Water activity

Chicago: 1.5-Hour Lake and River Architecture Cruise

Chicago: 1.5-Hour Lake and River Architecture Cruise

Activity provider: Wendella Tours & Cruises
Likely to sell out
Likely to sell out

From US$ 42 per person

Skip the ticket line for Chicago’s only architecture cruise on both Lake Michigan and the Chicago River. Learn about Chicago's internationally-known architecture from expert local guides as you discover the city from riverfront to shoreline.

About this activity

Free cancellation
Cancel up to 24 hours in advance to receive a full refund
Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures apply. Learn more
Reserve now & pay later
Reserve now & pay later to book your spot without any charges today. Learn more
Duration 1.5 hours
Check availability to see starting times.
Skip the ticket line
Live tour guide
English

Experience

Highlights
  • Learn from expert tour guides about what makes Chicago's architecture so amazing
  • Choose between outside deck-top or indoor climate-controlled seating on world-class vessels
  • Journey through the legendary Chicago Lock, linking Lake Michigan with the Chicago River
  • Pre-purchase your ticket to skip the ticket line and guarantee your place on this often-sold-out tour
  • Enjoy a full service cash bar featuring authentic Chicago products, including local beer and spirits, and Garrett’s Popcorn
Full description

Experience an architecture cruise along the Chicago River and Lake Michigan, a family tradition since 1935. Admire Chicago’s historic and ever-changing skyline with a local expert guide as you cruise through the city.

Choose between the open-air decks or the comfort of the climate-controlled interiors during the cruise. Start the cruise at Michigan Avenue (DuSable) bridge and go up the main branch of the Chicago River to Wolf Point before heading back past the Chicago Riverwalk towards Lake Michigan.

Learn about historic skyscrapers like the Wrigley Building and the Tribune Tower, the deco Merchandise Mart, mid-century skyscrapers like the Mies Van der Rohe AMA Building, the circular Marina City Towers, the AON Center, and modernist structures like Aqua, Trump Tower, Nuveen, and the Vista Tower.

After passing through the Chicago Lock and cruising past Navy Pier, admire the Chicago skyline from Lake Michigan, one of the largest bodies of fresh water in the world. Here you can also see the twin super-skyscrapers, the famous Willis (formerly Sears) Tower, and the John Hancock Building.

See the majesty of Grant Park with its famous Buckingham Fountain, and iconic Chicago venues such as Soldier’s Field, Adler Planetarium, and the Shedd Aquarium. Enjoy several vantage points for memorable pictures throughout, and finally arrive back at Du Sable Bridge on Michigan Avenue.

Includes
  • 1.5-hour cruise on the Chicago River and Lake Michigan
  • Local expert tour guide
  • Choice of outdoor deck or interior, climate-controlled seating
  • 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

Present your timed ticket to a uniformed employee standing at the top of the stairs at the northwest corner of the Michigan Avenue (DuSable) Bridge; they will guide you to the correct dock for your cruise time.

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Important information

What to bring

  • Sun hat
  • Face mask or protective covering

Not allowed

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

Know before you go

  •  Passengers can bring their own non-alcoholic beverages and food
  •  This tour lasts about 90 minutes, but can run slightly longer in high summer when the Chicago lock is busy
  •  Vessels include restrooms with diaper changing tables, a cash bar, and climate control
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.8 /5

based on 351 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
    4.9/5
  • Transportation
    4.8/5
  • Value for money
    4.8/5

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Star rating:

Very good organization to board, with the digital coupon of the GetYourGuide app it is very easy for them to scan your ticket, the guide is very good, the stories of architecture and trivia are very entertaining and interesting, spectacular views, it has a bar on board, security, good attention, I loved it

April 22, 2022

Great way to see the city. I'm glad we chose the river and lake combined tour so we got to see the buildings up close and then the skyline. We sat on the lower level and only realized afterwards that it was designated for people who didn't want to pay as close attention to the tour/were talking so I wish we had known that before (but it was in the shade so not all bad). This is definitely worth the price - one of the highlights of my weekend in Chicago.

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April 12, 2022

Absolutely fantastic boat excursion on the Chicago River! Very nice boat with a great crew eager to please! Bar service was excellent and the narration of the buildings and surrounding area was so informative. The guide also added local historical facts to the narration which was a great added bonus. I would highly recommend this cruise and this company for your Chicago River experience!

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October 31, 2021

Product ID: 293160