022
    Great guide! He was excellent… Entertaining and informative. The views were breathtaking, and the boat had a canopy for shade! It was an enjoyable tour!
    star-5
    Exceptional
    Lisa_R
    , Jul 2022
    Antonio made the excursion for us not only interesting, but fun with his “tidbits” on food, fun facts and under the radar jokes. All made the experience an awesome one!
    star-5
    Beautiful views and a mix of history
    Andrea_T
    , Jul 2022
    Very informative, I really liked the reference to history and how it influenced the architecture of the buildings. The time frame/era of the buildings and how they changed was great to see
    star-5
    Good way to get your tickets
    Rudy_E
    , Jul 2022
    Quick and easy to get the tickets even when they were sold out in other venues. Easy to get to it as well. I loved the boat experience.
    star-5
    Fun Boat Tour
    Caitlyn_O
    , Jul 2022
    I really enjoyed the tour! The tour guide was funny and I learned new things. There were many opportunities for great photographs.
    star-5
    A Must Do Chicago Tour
    Antonia_C
    , Jul 2022
    A Chicago architecture tour should be at the top of your to-do list when visiting the city. This is my second time visiting Chicago and my second time taking the Chicago Architecture tour with Shoreline Sightseeing. This time around my tour guide, Jimmy (a former mechanical engineer), kept us informed and engaged with fascinating information about the many buildings, architecture styles, the structural information as well as Chicago history. I can not recommend this tour enough. The only snafu was that the Shoreline ticket scanner was not able to scan the bar codes supplied by Viator - though not for a lack of trying! They did honor the tickets, thank goodness.
    star-3
    Hi and muss
    Himani_A
    , Jul 2022
    These are typically very good tours. However, they can be hit or miss depending on the tour guide. Im not sure if they’ve made a decision to dumb the tour down or if this was a particular guide. He spent a lot of the time trying to be funny and entertaining, but missed a lot of interesting architectural details and buildings.
    1 traveler found this review helpful
    star-5
    Excellent value
    Mike_W
    , Jul 2022
    This was an excellent tour describing the architecture and background of Chicago. An excellent value
    star-5
    Great tour
    Michael_O
    , Jul 2022
    We had a great time on our tour. Our guide Kyle was awesome! He knew his information and interjected humor throughout. Shoreline Excursions were awesome to work with when our Lyft dropped us off at the wrong location. They easily rescheduled us.

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