Chicago Line Cruises
Chicago Line Cruises
4.5
9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 8:30 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 6:30 PM
About
Offering Architectural Cruises, covering the north and south branches of the Chicago River, Historical Lake and River, Cocktail Cocktail Cruises and Firework Cruise offered in the evening, all cruises are 90 minutes, and have complimentary Starbucks Coffee and soft drinks.
Chicago, Illinois

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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.


4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles834 reviews
Excellent
599
Very good
172
Average
32
Poor
13
Terrible
18

El Turista John
New York City, NY5,068 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2020 • Solo
This roughly 90-minute tour aboard a Chicago Line’s boat provides a great introduction to the architecture and history of Chicago…home of the first skyscraper. Our guide was knowledgeable, at times funny, and passionate about her work. She was always quick to point out the architectural gems along the Chicago River while providing the building’s back-story and information on the building’s designer. A little pricey but well worth it. An unbeatable and unique view of Chicago’s skyline!
Written October 3, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Hayats
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021 • Family
Me and my husband 25 & 26 and child 6
Attended all the Chicago architectural cruises and by far our favorite one was the sea dog!!
Our Captain Swag and his crew were amazing!
Ted the bear was a great guide We had a blast !
We all got a cool splash cooled us off on that hot summer day , great way to end our long exhausting day in the city.
My advice to you is try to have dinner after just in case you have a weak stomach it was a great ride you will get a little dizzy but over all it was a fun experience.
We did book the Chicago experience as a package it was a great bundle cheap as well!!
Highly recommend the sea dog it was the best of the best
Will be hopping on again and definitely going back to ask for our same crew 🙏🏻💕
Written August 27, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mary M
16 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2017 • Friends
We bought tickets to the Architectural Boat Tour through groupon a few hours before the tour and were easily able to get them. You still need to go through Chicago Line Cruises website as if you are buying 2 tickets, but then put in the Groupon Promo code and it will only charge about $7 extra dollars for tax. We arrived and were greeted by a friendly check-in staff and a bottle of Bailey's cream liqueur to add to the complimentary Starbucks coffee before loading the boat. Diane was an excellent tour guide going through all the buildings lining the river and their history. Dress warm, we went early December and it was chilly especially near the lake! Ear warmers, coat, and gloves recommended!
Written December 4, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

hawkeyez
Chicago, Illinois2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Chicago Line Cruises runs three large boats on numerous tours each day down the Chicago River. Located blocks from Navy Pier, the Ogden slip is situated on a spacious dock. I have been on 4 river tours, two of which were school field trips, and was not expecting to learn anything new from Chicago line's tour. But i found that i was bieng bombarded with interesting historical,archetectural, and modern information about the everchanging city of Chicago. Also the boat that i was on was much less crowded than those that depart from Navy peir, and passengers are free to walk from one end of the boat to the other, or visit the cabin of the ship which is stocked with refreshments including Starbucks coffee and muffins. I chose to write this review simply becuase i was amazed at how different this cruise was from the larger less personalized ones. Great way to see the city for both visitors or life long residents.
Written July 30, 2007
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

M M
United States381 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2014 • Couples
We are very positive people, and very patient and accepting, but this tour, designated as a history tour was a total waste or our time and money. If one were an international visitor to Chicago for the first time, it might have been okay. Otherwise, I could have given a better tour. The staff was congenial, and the docent pleasant, but the Architectural Foundation tours--river and walking tours both --far excel in the quality and extent of information shared.
We have enjoyed numerous tours from the aforementioned organization, but thought we might like this "history" tour on the Innisbrook cruise this year. We are frequent visitors to Chicago and enjoy all types of excursions. This was NOT one we enjoyed. Several of the guests smoked on the tour, one woman was quite loud and obnoxious, and the information relating to Chicago history was scant. We were so very disappointed, and our evening was clouded with this very poor experience. Also, the trip onto the lake itself offered no additional purpose, other than going through the locks. What was described as the "History Cruise" was not. Just take one of the Architectural Foundation tours---either the river cruise tour or one of their fabulous walking tour. We have enjoyed 10-15 of their tours and have never been disappointed. Avoid this tour, by all means!
Written September 4, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Diana R
5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2015 • Couples
"Al" was our boat guide and he was very informative and interesting!
We toured for 90 minutes on a day which began hazy and cool and turned out to be sunny and warm, which was perfect since we were on the water. We were offered free cookies and soft drinks and it was an overall wonderful first experience touring in Chicago
Written July 9, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Diana P
Noosa Heads, Australia44 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2014
It wasn't the easiest place to find - well it probably would have been had anyone in our group of friends actually checked the address before assuming the departure spot was down at the pier where we had agreed to meet up! We really loved Chicago - if you get the chance to while away a couple of hours on the water then the architectural cruise run by Chicago Line Cruises at McGlurg Street is a must do! - it was absolutely fabulous - the lady that curated it was just amazing! It was a spellbinding way to get a snap shot of Chicago's history and the amazing buildings! Having finally negotiated the road works and woven our way to the booking office, we bought our tickets for the next cruise and headed off to a nearby bar to fortify ourselves for the trip. Good Aussies can always find an amenable riverside bar for a beer or two! We were thrilled with our selection of the Chicago Line Cruises - it was a lovely sunny afternoon in late September - they had a trestle table laden with tea & biscuits - a nice top up after all the beer & pizza we had munched our way through prior to boarding. The crew were all lovely, but really the lady curator knew her stuff and had a plethora of stories that she wove into her navigation of the city.
Written July 7, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TEKPCL
Troy, Michigan36 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2014 • Family
We took the "historical" tour. We spent much of the time in the locks waiting to go out in the lake. Certainly, not the same experience as described by other visitors taking the "architectural" tour.
Written July 13, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tebergman
Oklahoma City14 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2014 • Family
We did the 8:00 cruise and it was our favorite thing we did on our visit. It is leisurely, informative, beautiful, surprisingly fascinating. The way downtown lights up at night actually highlights the myriad architectural gems. I recommend doing this early in your trip so you have a background of what you are looking at the rest of the time.
Written June 17, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ruthie
1 contribution
2.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2019 • Couples
I've enjoyed other Chicago architectural boat tours with different tour companies in the past, and I was eager to introduce my husband to this fun activity. I selected the Chicago Line Cruises based on their high ratings and reviews. Unfortunately, we were very disappointed with our experience for the following reasons:

1. The tour guide was boring. As in, I fell asleep during the tour. The tour guide was a woman in her 70s, who rattled off the name of every single building along the river, their address, the year it was built, and the name of the architect. She said this information so quickly that it was hard to hear, and impossible to keep track of which building she was referring. This approach might appeal to someone who already knows a lot about architecture, but for the average tourist, hearing the name of each architect is dull.

In other tours, the tour guides focused our attention on the most prominent buildings and took more time on each one to share stories of how a building fit into Chicago's history, or a fun fact about a building, or even explain more of a background about a particular style of architecture. These stories made the information more relevant and easy to remember. Without these vignettes, the stats about the buildings seemed meaningless.

2. The boat was uncomfortable. This boat was smaller than the photo advertised on their website, and much smaller than competitor tour boats. It was crammed with people to maximum capacity. The chairs were small and squished together to fit as many people as possible on the boat. Some people have to sit on the sides of the boat, which means they have to turn their heads the entire tour (neck ache!). I recommend sitting towards the back of the boat for the best views, but there were no spots with truly unobstructed views. Even in the back of the boat, there are metal bars overhead. It's a small thing, but you don't go on an architectural boat tour to crane your neck to see the buildings.

3. This was the least of our complaints, but I wish I had known prior to booking how far of a walk this is from the other boat tours. Most of the other boat tours have docks right off Michigan Avenue, where it's easy and convenient to board. This was about a 20-30 minute walk from there.

Overall, I would recommend an architecture tour in Chicago, I would just choose a different tour company!
Written May 22, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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