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Cruise down the Chicago River to see the city's famous architecture on this 75-minute tour. With commentary from your onboard guide, watch the spectacular skyline glide by, including more than 40 notable buildings like the Aon Center, 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).

Highlights

  • Architecture cruise down the historic Chicago River
  • 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 the Aon Center
  • Discover the major events that helped shape the architectural history of Chicago

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Chicago Architecture River Cruise

Architecture River Cruise in Chicago

Make your way to either Navy Pier or Michigan Avenue for your cruise departure. Board your river boat and find a comfortable seat on one of the decks; 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 75-minute 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 the Aon Center, the John Hancock Center, the Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower) the Wrigley Building and the IBM Building. 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. 

Please see the Itinerary section below for a full list of buildings on the tour.

Itinerary

Customer Reviews

Souvik S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2017

Excellent value for mone

Lisa M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2016

We picked this tour based on reviews and were quite pleased. They were friendly and very efficient about getting people through ticketing, boarding and disembarking quickly while emphasizing safety. They were ready to accommodate my limited mobility. The tour leader was funny and amazingly, the sound system let us hear every word-- not common on other tours we have taken. They quickly took pictures but there was no pressure to buy them our picture was very good, so we did. There was some difficulty finding and getting to the right dock but they had no control over that. We took a taxi but I don't think there was any parking around. The taxi turnout is great for getting people in and out quickly, so we would recommend you also come by taxi. We were lucky to have good weather for this tour in Oct. There is a point where you are out on the lake which got quite chilly, even on a balmy afternoon. Bring a jacket or otherwise dress slightly warmer than required in downtown Chicago, whenever you come. I don't know how this compares to other tours, but I highly recommend this one.

allan

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2016

This was awesome! Super informative and definitely a different perspective of the city that you won't get just driving or walking around. Bring a jacket!

Dennis H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2016

We had beautiful weather...a gorgeous City to see...the architecture is phenomenal. Every one was
courteous and our 10 year old Grandson listened to our guide and was entertained the whole trip.
We couldn't finish all the tours we had planned on taking. There is SO much to do i Chicago. Thank
you for this great City experience.

Brenda S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2016

We were thrilled with the tour!! Everyone told us not to miss this tour, they were so right.
Everyone should go on this cruise when they are in Chicago!!!

Robert E

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2016

Very well organized and the guide was quite knowledgeable about all aspects of the city's architecture and the persons behind the various buildings we saw. Highly recommend this tour great value for the price.

John W

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2016

Excellent!

Rachel M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2016

Really fun, our tour guide was intelligent and funny.

Andrew P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2016

On time well rehearsed and knowledgeable guide. I was on the competitors tour....no comparison. This is MUCH better

Bridget L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2016

This tour was amazing. I saw so much. I would recommend that anyone who has never been to Chicago to take this River tour Cruise because you will see a lot and it was well worth while. The young man that hosted the Architectural tour was very knowledgeable and that is what really made the tour so amazing. He deserves a promotion. I wish I could have remembered his name. I was very pleased. You will not be disappointed for going on this tour.

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