Lake Michigan Skyline Cruise in Chicago

Badge of ExcellenceChicago, United States
Lake Michigan Sightseeing Cruise

From USD 34.93

Select Date and Travellers

Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance.
  • 40 minutes
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English


Take in iconic views of the beautiful Chicago skyline and its many landmarks during this Lake Michigan sightseeing boat cruise. Climb aboard your vessel for a laid-back ride, enjoying panoramic views of the Windy City's skyline from a unique perspective. Along the way, you'll listen to informative commentary and take in views of the John Hancock Center and Willis Tower, along with many other landmarks. Plus feel free to bring your own lunch or grab a drink at the onboard bar, during your ride.
  • Narrated sightseeing cruise on Lake Michigan
  • Enjoy fantastic panoramic views of Chicago's skyline
  • See Chicago's major skyscrapers like the John Hancock Center, Aon, Trump Tower and Willis Tower (Sears Tower)
  • Bring a lunch to enjoy on board during your boat tour

What's Included

  • Pre-recorded commentary on board
  • Scenic skyline cruise on Lake Michigan
  • Food and drinks (available for purchase and you can also bring your own)

Meeting And Pickup

Meeting point

  • 800 E Grand Ave
    800 E Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60611, USA

    Shoreline Sightseeing Lake Tour is on Navy Pier’s Dock Street. Your tour will depart from Shoreline’s dock on the west end of Navy Pier. Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your departure time.

End point

This activity ends back at the meeting point.

What To Expect

Get a unique perspective on Chicago's world-famous skyline during this sightseeing boat cruise on Lake Michigan. Whether you're looking for some unexpected views of the city's striking architecture, or simply want a chance to relax on Chicago's famous waterfront, this tour is a great option.

Start your cruise from Navy Pier's Dock Street and head out for a ride on the water. Along the way, you'll listen to interesting commentary surrounding Chicago history, and hear colorful details about its most famous landmarks.

During your ride, you'll have a chance to view some of the Windy City's most famous (and tallest) buildings, including the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower), John Hancock Center, and the Aon Center. You'll also be able to spot downtown neighborhoods like Streeterville and the Gold Coast, plus attractions like Navy Pier, Grant Park and the famous Buckingham Fountain.

If you're feeling thirsty, feel free to grab a refreshment at the on-board bar. Or pack a lunch, as you enjoy your meal while you cruise. No matter how you choose to spend your relaxing boat ride, it's sure to offer a great time for the entire family.

Please note: This cruise is seasonal and does not operate in the winter due to weather conditions.

Lake Michigan

40 minutesAdmission Ticket Free

Chicago Skyline

40 minutesAdmission Ticket Free

John Hancock Center (Pass By)

Skydeck Chicago - Willis Tower (Pass By)

Navy Pier (Pass By)

Buckingham Fountain (Pass By)

Millennium Park (Pass By)

Chicago Cultural Center (Pass By)

Chicago Architecture Center (Pass By)

Historic Water Tower (Pass By)

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Most travellers can participate
  • Cruises are dog friendly
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 200 travellers
Operated by Shoreline Sightseeing

Cancellation Policy

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 cancelled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

Traveller Photos

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Featured review
We’ve lived in Chicago for many years but haven’t been on a lake cruise for some years. We were fortunate to have a perfect weather day and the lake was quiet and it was a wonderful tour. We got a great view of the skyline from north to south and they gave us information that we had never heard before. Even though we’ve been here a long time, we learned new things and it was very enjoyable. the crew could not have been nicer and I highly recommend this experience.


640 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
Reviews by Viator travellers.
Showing 1-10 of 640 reviews
Great Day on the Chicago River
Danny_B, Sept 2023
The guide was very knowledgeable and humorous at the same time. Not only was it a pleasant cruise but it was educational as well.
The tour of Lake Michigan...
toan_T, Sept 2023
The tour of Lake Michigan Skyline is pleasant. The view of the city high rise building is spectacular. would recommend family and friends to take this tour.
Great cruise
Brian_W, Sept 2023
It was a great experience. The skyline view was breathtaking. The crew on ship were awesome. Overall, I am happy I experienced the cruise.
Nice views but boring announcer
Ashley_B, Sept 2023
Cant hear the recording on the lower deck . Too many loud kids & not enough seating up top. Not enough alcohol options
Great way to spend 40 minutes
Sabrina_A, Sept 2023
The whole crew is 5 stars. They made sure we got our selves situated. I highly recommend you sit at the top, the sun does hit you but the view is spectacular. The history talk track was the best part for me. I’m from California and I left learning so much.
I did like it ;)...
Iuliia_C, Sept 2023
I did like it ;) Nice weather. Great view, fresh air;) . Staff were very kind. Worth it to go once .
Great experience
Abby_B, Aug 2023
I bought tickets for myself, my husband, and our daughter. After I got on the boat, I realized quickly that my dizziness would prevent me from riding. I was able to get off before the boat launched and spoke to a Shoreline employee. She made a note in my Viator booking that I didn't use my ticket (even though it had been scanned) and said to contact Viator. I requested a refund for my ticket and Viator granted it quickly. Thank you! My daughter and husband really enjoyed the boat ride and my daughter wants to do it again when we return to Chicago next summer.
Great day for a boat tour
Sandra_G, Aug 2023
Whether was perfect, view was beautiful . great time with the family. I will be booking another boat tour !
Dana_M, Aug 2023
It was an amazing experience! The staff was friendly and helpful. I highly recommend the Skyline Cruise.
Simply beautiful
Barbara_C, Aug 2023
The cruise was nice. I loved hearing about the architecture and seeing the buildings at night. The crew was friendly and accommodating. We would take this cruise again.
Stephen_D, Aug 2023
The serenest of the waters & picturesque view of the night Chicago buildings. The historical information of the city was very interesting.
The views at sunset...
Rachelle_N, Aug 2023
The views at sunset looking at the city were incredible! Also, the tour was packed full of information on Chicago.
The views were great!...
Rocio_C, Aug 2023
The views were great! Weather was perfect staff very friendly boat was clean we enjoyed every minute of the tour
Awesome view
Mahmood_Z, Aug 2023
That skyline view is only possible with this cruise (or similar rides), and what a view it was! Definitely suggest a time slot close to the sunset so that the buildings can be seen both in the daylight and when it's getting darker and the lights on them start to turn on.
It was great.
Rehobot_W, Aug 2023
I loved it. I enjoyed my trip with my husband and baby. We went with other couples and they enjoyed as well.
Beautiful day on the water
Joumana_Z, Aug 2023
A very informative tour which was also very relaxing. Spacious with great views of the Chicago skyline.
Beautiful summer day....
Chris_C, Aug 2023
Beautiful summer day. Only wish the price was a little lower then it could be an excursion enjoyed more often.
Great cruise
Debra_A, Aug 2023
Boat was clean and staff was friendly. Pre-recorded scrip was a bit out of date but the important stuff was right. 8pm was perfect timing to see daylight views followed by dusk and relative dark. I the time we docked. Not crowded.
Must do, shoreline tour of Chicago
Lovely_E, Aug 2023
Though it was really difficult to get support regarding the 8:30PM tour (a point for that), all was resolved when we arrived at the checkout counter. There were actually several more tours which we were easily moved to. Great tour. Must do!
Chicago skyline tour
Dawn_C, Aug 2023
Enjoying a beautiful evening on the lake with loved ones. Enjoying the skyline and hearing some Chicago history. Creating beautiful memories.

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