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Chicago Architecture Foundation Center River Cruise aboard Chicago's First Lady

From $47.00
  • Travel by boat and see the sights from the water
  • Perfect introduction for first-time visitors
  • Informative, friendly and professional guide
  • Choice of several departures throughout the day
  • Tour is wheelchair accessible
  • Great overview and orientation of the city
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The Chicago Architecture Center River Cruise aboard Chicago's First Lady has long been the gold standard among all Chicago tour experiences, and is the only Chicago architecture boat tour led by highly trained expert docents. On this 90-minute cruise, you will enjoy an overview of historic and modern architectural styles including stories about the people who designed and built Chicago. No visit to Chicago is complete without experiencing this award winning tour, so accept no substitutes.
What to Expect
Board your luxurious boat at the Chicago's First Lady dock on the Chicago Riverwalk, just East of Michigan Avenue. Choose your guaranteed outdoor seat on the spacious outdoor deck for endless views of the skyline. Enjoy your 90-minute cruise fully narrated by a certified and local Chicago Architecture Center docent.
Highlights of the tour include more than 50 buildings along the Chicago River. Hear how Chicago grew from a small settlement into one of the world's largest cities in less than 100 years. Visit the full service cash bar (including locally sourced Chicago snacks) on the enclosed lower level. Each boat includes a climate-controlled salon with gracious picture windows, stately décor and elegant bathrooms.
Departures leave promptly, rain or shine. Dress Appropriately. Please plan to arrive 30 minutes early to redeem your voucher for a ticket at the dockside Box Office.
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Reviews (73)
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All reviews river tour chicago architecture minute tour outstanding tour highly recommend this tour beautiful city architectural tour docent wayne skyscrapers knowledge boat information insight sights skyline activity
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Reviewed yesterday via mobile

I’ve taken many tours of downtown Chicago, and this was the best. Our guide, Jim Bartholomew, was very knowledgeable, told interesting anecdotes and stories, recited poems and even had us singing. We all learned about architecture and engineering, history of architecture and Chicago, and how...More

Thank schmitzh
Reviewed yesterday

Most enjoyable and informative cruise of Chicago's architecture... We had been before on a different line but this time we really enjoyed the history as well as all the info regarding the beautiful buildings. The docent really knew her stuff and then some! You could...More

Date of experience: July 2019
Thank Julie M
Reviewed 2 days ago via mobile

This was the week of the NIKE Tournament of Champions basketball tournament and was a great ending of trip!! Highly recommend this tour!!

Date of experience: July 2019
Thank anthonyy280
Reviewed 2 days ago via mobile

It was so beautiful. What a great tour. The docent was so knowledgeable. It is so much better than the regular river tours.

Date of experience: July 2019
Thank Meander794428
Reviewed 3 days ago

Whether you’re visiting from out of town or a life long Chicagoan, this is one activity not to miss! the tour is beautiful, educational and entertaining. My docent Edie was amazing sharing her vast knowledge of the history, architecture, unique facts, and interesting stories about...More

Date of experience: July 2019
Thank susangibson13
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Questions & Answers
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July 16, 2019|
AnswerShow all 7 answers
Response from Jerry D | Reviewed this property |
I would, especially if you are looking to go on the sunset tour. It books quickly. This is the best of all the river tours- it’s also open seating - get there early so you can get great seats!
June 22, 2019|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from droycro | Reviewed this property |
I really think it would depend on the child. Yes, the tour has lots of history and architectural information, but that is interesting for some children. If the parents are interested, and share that interest with their... More
Diane K
June 18, 2019|
Response from ChipSet |
CAC says: "The closest parking garage is located at 233 N. Michigan Ave. The entrance to the parking garage is the first driveway east of Michigan Avenue, on the north side of E. South Water Street. CAC members receive a... More
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