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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
    8,479 Reviews

    Reviews by Viator travelers

    We perform checks on reviews

    Showing 1-10 of 8,479 reviews
    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.
    star-5
    You will love it
    Joan_J
    , Aug 2022
    Breathtaking trip with so much interesting information about Chicago. We would do this again the next time we are here.
    star-5
    A nice surprise
    Stacey_R
    , Aug 2022
    It was very informative, efficiently run and nice to be out on the river for a different perspective of Chicago. I have lived in the Midwest most of my life and spent a great deal of time in Chicago but had never done this tour. I learned so much and it made me appreciate Chicago even more.
    star-5
    The whole event was...
    Yajaira_R
    , Aug 2022
    The whole event was amazing. The staff were super polite and the speaker was very knowledgeable. I totally enjoyed this tour.
    star-5
    Worth the money.
    John_K
    , Aug 2022
    An enjoyable relaxed boat ride with a knowledgeable tour guide who brought the history of Chicago to life. Also spectacular views.
    star-5
    Amazing Experience
    Dorcas_L
    , Aug 2022
    Awesome experience! The tour lady was excellent! I will recommend this tour to all my family and friends.
    star-5
    Chi-town
    Derrick_S
    , Aug 2022
    Beautiful buildings to show relatives and friends from outside of Chicago. Wonderful weather and great 🍺
    star-5
    Highly recommended
    John_B
    , Aug 2022
    I have been wanting to do this cruise for a long time. It was well worth it. The whole experience was very easy (booking, boarding, etc) and our guide was fantastic
    star-5
    Very informative and fun
    Chris_D
    , Aug 2022
    The tour was great, and very informative. Kyle was an amazing guide. There was small amounts of backtracking during the tour due to the route, however they filled this time with suggestions on where to eat, other entertainment, as well as nightlife. Higlt recommend this being the first thing you do when visiting.
    star-5
    I’ve been wanting to do this for years!
    Selena_P
    , Aug 2022
    What a great cruise. Kevin, the tour guide, was extremely knowledgeable and friendly. So glad to finally check this off my bucket list. What absolutely do this again. Highly recommend!
    star-5
    Worth it!
    Antonia_M
    , Aug 2022
    The docent was a high school history and geography teacher and he was incredibly knowledgeable and skilled at running the tour. It was hot in the sun though so I’d suggest bringing a hat and sunglasses!
    star-5
    Awesome tour guide!
    Erin_J
    , Aug 2022
    The guide was so fun! Loved their opinions on the different buildings and upcoming projects! It rained just before so wish there has been more organization around drying off the seats but after a few minutes it was fine in the sun
    star-5
    Wonderful
    Diane_C
    , Aug 2022
    This River Cruise was very informative, fun and I loved it! This was a great choice and recommend it!
    star-5
    Perfect
    Viola_S
    , Aug 2022
    Guide Brenna was FABULOUS! Extremely knowledgeable with an added bonus of a sense of humor. Bring sun glasses.
    star-4
    Enjoyable!
    Giulia_S
    , Aug 2022
    The tour was great and the tour guide was awesome but we had a hard time finding the location of the boat at the pier. Because of this we missed our tour time. Luckily it was very easy switching our ticked to different time. Arrive earlier for your cruise to be sure.
    star-5
    Great time! First thing you should do when you get to chicago!.
    Lisa_T
    , Aug 2022
    Jack who gave the tour was fantastic! informative and funny. will take this tour again when I come back to Chicago.

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