90-Minute Chicago River Architecture Tour

Badge of ExcellenceChicago, United States
Chicago River Architecture Tour
Likely to Sell Out

From $42.00

Select Date and Travelers

Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance.
  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English


Discover the architectural gems of the Windy City from an ideal vantage point on a cruise down the Chicago River. Offered several times throughout the day, it’s easy to fit the leisurely excursion into your itinerary. Covering more than 130 years of architectural history, the tour is the perfect opportunity to see a huge area of the city without the hassle of taxis and public transit.
  • Enjoy unobstructed views of the city’s top attractions
  • Gain an in-depth understanding of local architecture
  • See the sights of Chicago without getting worn out
  • Take the tour when it’s convenient for you

What's Included

  • Indoor and outdoor seating available (indoor is climate controlled)
  • Narrated tour on board by professionally trained tour guide.
  • Alcoholic Beverages

Meeting And Pickup

Meeting point

  • 400 N Michigan Ave
    400 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611, USA

    Arrive at 400 N Michigan Avenue 30 minutes before your departure and you will be directed to your boarding dock. Please allow yourself plenty of time to arrive if driving. We do not have parking. It is recommend that you book parking in advance.

End point

This activity ends back at the meeting point.

What To Expect


15 minutesAdmission Ticket Free

Skydeck Chicago - Willis Tower (Pass By)

Centennial Fountain And Water Arc (Pass By)

Merchandise Mart (Pass By)

Michigan Avenue Bridge (Pass By)

Wrigley Building (Pass By)

Chicago Riverwalk (Pass By)

Lyric Opera of Chicago (Pass By)

Marina City (Pass By)

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Weapons prohibited by US Coast Guard
  • Outside alcohol is prohibited
  • All bags subject to search
  • Near public transportation
  • Most travelers can participate
  • Arrive 30 Minutes prior to your departure time.
  • Contact tour operator for wheelchair & ADA access
  • Indoor and outdoor seating is available on a first come, first served basis
  • Maps are available with highlights in simplified Chinese. They can picked up per request at the ticket window.
  • Special requests entered at checkout cannot be guaranteed
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 300 travelers

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

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.

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Q:Where do we meet for the 90-min Chicago River Architecture Tour?

A:We are located at 400 N Michigan Avenue at the historic Wrigley Building. Wendella has four dock locations that extend west from the Michigan Avenue (DuSable) Bridge to Wabash Avenue.

Apr 2021

Q:Is there parking available for the 90-min Chicago River Architecture Tour?

A:There are two parking garages near the departure point: AMA Plaza parking at 401 N. State Street and InterPark Public Parking at 430 N. Rush St. (Parking fees apply at both locations.)

Apr 2021

Q:Is the 90-min Chicago River Architecture Tour handicap accessible?

A:We operate 3 boats with wheelchair lifts between decks. All our boats can accommodate wheelchairs & have toilets that are ADA compliant. For guests who are deaf or hard of hearing, a written script of the narration is available at the ticket office.

Apr 2021

Q:Can I bring my service animal with me on the 90-min Chicago River Architecture Tour?

A:A service animal is a dog that is trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability. Pets and dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA and are not allowed.

Apr 2021

Q:Are there restrooms available on board the 90-min Chicago River Architecture Tour?

A:Yes. Restrooms are located on the lower deck of each vessel; changing tables are also available in each restroom.

Apr 2021

Q:How early should I arrive for the 90-min Chicago River Architecture Tour?

A:Boarding begins 15-30 minutes prior to the scheduled departure time.

Apr 2021

Q:Does the 90-min Chicago River Architecture Tour operate in bad weather?

A:Our cruises depart rain or shine. Our vessels include sheltered areas and climate-controlled lounges. Ponchos are available for purchase onboard. However, in cases of severe weather where the cruise must be canceled, all guests will be refunded.

Apr 2021

Q:Is the boat climate controlled during the 90-min Chicago River Architecture Tour?

A:Most of our vessels feature an enclosed climate-controlled lounge on the lower deck with speakers to hear the tour guide’s narration. If you have a concern about whether your vessel has an interior lounge, please call the phone number on your ticket.

Apr 2021

Q:Is food/drink available during the 90-min Chicago River Architecture Tour?

A:A full-service bar is available onboard. Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, as well as an assortment of snacks, are available for purchase. Bar sales are credit cards only. No cash purchases.

Apr 2021

Q:Can I store my luggage during the 90-min Chicago River Architecture Tour?

A:There is no storage area on our dock, but guests may bring their luggage aboard keeping in mind it is subject to inspection.

Apr 2021

Traveler Photos

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Featured review
Seeing the Beautiful Buildings and learning about the history of each one of them was amazing, the over view of the experience is absolutely worth it. I highly recommend it to anyone that is feeling undecided about it.


4,397 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
Reviews by Viator travelers.
Showing 1-10 of 4,397 reviews
The different types of...
Tammy_S, Sep 2023
The different types of buildings and the history behind them. Cheerful and informative tour guide.magnificient view.
Into the dark
Katja_B, Sep 2023
Starts before Sunset and endes in the dark. Very much information about the architecture of May buildings.
Awesome experience!
Sue_V, Sep 2023
The guide was very knowledgeable and animated. Tour went at a perfect pace. Loved hearing all of the history of the buildings and the river was a great place too view them!
Worthwhile tour
Robert_W, Sep 2023
Very scenic river tour with interesting information on the buildings surrounding the waterfront. Tour guide was very knowledgeable.
Tour guide was excellent....
Tom_A, Sep 2023
Tour guide was excellent. He really knew his information. Kept the flow of the tour going and kept everyone’s interest.
We went on this 90-minute...
Pratima_B, Sep 2023
We went on this 90-minute architecture tour that covers all 3 branches of the Chicago River and it was so beautiful! We booked one day in advance and the cruise was running full even on a weekday morning. Alyssa was our guide and she explained things very well. We initially sat on the upper open deck and then moved around in the lower closed deck, both experiences were great. They serve drinks and snacks for an extra charge on the cruise. I totally fell in love with beautiful Chicago after this tour.. it was great to know about its history as well.
Fabulous architectural boat tour!
An_M, Sep 2023
Our guide, John, was exceptionally good! He knew about every building and all of the architects. the details and history that he shared were interesting and entertaining. A really fabulous 90 minute boat tour!
Great Tour
Teri_S, Sep 2023
Tour guide was very knowledgeable and seating was comfortable. Very interesting history of Chicago buildings. Only complaint was we had to get up and move due to tourists behind us chatting during the presentation making it difficult to hear.
Great Expirence
ussmith, Sep 2023
Great tour Architecture and the history the buildings .Our tour guide person was great Price was great
Worthwhile travel experience
Roseanne_R, Sep 2023
Bob our tour guide made the experience- he was great- informative, funny and knowledgeable! My friends and I thoroughly enjoyed learning about all the architectural gems surrounding Chicago as well as the great Chicago fire
Great experience in a beautiful city
AnneMarie_M, Sep 2023
In the morning it was raining so we weren't sure how this was going to turn out, but it was a wonderful afternoon on the boat learning about the various buildings and landmarks of Chicago. We enjoyed learning from out guide and the length of the trip felt just right.
Insightful tour.
Ken_W, Sep 2023
The guide was very informative and fairly easy to hear. A 20 something gal from Chicago just wouldn’t quit talking to her visiting friends when he asked several times to keep conversations short in the front near where he was talking. She talked the entire tour. Everything else was awesome though.
Meh !
pumpkinmam, Sep 2023
If you are into architecture, this is the tour for you! A lot of informative information if you can get past the first guy! The first guy that spoke on a trip was hysterical laughing the whole time. And it was really hard to understand anything he was saying. He sounded like he had a couple of drinks! The second guy was much better. But by that time interest was lost.
Excellent and informative tour
James_L, Sep 2023
We really enjoyed the variety of building architecture and the guides description of everything was very good.
Worth your time and money
gordon_m, Sep 2023
Our docent knew her stuff and interjected fun quips. Would be great seeing in new snowfall in early am. Cold I’m sure
Great experience
Lisa_C, Sep 2023
Great experience. John was an EXCELLENT tour guide sharing architecture history of Chicago. Definitely recommend.
Tour of the Archectectual Tour Guide
Diana_H, Sep 2023
As a Chicagoan I have learned some history of Chicago. The not good response is, our tour guide often spoke to fast. There were times I didn't comprehend her because her way of speaking was to fast.
Loved our tour. Our guide was wonderful.
susan_I, Sep 2023
We had a great experience. Loved seeing and learning about all the history. Beautiful day on the River
Must do
jill_s, Sep 2023
Great crew!!! Guide was so knowledgeable! He made it fun too Great captain, very capable. Perfect way to see Chicago while relaxing in the sun!
Great experience
Sarah_B, Sep 2023
The architecture was amazing and our guide was so good!! He knew all about the buildings and was very personable and funny.

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