Tours and Tickets

Chicago Architecture River Cruise provided by Shoreline Sightseeing

BEST SELLER

Chicago Architecture River Cruise

Chicago Architecture River Cruise
5
Book in advance
from
$46.87
per adult
Reserve now & pay later: Save your spot free of charge with flexible booking.
Recommended by 98% of travelers
This number is based on the percentage of all Tripadvisor reviews for this product that have a bubble rating of 4 or higher
Free cancellation
Not sure? You can cancel this reservation up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund.
What is Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best?
This award is our highest recognition and is presented annually to those businesses that are the Best of the Best on Tripadvisor, those that earn excellent reviews from travelers and are ranked in the top 1% of properties worldwide.
Learn more
Tour snapshot
See all of Chicago's architectural masterpieces in a single tour
Duration:
1h 15m
Taking Covid-19 safety measures
Group size:
250
Near public transportation
Ticket type:
Mobile
Free cancellation
About
Get views of Chicago’s most famous buildings, as well as insider info from an expert guide, on this architecture-focused cruise. See all the most important buildings on one tour, a hard-to-accomplish task on foot. View the skyline from the Chicago River while listening to live commentary. Snap photos of the Willis (Sears) Tower, Old Post Office, 360 Chicago Observation Deck, Wrigley Building, and more.
Know before you go
  • Duration: 1h 15m
  • Mobile tickets accepted
  • Instant confirmation
Cancellation policy
  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
Awards
Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best
2022
Available languages
English, Spanish
Highlights
  • Choose from multiple departure times to fit your busy schedule
  • Learn about the city's architectural history through an expert's live narration
  • Prebook this must-do Chicago activity, which frequently sells out
What to expect
Make your way to the specified departure place, either the Michigan Avenue riverfront or Navy Pier, in time for your chosen cruise departure—look for the Shoreline Sightseeing Architecture Cruises sign. Since you’ve prepurchased, skip the ticket line and have no worries if this popular Chicago tour sells out. Find a comfortable seat and settle in as your guide, an architecture expert, gives an introduction to Chicago's architectural history. Pass by more than 40 distinctive buildings, including the 360 Chicago Observation Deck, Willis (Sears) Tower, Wrigley Building, and the Lyric Opera House, and learn which buildings famous architects Mies van der Rohe, Helmut Jahn, Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill designed. You have plenty of photo opportunities. Some cruises include a full bar. Your cruise ends at its starting point.
Awards
Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best
2022
Know before you go
  • Duration: 1h 15m
  • Mobile tickets accepted
  • Instant confirmation
Available languages
English, Spanish
Cancellation policy
  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
Highlights
  • Choose from multiple departure times to fit your busy schedule
  • Learn about the city's architectural history through an expert's live narration
  • Prebook this must-do Chicago activity, which frequently sells out
What to expect
Make your way to the specified departure place, either the Michigan Avenue riverfront or Navy Pier, in time for your chosen cruise departure—look for the Shoreline Sightseeing Architecture Cruises sign. Since you’ve prepurchased, skip the ticket line and have no worries if this popular Chicago tour sells out. Find a comfortable seat and settle in as your guide, an architecture expert, gives an introduction to Chicago's architectural history. Pass by more than 40 distinctive buildings, including the 360 Chicago Observation Deck, Willis (Sears) Tower, Wrigley Building, and the Lyric Opera House, and learn which buildings famous architects Mies van der Rohe, Helmut Jahn, Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill designed. You have plenty of photo opportunities. Some cruises include a full bar. Your cruise ends at its starting point.
Need help booking?
Call the number below and use the product code: 5580ARC
Important information
Inclusions
  • Guided architecture cruise of the historic Chicago River
  • Live commentary on board
Exclusions
  • Drinks (available for purchase)
Duration
1h 15m
Departure details
  • 401 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611, USA FROM MICHIGAN AVE: Departs from 401 N Michigan Ave at the Shoreline Sightseeing docks. NE corner of Historic Michigan Ave. (Dusable) Bridge. Located alongside Chicago's Honored Pioneer Court.
  • 124 N Streeter Dr, Chicago, IL 60611, USA FROM NAVY PIER: Departs from 124 N Streeter Drive from the Shoreline Sightseeing docks at Polk Bros Park.
Additional information
  • 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
  • Departure locations cannot be changed
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 250 travelers
Inclusions
  • Guided architecture cruise of the historic Chicago River
  • Live commentary on board
Exclusions
  • Drinks (available for purchase)
Departure details
  • 401 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611, USA FROM MICHIGAN AVE: Departs from 401 N Michigan Ave at the Shoreline Sightseeing docks. NE corner of Historic Michigan Ave. (Dusable) Bridge. Located alongside Chicago's Honored Pioneer Court.
  • 124 N Streeter Dr, Chicago, IL 60611, USA FROM NAVY PIER: Departs from 124 N Streeter Drive from the Shoreline Sightseeing docks at Polk Bros Park.
Duration
1h 15m
Return details
  • Returns to original departure point
Additional information
  • 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
  • Departure locations cannot be changed
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 250 travelers
Travel safe during COVID-19
What you can expect during your visit
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Contactless payment for gratuities and add-ons
What you can expect during your visit
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Contactless payment for gratuities and add-ons
Itinerary
  • You’ll have 2 starting options
    See Important Information for details
  • 1
    Chicago River
    Stop: 60 minutes
    Cruise takes place on the Chicago River.
    Read more
    Pass by
    Chicago Skyline
    Navy Pier
    Skydeck Chicago - Willis Tower
    Tribune Tower
    John Hancock Center
  • You'll return to the starting point
+
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

5.0
3,409 reviews
Excellent
3,117
Very good
227
Average
30
Poor
17
Terrible
18

Shellie B
Portland, OR62 contributions
As a former travel writer, I’ve taken a lot of tours. Honestly, this was a Top 5 experience. The difference? The volunteer docent, Jim. He was an older man with an AMAZING memory and enthusiasm for the city. In 1.5 hours, he never referenced a script; he knew every date, architect name, address - it was astounding as was Chicago’s architecture. I’d recommend doing the last tour of the evening when you’ll likely be treated to the sun setting on the reflective buildings of the city. It makes for lovely photos. One last thing: I would have gladly tipped Jim, but the docents don’t accept gratuities.
Written July 19, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

yvonnel253
Baltimore, Maryland3 contributions
Couples
Mary Jo, our guide for the May 10 boat tour, was knowledgeable about Chicago’s historic and current architecture, the engineering feats behind the skyscrapers and the history of Chicago River as well as the city. She took the time to introduce herself to passengers who were waiting to board the boat and to find out where they were from and why they were in town. She was organized, articulate, and provided an outstanding 90 minute presentation that was well worth the ticket price. The beautiful day made the trip unforgettable.
Written May 18, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Robert L
1 contribution
Heard many great things about the architecture tour and decided to be a tourist for a day even though I have lived in IL all my life. Antonio brought the architecture to life and was very animated when discussing the story of the Chicago fire. The weather was perfect for a 10 am tour and would definitely recommend it for tourists and people from IL who have never experienced the tour before.
Written June 6, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Billy
Dayton, OH1 contribution
We arrived for our 11:15a tour and boarded the boat about 10 minutes early. About 5 minutes before the tour was to start, we were notified that the guide was stuck in traffic and the tour would not be able to continue.

We were offered to take the 11:45a tour or receive a refund. The 11:45a tour did not work for us, so we elected for a refund. The staff on the boat were very apologetic. When we arrived at the ticket office, the representative was rude and dismissive regarding the refund. They refunded an amount smaller than what we originally paid. A manager offered the difference in cash, but they did not have cash available and would need to go to an ATM to get money to refund us. The staff in the office had a poor attitude and lack of customer service. We still were not refunded the full amount that we paid, but gave up in the interest of time.

Ultimately the time it took for the trip to be cancelled, and for us to receive a partial refund prevented us from finding another tour with another provider that would work for us. I will choose a different company in the future.
Written June 3, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Nick J
Hi bzoel - Can you send your booking reference number to info@shorelinesightseeing.com so I can look into your situation?
Written June 6, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Zhiv
Long Beach, NY326 contributions
We booked this your long in advance on the suggestion we got for the website that it will be a fully booked trip on the scheduled day. We found it was not even half booked. The tour was well curated by Kevin who was well informed and articulated, even sang a song at the very end of the tour to make sure we would tip him well. Chicago is the architectural gem of the US and historical events woven into the tapestry of steel, glass and cement was a spectacular show. Drinks were available on the ship. Operation was well organized and it all went smooth.
Written June 23, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Mona M
1 contribution
I've taken an architectural river tour of Chicago before with a different company and it was nice- however the evening cruise from Shoreline was SO enjoyable that I will now recommend this company to all my friends visiting the city! Our guide Brandon was so friendly, knowledgeable and hilarious! He seriously made this experience the highlight of my fiancé and I's trip to Chicago.

I'm an architect and familiar with the city but my fiancé isn't and Brandon did an amazing job of explaining the architecture and history of the city so that it was enjoyable to everyone regardless of their understanding of architecture.

Thank you Shoreline and Brandon!
Written July 23, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Anurag S
6 contributions
Friends
Spiro was an engaging and a friendly guide. I would recommend this tour to everyone who wants to learn about the architecture history for the Chicago skyline and interesting stories about the growth of the city to what it is today. The tour is an hour long adventure and it is a fun walkthrough in the centre of the city. A must for anyone visiting Chicago.
Written December 26, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Venture641957
1 contribution
This was such a great tour. You get taken through all of downtown Chicago through the river and get to take in all of the amazing buildings/architecture/history of the city. Spiro was our guide and he was so knowledgeable and funny, gave us a great tour and some great recommendations of things to do in the city. Would highly recommend this at the beginning of a trip as it helps you get an idea of the layout of the city.
Written July 19, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

janinekfitz
2 contributions
Couples
This is a must-do for anyone visiting Chicago! I have a layperson's interest and knowledge of architecture and I was blown away by the information provided on this tour. Antonio is a fantastic guide and peppered the tour with fun stories, while also giving time and space for us to admire the sights as we cruised along.

If you get a chance to go at sunset, it's incredible to see the city gradually light up along the river. I went with my partner and family, and we all said we'll remember this tour for ages! Highly recommended.
Written May 14, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

14Terve
Tampa, FL3 contributions
Spiro was the perfect guide. He was Informative on all things architecture with the perfect mix of jokes, history, and banter. It kept my group of 4 women entertained as well as the other guests of all ages. Even in 95 degree heat we had seats in the shade with a constant breeze off the river and access to drinks & cocktails. I HIGHLY recommend to anyone visiting. Bonus the speakers were the right volume to clearly hear Spiro without effort but no too loud either. This is a gem of a family-run business.
Written July 19, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Showing results 1-10 of 3,255
About the operator

Don’t take it from us – here’s what people have to say about this operator.

By: Shoreline Sightseeing
Crystal_1987JF
Crystal_1987JF
00
Nice water, amazing view, 10/10!
Everything was awesome!! The boat was boarded and left on time, the water was beautiful and the skyline views were
katrinsS463GK
katrinsS463GK
00
Chicago sight seeing tour
The automated speaker could of been louder to hear the facts about Chicago since it was a bit windy and waters were
TravelAgentDiary
TravelAgentDiary
00
Chicago Babymoon
This was a nice little cruise around Lake Michigan, and getting to see the skyline of Chicago from the water. The w
949kirtanak
949kirtanak
00
Must do in Chicago!
Excellent experience on this boat tour! The views were magnificent! The crew was friendly! The perfect tour leng
Cowboydavy115
Cowboydavy115
00
Vey Nice Boat Ride
This is a great way to get out into the Chicago Harbor to cool off a little and see the skyline from the water leve
Judi4474
Judi4474
00
Chicago Architecture River Cruise
Beautiful and instructive architecture tour with Brenna, our dynamic and knowledgeable guide :). 100% recommend wit
Bob H
Bob H
00
Great boat tour
The cityscape is the star here, though the boat captain and tour guide added quite a bit to the enjoyment. Megan wa
NapervilleTraveller
NapervilleTraveller
00
Great trip on the water!
We took the Architecture Fireworks Cruise on our anniversary-July 2, 2022. It was a beautiful night to be on the bo
Valmotley
Valmotley
00
Fun and interesting for the whole family.
I really enjoyed being on the boat and learning about the various buildings and sights. Because it was only 40 minu
marleneg199
marleneg199
00
Interesting tour
Nice sightseeing adventure. Gave us a short history lesson. The boat ride was smooth. Easy boarding and unboarding
touy314
touy314
00
Overall it was great experience.
The historical overview was nice. I like seeing the skyline. The thing I don't like is that there is no direction
mikefZ9563HY
mikefZ9563HY
00
Good views but very poor PA
Unfortunately it was raining but it took them until we were half way around to put the screens down to stop water c
mamachaki
mamachaki
00
Good trip if you have not seen city scape
We took this trip today. We had already taken the architectural Chicago River cruise. I highly recommend that trip
C6912QCcharlesw
C6912QCcharlesw
00
Skyline Boatride
Great experience; but sound system needs improvement. Narrative is extremely valuable part of the experience.
G34LJnicolem
G34LJnicolem
00
Amazing location/taxi staff
I usually don’t write reviews but I had such an awesome experience with the amazing staff at the water taxi locatio
Frequently Asked Questions about Chicago Architecture River Cruise


Chicago Architecture River Cruise price starts from $46.87. Discover and book Chicago Architecture River Cruise on Tripadvisor

Chicago Architecture River Cruise cancellation policy: For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience. Discover and book Chicago Architecture River Cruise on Tripadvisor

Chicago Architecture River Cruise is hosted by Shoreline Sightseeing. Read reviews, discover additonal experiences or contact Shoreline Sightseeing on Tripadvisor. Discover and book Chicago Architecture River Cruise on Tripadvisor