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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

On the Chicago architecture cruise, you will see and learn about the following landmarks:
  • Navy Pier
  • Lake Point Tower
  • Aon Center
  • John Hancock Center
  • Cityfront Center
  • Illinois Center
  • NBC Tower
  • Chicago Tribune Tower
  • London Guarantee Building333 North Michigan Building
  • 401 North Michigan
  • Wrigley Building
  • 35 East Wacker
  • Leo Burnett Building
  • IBM Building
  • Marina City
  • RR Donnelley Center
  • LaSalle-Wacker Building
  • 222 North LaSalle
  • Central Office Building
  • Merchandise Mart
  • 333 West Wacker, Montgomery Ward Complex
  • River Cottages, Merchandise Mart
  • Fulton House
  • 225 West Wacker
  • Boeing World Headquarters
  • Civic Opera Building
  • AT&T Corporate Center
  • USG Building
  • Riverside Plaza
  • Citicorp Center
  • Willis Tower (Sears Tower)
  • Chicago Board of Trade
  • Central US Post Office
  • US Post Office Central Processing and Distribution Center
  • 311 South Wacker
  • River City

Customer Reviews

Gary S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

We took the river cruise based on recommendations from two people. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable and entertaining. Be sure to not miss this tour. It's a great way to see the city!

David S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

This tour was awesome! So informative and a beautiful day to cruise along the Chicago River. Boat has bathrooms and full bar as well!

naihong c

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

The tour guide is fantastic! He did a very good job.

Bridetoobe22

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

everything was great minus we had to rescheduled our original date we chose due to the cold weather and all the rain.

Mark P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

Very nice tour of the buildings. Live about 2 hours away have been to Chicago many times and learned a lot about the surroundings. It was nice to have a person guiding the tour.

Bob M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

Our guide did a great job. Very informative cruise and a must for anyone visiting Chicago.

Diana B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

Excellent tour. Informative and specific about the spectacular engineering and architectural flavor of the city. The vessel was comfortable and clean, staff was pleasant.

Donna T

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

A great experience! Our guide Kevin was knowledgeable about the Chicago buildings and history.
He also was quite entertaining. A must do for anyone visiting Chicago. Great time!!!

Milissa S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

Such a wonderful river tour. Made me feel like I knew Chicago so much better while walking around the city!

Grant G

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

It was awesome. The tour guide gave us a lot of interesting information and he was very entertaining. We strongly recommend this tour for both locals and tourists alike .

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