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Chicago Architecture River Cruise

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Chicago, United States
Chicago Architecture River Cruise
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

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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.
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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.

    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

    5.0
    star-5
    7,484 Reviews

    Reviews by Viator travelers

    Showing 1-10 of 7,484 reviews
    star-5
    The history of the city is woven into the architecture of the buildings
    Alexander_B
    , May 2022
    Interesting, informative and fun. Andrew the tour guide knocked it out of the park. When it started raining the crew gave us complimentary plastic ponchos. Learned a lot about Chicago and its unique architecture. 10/10 would recommend.
    star-5
    Wonderful tour
    Connie_S
    , May 2022
    I learned so much about architecture and Chicago from our great tour guide! I highly recommend this river cruise.
    star-5
    Great tour
    Donald_F
    , May 2022
    Awesome tour All staff was excellent Knowledgable which made it so enjoyable Drinks and having a rest room on board was a real plus Thank you!
    star-5
    Tour
    Sue_E
    , May 2022
    The tour guide was amazing. Very informative, and nice. Beautiful buildings. Good price. Great drinks.
    star-5
    My dad and I had so much...
    Leslie_M
    , May 2022
    My dad and I had so much fun, definitely recommended. You get to hear about Chicago structure deeply and the view is amazing from the boat.
    star-5
    A must do !
    Mohil_S
    , May 2022
    awesome narration on the ship by the presenter !!! great views of Chicago skyline from multiple angles as well as next to Navy Pier… overall, a must do!!
    star-5
    Excellent Architectural History Tour
    Sterling_H
    , May 2022
    The tour guide’s knowledge was incredible. He definitely is an expert in architectural history. Highly recommend this tour for those wanting to know more about Chicago‘a history.
    star-5
    Wonderful tour!
    Kathleen_O
    , May 2022
    Learned something new, even as a long time Chicagoan. Great experience. The bathrooms are clean and cold drinks are available. Stephanie was excellent!
    star-5
    Antonio was an excellent...
    Rabbi_G
    , May 2022
    Antonio was an excellent guide: knowledgeable, personable, and funny! It was an excellent tour!! I highly recommend it!!
    star-5
    A must when in Chicago.
    Michelle_W
    , May 2022
    A must do when in Chicago!! Loved the history they provided but also it was a relaxing way to explore the city and have a sip of a cocktail end enjoy the views.

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