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“Chilly boat ride, but still worthwhile”

Chicago’s First Lady Cruises
Ranked #1 of 177 Tours in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: 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.
Toronto
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Chilly boat ride, but still worthwhile”
Reviewed November 1, 2012

We went on a cool and windy day, so got chilled over time outside and had to escape to the warmth below, but the docen was very knowledgeable and was an excellent tour. I also found out that the Architecture foundation is a good cause so I would recommend going with these people.

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
Thank BillyMacToronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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New Jersey
Level 5 Contributor
94 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
“Not to be missed architecture tour”
Reviewed November 1, 2012

I did this tour this past July with my 16 year old son, 13 year old daughter, 78 year old uncle and 64 year old aunt. I was between this tour and one with another popular company that I had done years ago that had been excellent. I ended up choosing this tour because the tour guide was a docent. I think I made teh right decision. Our your guide was so knowledgeable and she capitavated my 16 year old son. We did many great things in Chicago, inlcuding a segway tour and my son said this tour was the best.

I highly recommend this tour.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
Thank luv2travel068
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lawrenceburg, Tennessee
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Architecture Foundation River Cruise”
Reviewed October 31, 2012

Well worth paying to go on this. Very informative and historical.
Take alot of pictures. Guides were excellent and knowledgeable.

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
Thank bigorange_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Paul, MN
Level 5 Contributor
45 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Best for architecture enthusiasts”
Reviewed October 30, 2012

My daughter and I took the river cruise recently as a way to see more of this beautiful city than we would be able to see if just walking. It was enjoyable and the docent was knowledgeable about the architectural details, etc of the buildings. However, in retrospect if I were to do something like this again I would take one of the other river cruises in the city that are much cheaper. While I can appreciate beautiful buildings, I really can't say I'm particularly interested in architecture per se and so for us the tour was a bit "dry" and the price was too steep. Really, I would have preferred to just get basic info about which building was which and much more city history than we got on this tour. The docent touched on the great fire, but I would have enjoyed more stories, etc about it, the gangster era, etc. To be fair, that's not what this cruise advertises itself to be so we did indeed get what we paid for- it's just that it wasn't a good "fit" for us. If you really enjoy learning about architecture and the details of particular buildings, then this would be an excellent tour for you however.

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank momofour
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Yorba Linda, California
Level 5 Contributor
85 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“A Must Do!”
Reviewed October 29, 2012

Great river tour of the city. The docent was terrific and just seeing all the buildings and learning about the history made the time fly by. Would highly recommend! For Saturday a.m. tours, you may want to book it a day or two in advance.

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
Thank kathleen w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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