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Chicago Architecture River Cruise

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Chicago, United States

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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?
(888) 651-9785

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.
Guided architecture cruise of the historic Chicago River
Live commentary on board
Drinks (available for purchase)

Departure Point

401 N Michigan Ave Suite 3400, Chicago, IL 60611, USA

Return Details

Returns to original departure point
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.
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • All boats have full restrooms and some have a full bar
  • Some boats are single deck vessels, the type of vessel you are placed on cannot be guaranteed
  • Wheelchairs or other walking assistance equipment are not provided.
  • Tour times cannot be changed.
  • Near public transportation
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 250 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Shoreline Sightseeing

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

Learn more about cancellations.

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

Traveler Tips


  • "Most of the boat is exposed, so make sure to wear appropriate attire in the case of rain or direct sunlight." See review
  • "Do not forget sunscreen and hat if sunny and warm." See review
  • "Dress well if you do this in the winter, it is surprisingly colder on the river!" See review

Reviews

5.0
star-5
4,452 Reviews
5 stars
3,832
4 stars
483
3 stars
71
2 stars
32
1 star
34
Reviews by Viator travelers
Showing 1-10 of 4,452 reviews
star-5
Awesome experience
latisha_l
, Sep 2020
It was a lot of fun. Our tour guide was very experienced he knew so much about building's and floors etc etc our overall experience was a 5 star experience. Sorry I don't remember the awesome tour guide guy name!
star-4
A thorough presentation about Chicago architecture
John_T
, Sep 2020
Kevin did a good job in presenting an extensive amount of information about the historical and current day architectural landscape in Chicago. The closing harmonica and song were a great finish.
star-5
Beautiful Tour Historical Chicago
Carolyn
, Sep 2020
The tour was a excellent one The guide was really knowledgeable I like how he delivered the information. I was put on for an earlier time I wasn't able to take a boarding photo
star-5
Best tour to get to know the city
Min_Y
, Sep 2020
The guide was so knowledgeable and it was beyond my expectation. I got off the boat knowing more about Chicago and amazing architecture in the city. Highly recommend to those visiting town.
star-5
Awesome!
JAC
, Sep 2020
The tour was wonderful!! The guide was so knowledgeable and also offered to answer questions one on one. We really enjoyed the tour and learned a great deal about Chicago.
star-5
Hard to find but great tour
Elizabeth_S
, Sep 2020
The directions to load on the boat were wrong and confusing for someone from out of town. The tour itself was excellent. The guide was really impressive in both knowledge and delivery.
star-5
Historical, Beautiful Tour with Excellent Guide
Roger
, Sep 2020
If you love architecture or not this is a fantastic experience. Our tour guide was very enthusiastic and knowledgeable.
star-4
Nighttime is the right time!
Marilyn
, Sep 2020
Awesome tour! Friendly staff and great drinks! The nighttime tour is impressive. My only complaint is for our host should speak louder.
star-4
Great views
Ravindra
, Sep 2020
Great architechure tour about the city, Nice views of the city, If anyone is interested in looking around the city, this is the best option
star-5
A getaway to exhale...in the pandemic
Annette_S
, Sep 2020
It was a warm day of 84 degrees and the experience was exhilarating. The staff was kind and courteous. Social distancing was practiced, we were a little nervous about that.

Product code: 5580ARC

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