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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 travellers
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 Travellers 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 travellers can participate
    • Departure locations cannot be changed
    • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 250 travellers
    • 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.

    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 sanitisation during Chicago Architecture River Cruise?
    A:The policy on sanitisation is:

    • Regularly sanitised 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.

    Traveller Photos

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    Traveller 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
    7,857 reviews

    Reviews by Viator travellers

    We perform checks on reviews

    Showing 1-10 of 7,857 reviews
    star-5
    Strongly recommended for a first trip to Chicago
    JEANYVES_R
    , Jun. 2022
    Patrick was an excellent guide who gave us a fascinating insight of Chicago architectural history Comfortable ship Really exciting experience
    star-5
    Great tour!
    Karen_V
    , Jun. 2022
    Amazing tour. Highly recommend the tour. Learned so much about the area. Enjoyed the dinner tips as well.
    star-5
    Beautiful views of the...
    Elaine_H
    , Jun. 2022
    Beautiful views of the skyscrapers. Interesting history of the buildings. Very enjoyable introduction to the City
    1 traveller found this review helpful
    star-5
    50th Birthday Eve made unforgettable!
    Anu_G
    , Jun. 2022
    The history lesson about Chicago was amazing! Antonio, our host, was very knowledgeable and extremely funny! This was one of the best Chicago experiences that I have had!
    star-5
    Absolutely fantastic
    Marc_K
    , Jun. 2022
    The tour guide, Kevin was very knowledgeable about the tour and personable. He went went and introduced himself and got to know the passengers.
    star-1
    You suck!
    Robin_B
    , Jun. 2022
    You guys suck! I got the Covid and was not able to travel and could not get my money back. I will never use visitor again!!!
    star-5
    Chicago architecture boat tour.
    Walter_W
    , Jun. 2022
    Spiro was a guide and did a fantastic job at linking each buildings and architecture to each other and told the whole story about the rebuilding of Chicago. Fantastic tour.
    star-5
    Excellent tour of Chicago
    Stuart_J
    , Jun. 2022
    Nathan was excellent. Highly recommend this tour. He was very knowledgeable and entertaining. Great way to see Chicago!
    star-5
    I highly recommend!
    Elizabeth_B
    , Jun. 2022
    A great tour. Very impressive. Great guide too! I highly recommend it to others and will definitely go again!
    star-5
    Beautiful dy in Chicago
    Beverly_B
    , Jun. 2022
    This is our first trip to Chicago and we enjoyed the Architecture river cruise. I would go on the tour again. We booked the 10:00 am tour before it got to hot and returned on time for lunch. Then enjoyed the rest of the afternoon. ☺️
    star-5
    My Chicago River boat experience.
    Deborah_B
    , Jun. 2022
    Just riding through the City learning all about the buildings, when they were built, the architects was very informative.
    star-4
    Good information...
    Beverly_D
    , Jun. 2022
    Good information regarding the architectures & stories. The narrator was quite entertaining. The crew were very helpful.
    star-5
    Nice trip
    Mustafa_A
    , Jun. 2022
    Great guide and super fun experience loved learning about the history of Chicago beautiful architecture and fun stories learning about the rebuild process of Chicago after the fire disaster and how old architects were invited to Chicago to rebuild the city
    star-5
    Lovely afternoon
    Christina_H
    , Jun. 2022
    The cruise was excellent and highly informative. Kathy was thorough and funny, making for a very enjoyable afternoon.
    star-5
    Great guide and super fun...
    Emma_R
    , Jun. 2022
    Great guide and super fun experience! Loved learning about the history of Chicago, beautiful architecture, and fun stories.
    star-4
    Lovely cruise
    Therman_B
    , Jun. 2022
    Cruise was awesome and informative. Even though I brought a bottle of water with me, you could get drinks and chips and use bathroom while on board. Boat was clean and staff were friendly. The only thing I would change would be the uncomfortable seats; some cushion would be better. I had stand every so often to relieve the pressure on my back side.
    star-5
    A city which was born from its ashes .. impressive City planning and architecture.
    Melda_C
    , Jun. 2022
    Learning about the rebuild process of Chicago after the fore disaster and how all architects were invited to Chicago to rebuild the city . Also as a Landscape Architect myself , I was so impressed to learn the fact that the River was redirected to run opposite direction to make sure that the Lake Michigan stays clean to supply water to the city . Amazing engineering success for a sustainable , best possible environmental outcome for public health and safety. Great examples of successful city planning and history of Architecture displaying variety of style and materials as well as engineering solutions in a very unique way .. Our presenter did an awesome job to explain each unique character of the individual buildings. We enjoyed the nice breeze , the scenery and the learning experience with my daughter . We will highly recommend architecture tour over others.
    star-5
    Amazing Sunset Architectural River Cruise
    Hyman_G
    , Jun. 2022
    We took the sunset architectural River tour and it was amazing. Our guide Victor was personable and very knowledgeable and really created a beautiful experience for our family. By doing the sunset cruise you could see how the buildings changed dimensions as the sunset on the river. We highly recommend this tour and if you can get it with Victor, do your best to do so. He is an amazing guide!
    star-5
    Highly recommend
    Brad_M
    , Jun. 2022
    Excellent. Whether or not you are interested in architecture, the city history shared on this tour was fascinating
    star-5
    By far the best way to...
    Russell_H
    , Jun. 2022
    By far the best way to see Chicago. Friendly staff and excellent tour guide in Dan. Very informative and great for history buffs. Highly recommend!!!!

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