Lake Michigan
Boat Tours & River Cruises

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Our most recommended Lake Michigan Cruises & Boat Tours

  • Chicago: 1.5-Hour Lake and River Architecture Cruise

    1. 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

    2. 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 Lakefront: Half-Hour Seadog Speedboat Ride

    3. Chicago Lakefront: Half-Hour Seadog Speedboat Ride

    This half-hour Seadog Speedboat ride along Chicago’s lakefront is one of the best ways to view the city’s skyline while learning about the city. Combine an exciting speedboat ride with informative and amusing stories about the world-famous Windy City! As you depart Chicago's Navy Pier, your captain will tell you interesting facts about the pier and the lakefront as he cranks up the music and races to key lakefront landmarks.

    Stop near the picturesque lakefront park of the Chicago Museum campus, where you’ll learn about the architecture and history of Chicago. Admire views of the Magnificent Mile neighborhood, including the Buckingham Fountain, Sears Tower, Grant Park, and Chicago's largest shopping district. Listen to the thrilling sound of the turbo engines as you race around the Lake Michigan waterfront and back to the Navy Pier. Upgrade to the Extreme Thrill Ride Option a...

    Our tour guide was great and the boat ride was fun. The boat was easy to find as well.

  • Chicago: Lake Michigan Gourmet Brunch/Lunch/Dinner Cruise

    4. Chicago: Lake Michigan Gourmet Brunch/Lunch/Dinner Cruise

    Cruise for 2 or 3 hours on Lake Michigan and see the sights of Chicago from a luxury boat, The Odyssey. Board the boat at Navy Pier and enjoy a personal greeting. Smile for the ship's photographer to capture the memory, then embark on an elegant dining cruise along the Chicago shoreline. After being seated at your private table, tuck into your gourmet brunch buffet or 3-course lunch or dinner consisting of creative meals prepared fresh daily by the on-board executive chef. After your meal, dance to the live music or relax on any of the 3 climate-controlled decks as you watch the skyscrapers of Chicago's distinctive skyline glide by. SAMPLE LUNCH AND DINNER MENU Starters (choice of one): Caesar Salad Lobster Bisque (dinner only) Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail (dinner only, available for additional price) Seafood Tower (dinner only, available fo...

    Thought there would be more dancing and the trip would be 3 hours and not 2 and a half.

  • Chicago Skyline Lake Tour: 40-Minute Sightseeing Cruise

    5. 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: 90-Minute River and Lakefront Cruise at Night

    6. Chicago: 90-Minute River and Lakefront Cruise at Night

    Experience the magic of Chicago at nighttime and watch the city's glorious skyscrapers, historic buildings and modern marvels come to life with millions of twinkling lights. Relax and unwind at the end of the day on a cruise which not only lets you enjoy the scenic Chicago River, but also takes you through the Chicago Harbor Lock and out onto Lake Michigan where you can admire epic views of the sparkling Chicago skyline and shoreline. Throughout the ride, listen to lively narration about Chicago's rich history as the onboard guides point out the many sights of the city including Buckingham Fountain, Willis Tower, Aon Center, John Hancock Building, Museum Campus, Marina City, Wrigley Building, Chicago Tribune Building, Navy Pier, the Lighthouse and more. This tour also gives you the unique experience of passing through the Chicago River Lock System, while learning about the operation an...

    Great activity and perfect timing on the fireworks. The only improvement I would suggest is an expanded food menu.

  • Chicago: Lake Michigan Buffet Brunch, Lunch or Dinner Cruise

    7. Chicago: Lake Michigan Buffet Brunch, Lunch or Dinner Cruise

    See the sights of Chicago from onboard the Spirit of Chicago with a 2-hour (brunch and lunch) or 3-hour (dinner) cruise on Lake Michigan. Enjoy a buffet dining experience as you sail through the Windy City, and delight in panoramic views of the city's famous skyline. Board your vessel at Navy Pier and receive a personal greeting. Have your photo taken by the ship's photographer to capture the memory before being seated at your private table. Once there, gorge on your brunch, lunch, or dinner buffet consisting of creative prepared fresh daily, and listen to the onboard DJ's tunes. After your meal, play games like giant Jenga and shuffleboard, or bust out some moves on the dance floor. Don't forget to visit any of the 3 climate-controlled decks to watch the skyscrapers of Chicago's distinctive skyline glide by. SAMPLE BRUNCH BUFFET MENU Early Risers Se...

    We left a bit late, so didn’t get the full time on the cruise. It would be nice if we could view the food that will be offered when we make the reservation. The food could have been better.

  • Chicago: Family Fun Urban Adventure River and Lake Cruise

    8. Chicago: Family Fun Urban Adventure River and Lake Cruise

    Discover Chicago’s stunning skyscrapers, historic buildings, and modern marvels on this fun, family friendly boat cruise. Relax and unwind as you admire scenic views from the Chicago River and the Chicago Harbor Lock. Then move out onto Lake Michigan where you can gaze upon the entire city skyline and shoreline. During the boat ride, enjoy lively narration and stories about Chicago’s rich history as your knowledgeable guides point out the many sights of the city including Willis Tower, Aon Center, John Hancock Building, Museum Campus, Marina City, Wrigley Building, Chicago Tribune Building, Navy Pier, the Lighthouse and more. The tour also gives you the opportunity to experience passing through the Chicago River Lock System. Listen to your guide explain the full workings of the lock and feel the boat rise as you enter Lake Michigan, and then lower again when returning to the Chicago Ri...

    Relaxing and informative, a view and perspective from the river that most don’t get to see.

  • Chicago: 75-Minute Architecture Cruise by Speedboat

    9. 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

    10. 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 ...

Other Sightseeing Options in Lake Michigan

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What people are saying about Lake Michigan

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 584 reviews

Amazing and beautiful scenery while on the tour!! To see the beautiful Chicago Skyline as the sun set, was pleasing to my eyes. The tour guide was quite entertaining, which was an added bonus in the learning of Chicago's History. The tour was definitely worth taking!!

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

Not too crowded. Plenty of areas to see everything. The guide was extremely knowledgeable and entertaining.

I had the best of Chicago experience. Higy recommended. Best crew and guide.

Was an incredible experience!!! I love ❤️ The Windy City