Read what other Viator.com travelers think about the Chicago City Tour and Chicago River Cruise. What they loved, what they liked and what they think could be improved, it's all here to help you make the most of your next trip.
Under normal circumstances this tour would be given 5 stars for its content, length, and value for money. Unfortunately, when we arrived at the pick up point for the tour, We and another group could not join the tour bus as it was full. The tour guide could not have been more apologetic and helpful, and we were guaranteed seats on a later tour and given compensatory vouchers in the meantime. We were in the fortunate position of being able to return later. This might not have been the case under other circumstances, in which case the experience would have been a total disappointment. The operator should either ensure tours are not overbooked or have contingencies for handling extra people.
the tour guides were excellent - especially the one on the river covering architecture. There was much confusion on transferring from one bus to another - better coordination is needed. Also, it would be beneficial to offer transportation from the boat back to original dropoff. At least giving a walking map would help out of towners.
Both tours were very interesting with the River Cruise the better of the two. Although the tour guide for the City Tour was personable enough he tried way too hard to try to personalize many of the sights to his personal life and experiences and not enough to the actual history and social significance of the interest points. As an example, when touring the area near the University of Chicago he was quick to point out where the Obama's go for pizza (as if this is of some interest) while he had to be asked about the work done on the atomic and where it was done at the University. He also was far too political in some of commentary during the tour as if some of the things he talked about were assumed to be universally popular among his audience. The tour guide for the River Architecture Cruise was knowledgable, had an excellent delivery and seemed to be genuinely interested in imparting information and snippets of minutia to the group.
We were told we would be picked up at the Palmer House, we did not know we had to go inside to the greyhound office and check in. Also a little confusing as to how to get to the River cruise. It was packed by the time we got there and we could not sit together. But the tours were great and we especially enjoyed the River Cruise once we found the boat.
With all the competing tours on the river there were alot of boats out there, but this tour also provided refressments (Free) and the tour guide made it enjoyable.
City tour very informative, but some sites were just too far away to view..ie church..only saw the steeple in the distance. River cruise.. awesome
The City Tour was not worth it. But the River Cruise made up for it!
You would be better off doing the Hop on Hop off bus then the cruise seperately
Great tour, the only downside was the rude women driver on the trolley bus that connected the main tour to the boat tour.
Everything was great until I gave my bus driver a tip. He almost expected it. Also, I thought I was going to be brought back to the hotel from the boat ride. I was sadly mistaken.
All in all a very recommendable tour. The tour guide was quite knowledgeable and explained all interesting points one could see during the tour.
I really enjoyed the tour but there were times that I had difficulty understanding the bus driver/tour guide. Sometimes he would move too fast from one item to another. The boat tour was excellent! Excellent speaker with a microphone which was easy to hear and the food and beverages on the boat was a really nice touch!
Chicago river trip was very enjoyable. Regret that the tour of the South of Chicago was not so interesting. Not the fault of the tour operator, just the location. Regret that we were not picked up from our hotel as the bus had arrived 10 minutes early and left without us. Had to get taxi to pick up point at our expense!!
The river tour was outstanding. The docent was knowlegable and entertaining. The river architecture was amazing.
The bus tour sucked. Could barely hear guide and bus went fast. The garden tour wasn't much. Would never recommend bus tour to anyone.
The ladies checking folks in were friendly, prompt and informative. This was also true for the city tour driver and tour guide. There was lots to see in the first ninety minutes. The river cruise was the best. Our guide was very informative and knowledgable with humor added in. One area to work on is the transfer from the city tour to the cruise. A Greyhound bus picked us up but did not know where to drop us for the river cruise. He ended dropping us about 1/2 mile from the cruise and could not tell which way to go. We barely made the cruise.
It was great! But between land n cruise tour...they drove as @12pm to cruise pl. and waited for two hours without having lunch!! ...
first pt of the tour was not worth the second pt was much more interesting - you are better with the Hop on and off
Was a bit fraught going from one tour to another. We did get help from the operator but missed the boat that we were due to go on which made it a very long day without a break for food
We had to look for the local agent for the bus tour, anxious moments. No complimentary drop off after boat tour. Tours were great, but not happy with the local agents
The trip was a disaster! Our hotel pickup bus never arrived despite a panic phone call to the Tour Company assuring us that the bus was still in transit to pick us up. We finally took a taxi to the departure point. We were eventually reimbursed for the carfare ($10). We booked the South Side Tour and instead ended up on the North Side Tour. No big deal because we enjoyed it anyway but the tour organizers blew the booking. The boat tour was great.
The tours itself were good, getting there was a challenge. We were suppose to get picked up at our hotel, but that didn't happen. However, we were reimbursed for the taxi fare. It was unclear to us that when the bus tour was over, we were suppose to get onto another bus to take us to the pier for the river cruise. We missed our scheduled river cruise and waited 25 minutes for another bus to bring us to the pier. An apologetic agent waited with us until we were picked up. The slip of paper we were given did not indicate what boat tour we're suppose to get on. The bus driver told us to walk to the end of the pier. The picture on the website showed what looked like a yacht. We ended up on a small boat for the archictectural tour, which was excellent. Because of this experience, I would not use this local tour operator again.
The bus tour was disorganized and very hard to find at the Palmer House. The bus was enclosed so we could not see much (no double decker). The boat ride was excellent; I would recommend just doing the boat tour.
tour started late, problems with bus, driver was also guide and was less than enthusiastic about describing the sights. Didn't even bother wtih the boat part after the bus experience.