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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 by Viator travelers.  We perform checks on reviews

    Reviews

    5.0
    star-5
    8,504 Reviews

    Reviews by Viator travelers

    We perform checks on reviews

    Showing 1-10 of 8,504 reviews
    star-5
    Take the Tour!
    Jennifer_T
    , Aug 2022
    Great tour! Great knowledge, interesting facts and beautiful skyline from the water! The whole team was great!
    star-5
    AMAZING!!!
    Elizabeth_M
    , Aug 2022
    We fell in love with the city because of this tour and learned so much. The tour guide was amazing and knew her stuff top notch! We were treated with much respect and had a smooth ride! This was an amazing experience that we would recommend to anyone. You will see the city with much detail and admire the beauty it has to offer!
    star-4
    A great view.
    Cheryl_K
    , Aug 2022
    The view as the boat turned the first time was great. I wished the guide would have given a heads up for the photo opportunity. The coffee was awful that is why only 4 stars. It was chilly and a whiskey/coffee helped. The guide was delightful, knowledgeable, and personable.
    star-2
    Tour guide speaks like there’s no tomorrow. I couldn’t understand him a thing
    Sonia_G
    , Aug 2022
    The skyline is wonderful but it feels rushed because the tour guide speaks way to fast as if he didn’t care for the tourists.
    star-5
    KEVIN WAS THE BEST TOUR GUDIE
    SarinaIsabel_S
    , Aug 2022
    The tour was amazing!! It was my first time in Chicago and this was the highlight of our trip. Our tour guide Kevin gave a spectacular narration of Chicago's history and had cute 'dad jokes' to keep us entertained throughout the trip. He also surprised us with a fun little performance at the end of the tour.
    star-5
    Happy Birthday Evan!
    Ryanne_P
    , Aug 2022
    Absolutely fantastic staff! They were friendly, wiping off seats for us with the rain and the tour guide Evan was well educated and super friendly as well! Bummed we couldn’t buy Evan a birthday shot for his 21st but he graciously declined since he was working lol The views are gorgeous on the river, even the toddlers enjoyed it. Would recommend for anyone that loves a good view, boats or architecture.
    star-5
    Wonderful tour!
    Catherine_M
    , Aug 2022
    Our guide Jack was awesome! We learned a lot and the architecture in Chicago is incredible to see on this tour.
    star-5
    Must-do experience!!
    Kirsten_A
    , Aug 2022
    We had the most amazing time on this tour! Our guide, Antonio, was absolutely fantastic. Entertaining yet informative. The views were unreal, even for someone who spends a lot of time in Chicago. Highly recommend this, very worthwhile.
    star-5
    fantastic !
    HARRIET_L
    , Aug 2022
    our docent was very informative and funny and entertaining. I learned a lot about the city I did not know before
    star-5
    Excellent and clear even for a French speaking
    Martin_G
    , Aug 2022
    Excellent tour, very clear and understandable, even for me whose English is a second language. The guide (Victor) was incredibly knowledgeable!
    star-5
    Spectacular Views
    Dawn_C
    , Aug 2022
    Chicago is such a beautiful city that I, even as a New Yorker, appreciate its allure. Its architecture and the stories behind it add to its charm. I’d recommend this tour to anyone who visits Chicago.
    star-5
    Guide had a good sense of...
    Charlene_Z
    , Aug 2022
    Guide had a good sense of humor, enjoyed the history, view of the city from the boat is remarkable. The description of the many unique buildings old and new was very interesting. I also appreciated the fact that he mentioned the many neighborhoods to explore.
    star-5
    Architectural tour! Boat trip
    Shawn_H
    , Aug 2022
    Great tour, great docent. Nice boat. Highly recommend this to individuals, couples, tourists. Locals
    star-5
    Jim’s very exciting way...
    Rubin_S
    , Aug 2022
    Jim’s very exciting way of explaining how and why buildings were built. Very good tour and one that I will suggest to others
    star-5
    Chicago Highlight
    Maria_J
    , Aug 2022
    Our tour guide Kyle was an excellent storyteller and kept us engaged the entire time. The boat itself was a very smooth ride.
    star-5
    Great time spent on the beautiful & historic river.
    Margie_D
    , Aug 2022
    It was a lovely way to spend a morning. Kevin, our tour guide, was very friendly, knowledgeable and funny. We had a great time!
    1 traveler found this review helpful
    star-5
    Loved the 7:30 pm cruise
    Marisa_B
    , Aug 2022
    We loved it! Michael, our tour guide, was knowledgeable and funny. Would definitely recommend! We did the 7:30 pm cruise in August to see the sunset & all the building lights come on - perfect timing.
    star-5
    Very entertaining
    Charles_H
    , Aug 2022
    Great trip and the guide was very entertaining 😀 throughout the entire trip. Scenery was incredible.
    star-5
    Our tour guide was incredibly knowledgeable and engaging. It was such an amazing perspective of Chicago.
    Joan_B
    , Aug 2022
    Our tour guide was incredibly knowledgeable and engaging. It was such an amazing perspective of Chicago.
    star-5
    Great overview of Chicago
    Barbara_B
    , Aug 2022
    We booked the 7:30 pm trip, it was magical watching the city go from day to night. Michael was our tour guide, he was informative and funny.

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