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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). Your ticket also includes a one-way water taxi pass valid any time during the year’s water taxi season.
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 admire world-famous architecture
See more than 40 buildings including the John Hancock Center, 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.
Make your way to either Navy Pier or Michigan Avenue for your cruise departure. Board your river boat 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.
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.
The Chicago Cultural Center is the nation's first free municipal cultural center and one of the most visited attractions in Chicago. The stunning landmark building, opened in 1897 as the city's first public library, is home to two magnificent stained-glass domes.
A different way to enjoy the Chicago River and the skyline
, Dec 2019
If you want to learn a little about Chicago's history and origins, its architecture and take a nice little cruise along the river, this is the way to do it. Make sure to get there early to start lining up for boarding so you have a shot at getting the seat(s) you want. There are plenty, but it does get crowded so if you have a big group who all wants to stay together, the earlier the better! (We didn't, but we saw several groups who had to split up a bit. But some nice people offered to switch their seats to try and help accommodate them. That was nice to see.)
The commentator was fantastic! He clearly has a passion for architecture and Chicago. He a hared a tremendous amount of knowledge in a fun way in a short period of time. You won’t regret spending your money and giving them a tip. Thanks for sharing a bit of Chicago with us!!
I took my two daughters on the river cruise and found it to be enjoyable, interesting and fully engaged in The beautiful landscape of Chicago's Riverfront. The girls, 11 and 19 both enjoyed the cruise and were able to take excellent pictures and learn some interesting facts about the area. I recommend it to Future visitors.
I was unable to find the right dock where cruise was scheduled to depart. I was directed to 4 different Chicago Architecture River Cruise sites. By the time I made it to the correct one my cruise had already left. BETTER directions would have been helpful. I was unaware that there are MULTIPLE cruises with the same name. I LOST MY MONEY because there were not clear directions. From the shore it looked like it would have been a beautiful cruise.