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Chicago’s First Lady Cruises

#1 of 164 Tours in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
Sponsored by:
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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 - 5:30 pm
Open 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 3,593 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 2852
  • 375
    Very good
  • 58
  • 17
  • 8

Accurate architectural historical information given by tom, a very enthousiaste volunteer with a witty sense of humour! Must-do activity!

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed yesterday
Mary S
via mobile

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3,593 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 3,310: English reviews
Palm Harbor, Florida
Level Contributor
115 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW

We booked this tour the evening before and were glad we did because they were sold out of every time slot except noon on a Saturday. We were toward the back of the line so we ended up having to sit at the bow of the boat rather than on top which would have been better views. Get in line... More 

Thank lovemytanner
LaSalle, Canada
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 attraction reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW

I was totally impressed with our guide Kent who kept me interested and offered a lot of history that I would not have known,I enjoyed it very much

Thank lynn452
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

Accurate architectural historical information given by tom, a very enthousiaste volunteer with a witty sense of humour! Must-do activity!

Thank Mary S
Level Contributor
15 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

I really loved this tour. It is run my the Architectural Society so you are getting authentic information with wonderful views of most the Chicago Skyline. The tour guides are volunteers and you can tell they absolutely love their jobs and make sure you have a great time. This tour will get you the best photo ops!

Thank angelafE6000UX
Sammamish, WA
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

I'm not big on doing the touristy things when visiting a city, but had heard so many great things about the Architecture River tour that we signed up. First Lady cruise was first class. Docent was very knowledgable and the bonus of having an Irish coffee on a brisk fall morning was a bonus!

Thank 3gormys
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

This is a review of the Chicago Architectural Foundation River Cruise - I want to make that clear because not all Chicago First Lady Cruises are Architectural Foundation Cruises and because the excellent rating is due in large part to the quality and content of the narration provided by their volunteer tour guide. He provided history, insight and humor for... More 

Thank Mary K
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

The river cruise was great, the price is definitely worth it. Emily, our tour guide, did a very good job in providing us heaps of interesting information about the city and the story of the buildings. I liked how much passion she put into it. I'm not the kind of person who is crazy about touristy tours but this one... More 

Thank Kimberly S
Deerfield, Illinois
Level Contributor
68 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

Taking the First Lady cruise is a way to see Chicago most people never see. Time your trip so it ends just about sunset. You'll be out by the locks between Lake Michigan and the chicago river and you will see the sunset over the city of chicago. Great guided tour with interesting facts about the city. Best on comfortable... More 

Thank jps819
Beverley, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
45 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

We were recommended this tour by the hosts of the B&B we were staying at & what a great recommendation it was...this tour is incredible, a really brilliant way to see some stunning architecture. The cruise lasts around 90 minutes & takes in the main buildings on the river. The buildings are amazing to see, and to see them from... More 

Thank Beaker1883
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
64 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

The First Lady Cruise is top notch. Docents (tour guides) are volunteers who work for the Chicago Architectural Institute. Very knowledgeable about local architecture. The cruise is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon. Moving along the Chicago River, you see highlights along the skyline. This trip was my second time for this tour, having gone in 2013. I was... More 

Thank novicetraveler51

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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?