Chicago
River & Harbor Cruises

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Our most recommended Chicago River & Harbor Cruises

  • Chicago River: 1.5-Hour Guided Architecture Cruise

    1. Chicago River: 1.5-Hour Guided Architecture Cruise

    Experience more of Chicago than on any other architectural cruise as you travel not only the main Chicago River but also the North Branch of the river (as far as the Old Montgomery Ward Building) and the South Branch of the river (nearly as far as Chinatown). 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, and cruises along the north and south branches of the river, before heading back past the Chicago Riverwalk toward...

    The tour was great. The only problem was when my wife and I were checking in and the young man said that my ticket was invalid. The only reason we were able to go on the tour is that there was another gentleman there who knew that I had already purchased two tickets

  • Chicago: 1.5-Hour Lake and River Architecture Cruise

    2. Chicago: 1.5-Hour Lake and River Architecture Cruise

    Experience the architecture cruise that started it all — a Chicago family tradition since 1935. View Chicago’s historic and ever-changing skyline on Chicago's only architecture tour with views from both directly from the Chicago River, and those only possible from Lake Michigan. During this comprehensive sightseeing tour, all of Chicago's architecture highlights will be viewed, discussed, and experienced. 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 to Wolf Point before heading back past the Chicago Riverwalk towards Lake Michigan. On the way, you will learn about ornate, historic early skyscrapers like the Wrigley Building and the Tribune Tower, the imposing art deco Merchandise Mart, mid-century sky...

    The police were chasing drunken boaters, so the locks were closed to all. We spent a long time in Lake Michigan and still continued the tour of the river after the locks opened again. I think it was more like a 3 hour tour and it was great fun.

  • Chicago: 1.5-Hour Romantic Sunset Cruise

    3. Chicago: 1.5-Hour Romantic Sunset Cruise

    Start your sunset cruise on the Chicago River at Michigan Avenue. Make your way along the main branch of the river towards Lake Michigan before entering the Chicago Locks, a modern engineering marvel, that will transfer the vessel onto the great Lake Michigan. The vessel will cruise along Lake Michigan as the sun sets behind the wonderful skyline offering several amazing views. Your local tour guide will give a very brief commentary along the Chicago River and entrance to Lake Michigan, but most of the 1.5-hour cruise is spent without narration, leaving you to watch the sun put on a beautiful display with the City skyline. Admire the many angles of the Chicago skyline from Lake Michigan, one of the largest bodies of fresh water in the world. Capture magical views of Chicago's twin super-skyscrapers, the famous Willis (formerly Sears) Tower and the John Hancock Building. You'll also ge...

    It was the best price for a river tour and I know sometimes if you pay less you get less but this star was outstanding. I would highly recommend

  • Chicago River Architecture Cruise: Skip-the-Ticket-Office

    4. Chicago River Architecture Cruise: Skip-the-Ticket-Office

    Climb aboard a state-of-the-art cruise vessel for a 60- or 75-minute cruise of all three branches of the Chicago River, and marvel at the architecture that has made the city so legendary. Get an insight into the buildings and engineering of a city that gave birth to the skyscraper and is the spiritual home of modern American architecture. Your expert guide will lead you down the Chicago River to uncover hidden gems, as well the city’s most renowned landmarks, such as the John Hancock building, Trump Tower, and more. Relax with a glass of something cold from the cash bar, as you cruise the Windy City’s waterway, and learn its status as a modern metropolis and one of the world’s most beautiful cities.

    we certainly learned a lot on the boat. Our guide was very knowledgeable and personable and the whole crue made us feel welcomed . i will recommend this short boat ride to anyone interested in history and architecture.

  • Chicago River: 45-Minute Family-Friendly Architecture Cruise

    5. Chicago River: 45-Minute Family-Friendly Architecture Cruise

    Admire Chicago’s impressive architecture from a unique perspective aboard a 45-minute cruise sailing down the Chicago River, which features a full-service cash bar and live commentary tailored to entertain the whole family. Experience the best of the Chicago River from Lakeshore Drive to the Willis Tower, navigating along the South branch of the river, before heading back past the Chicago Riverwalk towards Lake Shore Drive and Lake Michigan. Be entertained by the fun and experienced tour guides as they explain the history behind Chicago’s buildings along the river and the exceptional architects who created this ever-changing skyline. Enjoy the most relaxing way to sightsee in Chicago- a perfect way to explore the city free of traffic noise and congestion. Make sure to visit the full-service cash bar featuring authentic Chicago products, including local beer and spirits. Explore the o...

    We had a great time! Shorter ride was perfect for young kids. Boat was clean and staff was friendly.

  • Chicago Skyline Lake Tour: 40-Minute Sightseeing Cruise

    6. Chicago Skyline Lake Tour: 40-Minute Sightseeing Cruise

    Whether you’re a local or a visitor to the city for the first time, taking in the spectacular views of Chicago's skyline from the lake makes for a perfect outing. This 40-minute Lake Tour takes you on a sightseeing cruise that highlights Chicago's most significant landmarks from beautiful Lake Michigan. You’ll see the city as never before, while listening to informative commentary on Chicago's dramatic history and architectural gems. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the sights as you admire the striking buildings that make up the Chicago skyline that has appeared in so many movies and TV shows.

    The staff on board were very friendly and helpful ! The tour was informative and fun!

  • Chicago: 75-Minute Architecture Cruise by Speedboat

    7. Chicago: 75-Minute Architecture Cruise by Speedboat

    Climb aboard a speedboat for a thrilling 75-minute river and lake cruise of Chicago’s architectural gems. Depart from the former Navy training center of Navy Pier on the shores of Lake Michigan on the only tour to take you from the lakefront. Sail through the locks and along the Chicago River, all the way to the famous Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower). Get up-close to Chicago’s most famous buildings and unique architecture, and enjoy amazing views and an entertaining narration as part of the exciting ride. Learn the fascinating history of buildings such as the neo-Gothic Tribune Tower, the former Sears Tower (now Willis Tower) - the second tallest building in the USA - and the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Cruise the lakefront of Lake Michigan to see monuments and attractions such as Buckingham Fountain, Grant Park, Chicago Harbor, and the Chicago Museum Campus.

    Tour Guide Andy, First Mate Taylor, and Captain Swag made our tour extremely enjoyable!

  • Chicago Fireworks Buffet Dinner Cruise

    8. Chicago Fireworks Buffet Dinner Cruise

    Quite simply, a Spirit dinner cruise is the perfect night out. A magical setting enhanced by dazzling city sights and Lakefront lights. An evening filled to the brim with wonderful cuisine, live music, dancing under a canopy of stars and a spectacular fireworks display over the Chicago skyline. This three-hour dinner cruise this is the ultimate Chicago experience. Menu:  Salads: Organic Mixed Field Greens  Grape Tomatoes | English Cucumbers | Carrots | Corn | Kidney Beans | American Cheddar Cheese | Herb Croutons | House-Made Ranch Dressing | Balsamic Vinaigrette | Low-Fat Italian Dressing Organic Spinach & Kale Salad  Aged Reggiano Parmesan Cheese | Red Bell Peppers | Red Onions | Lemon & Oregano Dressing Roasted Red Beet Salad  Pickled Shallots | Fresh Mint | Italian Parsley Mediterranean Couscous & Chickpea Salad  Scallions | Plum Tomatoes ...

  • Chicago City Mini Bus Tour with Optional Architecture Cruise

    9. Chicago City Mini Bus Tour with Optional Architecture Cruise

    After your hotel pick-up from most downtown Chicago hotels, board your climate-controlled minibus with a small group of twelve people or less. Enjoy the sightseeing tour which has won Chicago's "Concierge Preferred" award several years running.  Your tour begins in the heart of downtown Chicago, at The Loop.  Here you'll see incredible architecture, including the world's first skyscrapers.  You'll even go inside one that features a beautiful lobby designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.  The stop also includes views of The Chicago Board of Trade and the Willis (Sears) Tower. After The Loop, you'll tour through Grant Park, which is known as the city's front yard. The centerpiece of the park is the Buckingham Fountain (operational May to October).  Museum Campus is up next, with three museums, Soldier Field and the most spectacular skyline views in the city.  After a ten minute photo stop, you'll...

    Excellent tour guide, personable, humorous, and knowledgeable. We will certainly highly recommend to friends and family.

  • Chicago Fireworks Premiere Dinner Cruise on Lake Michigan

    10. Chicago Fireworks Premiere Dinner Cruise on Lake Michigan

    Dine aboard our unique boat, the Odyssey, which is designed to provide the ultimate viewing of Chicago's sights. Dine on a gourmet three course meal served at your private table, then dance the night away to the live band and watch the beautiful fireworks display with the Chicago skyline as a backdrop. Experience an elegant dining cruise along the Chicago shoreline aboard the luxury cruising vessel, Odyssey. Your evening starts as you are greeted aboard by the Captain and crew and our ship's photographer will take a picture to capture your memory. After being seated at your private table, enjoy your gourmet three-course meal consisting of creative appetizers and entrees prepared fresh onboard daily by our Executive Chef. The wait staff will time your meal according to your preferences so you can savor every moment of your three hour dinner cruise. After dinner dance to the li...

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What people are saying about Chicago

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 2,924 reviews

Jack, our guide, made the tour! He was extremely knowledgeable and entertaining! It’s probably one of the best guided tours I’ve taken and I’ve traveled around the world. He’s a keeper!

I've been on a few different boat tours and this one was amongst the best. Very engaging and informative guide.

We had a great time! Shorter ride was perfect for young kids. Boat was clean and staff was friendly.

The overall experience was excellent. The guide was absolutely knowledgeable.

Absolutely loved seeing the architecture of Chicago!