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Chicago Architecture River Cruise

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Chicago, United States
Chicago Architecture River Cruise

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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
    8,065 Reviews

    Reviews by Viator travelers

    We perform checks on reviews

    Showing 1-10 of 8,065 reviews
    star-5
    A new appreciation for the Chicago skyline
    Adam_M
    , Jul 2022
    Had a beautiful day on the river. The tour will make you love architecture even if you thought you never did!
    star-5
    Excellent!
    Jenee_R
    , Jul 2022
    Nathan, and the rest of the team were so professional, so informative, and very entertaining. We loved learning more about Chicago!
    star-5
    We really enjoyed our...
    Blanche_H
    , Jul 2022
    We really enjoyed our guide's stories in addition to the commentary about the architecture and history. The weather was perfect, sunny and just warm enough to enjoy the breeze. Everyone in our family enjoyed the day immensely, and our ages ranged from 10 years to 81. After two days some were still talking about how much they learned and how enjoyable it was.
    star-5
    Everything you wanted to know about Chicago architecture but were afraid to ask
    Andrew_H
    , Jul 2022
    Our guide was terrific! He was very thorough and enthusiastic. My two children really had a great time.
    star-5
    The tour was spectacular
    William_H
    , Jul 2022
    Anthony the tour guide was awesome! He had a lot of knowledge, worked in a couple of wicked puns that I’ll be sure to remember.
    star-5
    Chicago skyline history
    Allison_M
    , Jul 2022
    Great experience and fun to learn about Chicagos rich history. Tour is just a little over an hour but lacked with interesting details about the architecture of the Chicago skyline.
    star-5
    Best Boat Sightseeing Ever
    David_A
    , Jul 2022
    It was a beautiful experience, all the places we got to see and all the information we learned that we did not know about, our guide Antonio was very knowledgeable and had an outstanding attitude. Best part of it was the view of the city at the end of the trip. We loved it from beginning to end
    star-5
    Informative and interesting
    Jeff_P
    , Jul 2022
    The history and architecture of Chicago is fascinating and very interesting. I would highly recommend this tour.
    star-5
    Rain Can’t Stop a Great Time!
    DionneS
    , Jul 2022
    Rain started as soon as we got on the boat but they gave out ponchos and if you arrive early enough you can get a spot under the covered roof. Additionally they have a full bar on board so there’s that! 10/10 highly recommended!
    star-5
    5 Stars
    Brandon_R
    , Jul 2022
    Would recommend for all visitors to the city. Get a chance to see and hear the history of the beautiful buildings downtown.
    star-5
    Great idea for Chicago visit
    Claudie_E
    , Jul 2022
    Guide was knowledgeable and humorous, which made the tour a pleasant experience. Very good sound quality for the narration. Company was well-organized at welcome site. Personnel were pleasant.
    star-3
    No sun protection
    Shoohrat_Z
    , Jul 2022
    Me and my friend both are burned by the sun and my arms and neck are still itching 😒 That wasn’t a good experience because of that!
    star-5
    Beautiful day to see inside of Chicago.
    janice_s
    , Jul 2022
    Out of state relatives came for a visit in Streamwood and I took them to learn and see Chicago. It was a beautiful day and the tour guide was very informative.
    star-5
    Great tour!
    Cathy_F
    , Jul 2022
    Our Guide was outstanding, informative and entertaining. The buildings are magnificent Everyone in our family Enjoyed it all!
    star-5
    Excellent Educational tour
    Laura_B
    , Jul 2022
    The views from the river were magnificent. The history and preservation of Chicago is inspiring. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable on architecture and Chicago's history.
    star-5
    Enjoyable Summer Architecture Tour
    Brittnee_J
    , Jul 2022
    The tour guide was awesome, very informative, having an architectural background himself, with humor. He even had visuals to show. The tour length is perfect. The thing I did not care for was lack of instructions on where exactly to meet for the cruise. There are so many Shoreline stands all around the Navy Pier, that you may waste time waiting in the wrong line. Positive was that there were plenty associates in orange shirts to help navigate you to your meeting location. Also, the benches rocked back too much for my liking.
    star-5
    Chicago2022
    Marjorie_B
    , Jul 2022
    The 115 minute boat ride was an amazing experience! Talks about architectural history of Chicago. Highly recommended👍 👏👏👏
    star-5
    Amazing!
    Evelyn_C
    , Jul 2022
    Great tour! Totally worth the money and the time! Just be before the tour time to get a nice spot in the Navy Pier
    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.

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