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Chicago’s First Lady Cruises

#1 of 164 Tours in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
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Address: 112 E Upper Wacker Dr, Southeast Corner of Michigan and Wacker, Chicago, IL 60601
Phone Number:
+1 847-358-1330
9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Closed now
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Mon - Wed 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Thu - Sun 9:00 am - 5:30 pm

Only the Chicago Architecture Foundation and Chicago's First Lady Cruises...

Only the Chicago Architecture Foundation and Chicago's First Lady Cruises can showcase Chicago's world renowned city architecture with style, class and comfort. Open-air and air-conditioned seating is available. Learn about the architecture and design of over 50 buildings as described by CAF-Certified Volunteer Docents/Guides. Don't settle for imitations, look for the CAF logo. Full Service Bar onboard each vessel. 90-minute river architecture cruises depart daily. Cruising season May - November. All tours depart from Riverside Gardens, Michigan Ave. and Wacker Dr. (Southeast corner of the Michigan Avenue Bridge). Look for our blue awning.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 3,674 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 2912
  • 382
    Very good
  • 61
  • 17
  • 8
Relaxing and a Beautiful Way to See the City

We took the daytime Chicago River architecture tour and had an excellent experience. Very relaxing. Our guide was very informative. Beautiful views of the downtown... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 1 week ago

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3,674 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 3,380: English reviews
Level Contributor
288 reviews
44 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 138 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

We took the daytime Chicago River architecture tour and had an excellent experience. Very relaxing. Our guide was very informative. Beautiful views of the downtown architecture. Best of all, there is a full bar on board.

Thank Domer90mom
Level Contributor
434 reviews
114 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 245 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We purchased tickets for a twilight architectural cruise way in advance, printed out our tickets, and lined up in plenty of time to board and even purchase drinks. We sat up top, and even though it sprinkled a tiny bit, it was worth it. Cruising down the river, we saw the city transform from daylight to night-time with its various... More 

Thank TarHeel
Hyderabad, India
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

We had great weather and a knowledgeable guide - the makings of a great experience learning about the history and architecture of the riverfront area of Chicago. A must-do for those who enjoy a boat ride with a great view!

1 Thank Varun S
Level Contributor
116 reviews
50 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

The Chicago River Tour sponsored by the Chicago Architecture Foundation is a great way to learn about more than 100 years of Chicago history (architecture and other) in just 1.5 hours. The docent as excellent. Alcoholic and soft drinks available for purchase. Bathroom on board. Fun time for the whole family.

Thank ElvisMem
Morgantown, West Virginia
Level Contributor
47 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Arriving in Chicago for the first time in September for three days of sightseeing, the first thing we did (based on suggestions on TripAdvisor) was to take the boat tour on Chicago's First Lady. We walked up Michigan Avenue to the river, and as advertised, there was a blue awning where tickets were sold. Tickets were $44 per person for... More 

1 Thank WVParkfan
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 weeks ago

Took the tour in the middle of November. A brilliant way to see this beautiful city while learning about the history of the various buildings along the river. Tour guide was very knowledgable and even took time before the tour to ask people where they where from etc. I would recommend this tour to anybody travelling to Chicago.

Thank TJ77
Toronto, ontario
Level Contributor
113 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 98 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 1, 2016

Took this your on a cooler day but it was still pleasant, interesting and worthwhile. The exterior looks old but the interior seems very new. The bathrooms are incredible for a ship and they are spotless. There is virtually no sensation of movement its very smooth up and down the river. The commentary by the volunteer was very interesting and... More 

Thank lemorley
Level Contributor
21 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 30, 2016

My husband and I recently took the tour at 4:30 which was a perfect time to experience the Chicago nightline. The cruise was very informative. You could sit inside or outside. It was chilly when the sun went down,s o we sat inside. There is also a bar, which was a bonus.

Thank Lori C
Suwanee, Georgia
Level Contributor
114 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 30, 2016

Different perspective of the skyline / building, great photos opportunities, knowledgeable guide and informative. The 2 hours invested are well spent!

Thank Jason B
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
20 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 29, 2016 via mobile

This boat tour lasts 1.5 hour and offers an excellent occasion to enjoy Chicago architecture. Our guide gave lots of information

Thank Karine P

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Typical questions asked:
  • Will you pick up and drop off at my hotel?
  • I have a family of 7. Can your tour accommodate all of us together?
  • How should I dress for this tour?

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Downtown / The Loop
Often visitors' first stop in Chicago, The Loop is a good starting point to sample the city's energy and flavor. This central business district boasts Michelin-rated restaurants, upscale hotels, premier shopping, and enough arresting architecture to keep your camera busy for hours. You won’t find too many photo galleries of downtown Chicago without a shot of Millennium Park and Cloud Gate (“The Bean”), one of the most iconic landmarks in the city. A stunning skyline coupled with cultural attractions like the Art Institute of Chicago present a Downtown where work and play peacefully coexist.
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