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Chicago Architecture River Cruise

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Chicago, United States
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Book online or call: (888) 651-9785(888) 651-9785
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Free Cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance
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icon1 hour 15 minutes  (Approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English and 1 more

Keeping you safe during COVID-19
What you can expect during your visit
Face masks required for travelers in public areas
Face masks required for guides in public areas
Social distancing enforced throughout experience
Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
Contactless payments for gratuities and add-ons
More questions?
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Overview

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).
  • 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 architecture
  • See more than 40 buildings including 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 riverboat 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.

Your cruise ends at its starting point.
Itinerary
Stop At:  
Chicago River
Cruise takes place on the Chicago River
Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Pass By:  
Chicago Skyline
Enjoy an amazing view of the city's skyline
Pass By:  
Chicago Board of Trade Building
An art deco masterpiece, this is the home of many of the city's financial movers and shakers.
Pass By:  
Wrigley Building
This white, terra-cotta landmark was built in 1922 as headquarters for the Wrigley chewing gum company.
Pass By:  
Navy Pier
50 acres of parks, promenades, gardens, shops, eateries and attractions, including a 15-story Ferris wheel.
Pass By:  
Illinois Center
This mixed-used building is notable in that the streets running through it have three levels.
Pass By:  
Skydeck Chicago - Willis Tower
Tallest building in the Western Hemisphere
Pass By:  
Tribune Tower
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.
Pass By:  
Merchandise Mart
The largest commercial building in the world. First two floors are essentially a mall, and the rest is business offices
Pass By:  
Marina City
Unique architecture for a building complex as its own self-contained community.
Pass By:  
Lake Point Tower
A high-rise residential building located on a promontory of the Lake Michigan lakefront
Pass By:  
333 West Wacker Drive
Noted for its reflection of the curves of the Chicago River
Pass By:  
The East Bank Club
A health club with 450,000 square feet of space
Pass By:  
The Lyric Opera House
Well-known opera company puts on lavish performances in this massive Art Deco Civic Opera House.
Pass By:  
Citicorp Center
Located between Clinton and Canal Streets on Madison Street, the structure was designed in a late modernist style.
Pass By:  
360 Chicago Observation Deck
Located on the 94th floor of the John Hancock Center
Pass By:  
John Hancock Center
The John Hancock Center, is a 100-story, 1,128-foot supertall skyscraper
Pass By:  
London Guarantee Building
The London Guarantee Building or London Guaranty & Accident Building is a historic 1923 commercial skyscraper
Pass By:  
Historic Water Tower
Chicago-focused gallery, specializing in photos, inside a 19th-century Gothic limestone landmark.
Pass By:  
Chicago Architecture Center
The Chicago Architecture Center is home to a 4,000-building scale model of Chicago
Pass By:  
Chicago Cultural Center
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.
Pass By:  
Millennium Park
Located within Grant Park, Millennium Park is home to Cloud Gate, or "the bean."
Pass By:  
Buckingham Fountain
Chicago's landmark is considered one of America's finest fountains due to its Beaux-Arts-style landscape design, finely wrought bronze sculpture and innovative use of technology.
Pass By:  
Chicago Riverwalk
A continuous walkway connecting the lakefront with the heart of downtown.
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 Architecture 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
See all safety measures taken by Chicago Architecture River Cruise.
Q:
What is the policy on sanitization during Chicago Architecture River Cruise?
A:
The policy on sanitization is:

  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
See all safety measures taken by Chicago Architecture River Cruise.
Q:
What is the social distancing policy during Chicago Architecture River Cruise?
A:
The policies on social distancing are:

  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
  • Contactless payments for gratuities and add-ons
See all safety measures taken by Chicago Architecture River Cruise.
Q:
What is the maximum group size during Chicago Architecture River Cruise?
A:
This activity will have a maximum of 250 travelers.

See all safety measures taken by Chicago Architecture River Cruise.

Traveler Photos

Reviews

5.0
star-5
4,329 Reviews
5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
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1 star
Reviews by Viator travelers
star-5
Architecture boat tour
Crina_F
, Aug 2020
My boyfriend and I had such a great experience with the architecture boat tour and our tour guide was so awesome that he made the tour way more enjoyable than it already was. We highly recommend this tour and would totally do it again
star-5
Witty Guider
Mur
, Aug 2020
The tour speaker/guide was knowledgeable and witty. He made the tour fun. I am surprised I learned so much. (Those water tanks at the top of that building) The bartender was great and th drinks were delicious.
star-5
A Must Do River Boat Tour
Cheryl_H
, Aug 2020
An outstanding tour with Kevin as guide. He’s very knowledgeable and a great storyteller. We had perfect seats to view all the architecture.
star-5
Wow!
Morgan_P
, Aug 2020
Jake was great!! So knowledgeable & sweet! Great sights to see. Great drinks. Im from Houston so it was perfect for us!
star-5
Guide was excellent. Trip and Captain were as well.
Robin_M
, Aug 2020
Guide was excellent. Trip and Captain were as well. Really enjoyable. Bar on board helped too. Highly recommend.
star-5
Great cruise and Knowledgeable guide
Kiran_W
, Aug 2020
Great cruise ! It was worth the price we paid . The guide was very knowledgeable. Tour started on time.
star-5
Great tour
Kylie_W
, Aug 2020
David was a great Tour guide!! If you’re looking for a relaxing but informative tour of Chicago, this one is it.
star-5
Tour is a 10
Lakecia_
, Aug 2020
Kevin our tour guide was very knowledgeable about the architecture of Downtown Chicago. My Boyfriend and I truly enjoyed this tour. We would definitely do this same tour again
star-4
Great tour! Need more mask enforcement
eld
, Aug 2020
The tour itself was amazing. Our guide was engaging and friendly, and it was a relaxing way to spend the evening. Well worth the ticket price. Go on the 6:45pm tour! The golden hour/pink skies were *chefs kiss* However, the minimum effort of enforcement of the mask policy onboard left me frustrated. It was announced several times that all guests should have masks on for the duration of the tour, and only one time did I see someone personally approached and asked to put their mask on. Half the boat wasn’t wearing masks and no one did anything about it. This was our first trip “out” after staying in since the pandemic began, and it was extremely disappointing to see how many people think the rules don’t apply to them. Probably our own fault for going out too early. But fair warning to all rule-following mask wearers — you won’t be in good company on this tour.
star-5
Great boat tour
Cathy_L
, Aug 2020
Narrator was very knowledgeable and personable! Answered any questions and gave lots of insight to the city

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