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Chicago Architectural River Cruise

Badge of ExcellenceChicago, United States
  • 1 hour 30 minutes (approx.)
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English


See the towers, piers and iconic landmarks along the Chicago River on an architectural cruise through the heart of the city. Enjoy complimentary refreshments on deck as you cruise down the historic waterway, while listening to fun stories and facts throughout the tour. Spot gargoyles that keep watch high above the city, and buildings that range from Neoclassical to Art Deco. Take in over fifty sites from Lake Point Tower to the Navy Pier, and see the Second City from the water.
  • Architecture-focused boat tour on the Chicago River
  • Spot the architectural gems of the city
  • Learn about local history and culture
  • See a different side of Chicago
  • Tour is wheelchair accesible

Why Travelers Choose This Tour

Enjoy beverages and treats while you learn about architecture on this Chicago River cruise.

What's Included

  • Complimentary non-alcoholic beverages
  • Live commentary on board
  • Gratuities
  • Beer and wine (available for purchase)

Meeting And Pickup

Meeting point

  • 465 N McClurg Ct
    465 N McClurg Ct, Chicago, IL 60611, USA

    Address is 465 N. McClurg Court (on a hidden branch of the Chicago River called the "Ogden Slip") behind Pinstripes Cafe Please note we are not located at Navy Pier. There is street parking on Illinois. The ticket office is no more than 300 feet from the vessels.

End point

This activity ends back at the meeting point.

What To Expect

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Minimum drinking age is 21 years
  • Refunds will not be issued if tour/activity is missed due to late or non-arrival of cruise ship
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 100 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.

about cancellations.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

Q:What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during Chicago Architectural River Cruise?

A:The policies on face masks and attendee health are:
  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas

Q:What is the policy on sanitization during Chicago Architectural River Cruise?

A:The policies on sanitization are:
  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas

Q:What is the social distancing policy during Chicago Architectural River Cruise?

A:The policy on social distancing is:
  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience

Q:What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during Chicago Architectural River Cruise?

A:The policy on staff health & safety is:
  • Regular temperature checks for staff

Traveler Photos

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Traveler Tips

I would recommend doing this cruise at night so you ca see the lights of the city.
Definitely pay attn to their directions as they are NOT on Navy Pier.
These boats definitely need to seat everyone on the upper level.
719 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
Reviews by Viator travelers.
Showing 1-10 of 719 reviews
I will take this tour...
Meagan_M, Oct 2021
I will take this tour every time I’m in Chicago! Everything about the experience was great! Take this tour, you won’t regret it.
It was a very good time. ...
Gladys_R, Oct 2021
It was a very good time. Very comfortable and very well explained by the guide. Always when my family come from my country I take them to different hours and this one is always my # 1
Local tourist
Olivia_P, Oct 2021
I make it a point to take this tour every year to see what is new in Chicago lake/river front architecture. It never disappoints. I recommend that every Chicagoan should do this. You learn very interesting things about our wonderful city.
Taste of Chicago
Tonya_J, Sep 2021
Knowledgeable & professional staff. The buildings were unbelievable and the history lesson was great.
My daughter is attending...
Justin_C, Sep 2021
My daughter is attending college in Chicago for architecture and for her birthday we felt it would be fun to take the river boat tour, we were not disappointed
Very informative
Gloria_R, Sep 2021
The Docent was fabulous, she knew so much about all the buildings. Wish the boat had gone a little slower to get photos. A simple map with street names next to the river & a building name would be a great add so we could go back at street level & explore more. Thanks for a great tour, rain & all!
Well organized.
David_H, Aug 2021
Very knowledgable and enthusiastic narrator. Boat clean and well organized. Easy to book the tickets and find the dock.
Small Boat, long ride.
Nancy_G, Aug 2021
The history of the buildings, the nice view, the smooth boat ride, the care was nice. I wouldn't recommended to go on this tour with kids.
1 traveler found this review helpful
Bad service
Kim_F, Aug 2021
Worse customer service ever. There is not a live person to talk to. Everything is done by email and they never answered my emails. There is also no phone number.
Wonderful tour with a guide that really knows his City
Lanita_S, Aug 2021
The 12:00 guide was so knowledgeable and amazing. You could tell he loves architecture and Chicago. His explanations, descriptions, and subtle humor make this tour a winner.
Birthday Gift
Vianney_F, Aug 2021
Loved the narrator and the buildings we we’re learning about. Great gift for my mother! It was also a beautiful day
Need better clarity on how to get to dock.
Daniel_H, Aug 2021
I was pointed in so many directions trying to get to the boat i missed boarding by 5 minutes. You need ti provide better clarity getting to dock. I had to purchase tickets for another Architectural boat tour, it was my wife's birthday and didn't want her disappointed.
May_Y, Jul 2021
Was good overall except it took my husband and I awhile to find parking and the location of where the boat was
Cool Chicago River Cruise
Cheryl_M, Jul 2021
Knowledgeable tour guide of history of Chicago building architecture. Pleasant cruise up / down the Chicago River with excellent visibility.
Recommendable experience
Liliana_S, Jul 2021
Learning the history behind all of the buildings and how much the guide knew about Chicago and how she was very passionate about.
great your
Brian, Jul 2021
Great your. Great views and information about the buildings. Would recommend. Worth the money. Very smooth experience.
Best Thing To Do In Chicago
Mark_W, Jul 2021
The ride was great, the views better and the narration the best! I truly enjoyed the experience and if you only do one thing while in Chicago, go on this tour.
Spectacular Chicago
Kelley, Jul 2021
Our tour guide was filled with knowledge of history and future Chicago! We enjoyed this tour so much and have amazing photos to share. Thank you!
Not going back
Gary_J, Jul 2021
People next to us talked the entire time. They were loud and rude. Crew did nothing about it. We couldn’t hear the guide.
Definitely do this!
Charlotte_T, Jun 2021
Our guide was so knowledgeable and skilled at timing just what she said, obviously personally interested in the architecture she described. Doing this at the beginning of our visit made us notice details across the city the rest of the time we were here.


Product code: 32280P1