Water activity

Chicago River: 1.5-Hour Guided Architecture Cruise

Chicago River: 1.5-Hour Guided Architecture Cruise

Activity provider: Wendella Tours & Cruises

From US$ 42 per person

Experience Chicago’s legendary architecture from the best seat in the house: the river. Enjoy a comprehensive tour with a live fun guide as you navigate through the heart of the city covering all 3 branches of the Chicago River.

About this activity

Free cancellation
Cancel up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund
Reserve now & pay later
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Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures are in place. Check your activity voucher once you book for full details. Learn more
Duration 1.5 hours
Check availability to see starting times.
Skip the ticket line
Live tour guide
English

Experience

Highlights
  • Pre-purchase your ticket to skip the ticket line and guarantee your place on this popular cruise
  • Experience the architectural river tour which started it all – back in 1935
  • Enjoy year-long cruising with a choice of outside deck-top or indoor climate-controlled seating
  • Learn from expert tour guides the importance of Chicago’s architecture and how it has developed over the years
  • Enjoy true Chicago hospitality with locally sourced food and drinks available at a full service cash bar
Full description

Experience more of Chicago by boat than on any other architectural cruise. See architectural highlights and enjoy an open-air deck or climate-controlled interior as you travel the main River and its north and south branches.

View all of Chicago's architectural highlights during this comprehensive sightseeing tour. Be entertained by the expert and friendly tour guides as they explain the 130 year-long history behind the skyline, while bartenders and staff keep you comfortable with refreshments.  Choose between the fresh air of the open-air decks or enjoy the comfort of the climate-controlled interiors during your cruise. The tour starts at the Michigan Avenue (DuSable) bridge and goes up the main branch of the Chicago River past Wolf Point.

It then cruises along the north and south branches of the river, before heading back past the Chicago Riverwalk towards Lake Michigan. On the way, learn about ornate, historic early skyscrapers like the Wrigley Building and the Tribune Tower, the imposing art deco Merchandise Mart, mid-century skyscrapers like the Mies Van der Rohe AMA Building.

Don't miss the circular Marina City Towers, the majestic Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower and the tallest building in Chicago) the soaring AON Center, and more modernist structures like Aqua, Trump Tower, Nuveen, and the new Vista Tower. During your cruise, have the opportunity to enjoy a full-service cash bar featuring authentic Chicago products, including local beer and spirits, and Garrett’s Popcorn.

Don’t forget to take a selfie at the Grand Staircase at the front of the boat or pose for photos at the picturesque stern or bow of this classic vessel.

Includes
  • 1.5-hour cruise
  • Boat trip along the main, north, south river
  • Access to open deck
  • Access to climate-conditioned interior deck
  • Local expert tour guide
  • Beverages and snacks (available for purchase onboard)
  • Gratuities
Covid-19 precautions
Safety measures in place
  • All areas that customers touch are frequently cleaned

Select participants and date

Participants

Date

Meeting point

The closest address to most docks is 400 N Michigan Avenue, Chicago (near the Wrigley Building). From there, you can check in with a dock employee who can direct you to your boarding area.

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Important information

What to bring

  • Sun hat

Not allowed

  • Pets (assistance dogs allowed)
  • Weapons or sharp objects
  • Alcohol and drugs

Know before you go

  • Children under 4 years of age are free
  • Seats on the decks are chosen on a first-come, first-serve basis
  • All bags are subject to search
  • Vessels include restrooms with diaper changing tables, cash bar, and climate control
  • Passengers can bring their own non-alcoholic beverages and food
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.8 /5

based on 1728 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
    4.8/5
  • Transportation
    4.8/5
  • Value for money
    4.7/5

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Star rating:

It was a little cold, but really cold when the boat was going. They have a super warm internal area with chairs and tables to sit and buy a drink. You can’t easily see architecture from there or any part of first level. You have to sit on the top- which was almost packed 15min before take off time.

September 30, 2022

Scheduling was easy by physical access was a little difficult since I am slightly handicap and no elevator was possible to get down to the site but that was my fault for not checking ahead or time. Everyone on the cruise boat was wonderful in accommodating me. The tour guide was fantastic and funny and she was very informative. The ride was smooth and the areas covered was fantastic. Thank you thank you thank you. I’m actually planning to do the same tour again but to take advantage of the sunset cruise with 3 of my Sista girls who are also a little physically challenged but we’ll figure it out since this will be well worth it. Our trip to Florida was slightly canceled because of a little hurricane so we had to reroute and plan to be here. So looking forward to spending time with y’all again this weekend Where we are celebrating our 60ish birthdays although we don’t look a day over 21 ha ha ha.

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September 28, 2022

Good but not great because it is as most of you would expect an activity for the masses which lacks any personal touches or attention. Also in my opinion these attractions should have a dedicated parking. I paid $55 for the 2 hours I spend there so add that cost to your ticket. Also…. No elevator or other means to get someone disabled like me down to the pier. I had to find a way to go down and up about 50 stairs in heavy rain…Good way to see the architecture, but they should put a bit more effort into it.

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August 30, 2022

Product ID: 290485