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Chicago’s First Lady Cruises

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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
Website
Today
9:00 am - 4:00 pm
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Hours:
Mon - Wed 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Thu - Sun 9:00 am - 5:30 pm
Description:

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 3,196 reviews
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    Very good
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Amazing tour

Took the 3:00 tour on a sunny day. Need a hat and some water!! Had an amazing tour guide named Becky... Very knowledgeable and entertaining!

5 of 5 starsReviewed yesterday
LindaSh

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3,196 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 2,947: English reviews
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

Took the 3:00 tour on a sunny day. Need a hat and some water!! Had an amazing tour guide named Becky... Very knowledgeable and entertaining!

Helpful?
Thank LindaSh
Broadstairs, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
85 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

On a very hot day we decided to take this 90minute ' cruise' and learn more about the city. We had an incredible guide who spoke with such a depth of knowledge about the history of Chicago. Alan has an encyclopaedic mind full of architectural information. He held the attention of the whole audience. Brilliant treat and a must do.... More 

Helpful?
Thank Shazzy62
Lemont, Il
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

We had done this tour years ago! My how the building along the river has changed! It is so nice that they are finally utilizing all the space along the river for outdoor activities and dining! We had a boat at River City in the late 80's and the only place to even see was where River East is, used... More 

Helpful?
Thank mo307
Miramar Beach, Florida, United States
Level Contributor
34 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

We did the river and lake tour this summer and it was by far the coolest thing we've ever done in Chicago. The tour guides are entertaining and knowledgeable. It can get breezy out on the lake so make sure you dress appropriately! We went on a cloudy day in June and it was chilly at times but still very... More 

Helpful?
Thank Stacey K
Alexandria, Virginia
Level Contributor
99 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

Took the river tour to view architecture. Guide was an architect and was so interesting. The tour took 90 minutes which flew by! So fascinating to see the progress of building in Chicago. Beautiful day on the water. Make sure you wear a cap. The sun was intense and my poor bald head got sunburned!!!

Helpful?
Thank Laurance
Dallas, Texas, United States
Level Contributor
17 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

Great tour. Would recommend doing it first thing in the morning as it's not as crowded. Very interesting and entertaining.

Helpful?
Thank Susan S
Orem, Utah
Level Contributor
34 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

My husband and I recently visited Chicago for the first time and would both agree that the Architecture River Cruise on Chicago's First Lady was the highlight of our trip! We loved our tour guide (a volunteer that just loves the city and enjoys sharing her knowledge of it) and learned so much on our hour and a half trip.... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank TheTucsonTravelers
Palmer, Alaska
Level Contributor
33 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

This tour is sponsored by the Chicago Architectural Foundation and the tourguides are all volunteer docents. The cruise is all along the Chicago River and you are given details about certain buildings to include their architectural style, the purpose then and now, how they compare architecturally to other buildings and why they are significant to Chicago. Take this tour when... More 

Helpful?
Thank Rachel G
Brantford, Canada
Level Contributor
56 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

We did a morning tour and we so very impressed with the knowledge and information shared by our tour guide (docent). I was surprised to learn that the guides are volunteers of the Chicago Architecture Foundation and do not germ paid. In fact ours did not accept tips either. It is a perfect way to learn about Chicago's history through... More 

Helpful?
Thank Thia17
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
65 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

We went on a 9:00 a.m. Saturday morning cruise. The line to board was already very long by 8:15. It was very hot --I recommend water and a hat. Our docent had so much information to share --she really exceeded my expectations (which were high to begin with!) We sat at the very front of the boat, so we couldn't... More 

Helpful?
Thank H M

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  • 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?

Staying in Downtown / The Loop

Neighborhood Profile
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.