Tours and Tickets
Chicago Architecture River Cruise
5
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Chicago Architecture River Cruise

By Shoreline Sightseeing
Recommended by 98% of travellers
This number is based on the percentage of all Tripadvisor reviews for this product that have a bubble rating of 4 or higher
Get views of Chicago’s most famous buildings, as well as insider info from an expert guide, on this architecture-focused cruise. See all the most important buildings on one tour, a hard-to-accomplish task on foot. View the skyline from the Chicago River while listening to live commentary. Snap photos of the Willis (Sears) Tower, Old Post Office, 360 Chicago Observation Deck, Wrigley Building, and more.
from
€43.74
per adult
from
€43.74
per adult

Lowest price guaranteeReserve now & pay laterFree cancellation

Ages 0-99, max of 250 per group
Duration: 1h
Start time: Check availability
Mobile ticket
English, Spanish

Highlights
  • See all of Chicago's architectural masterpieces in a single tour
  • Choose from multiple departure times to fit your busy schedule
  • Learn about the city's architectural history through an expert's live narration
  • Prebook this must-do Chicago activity, which frequently sells out
Travellers’ Choice Best of the Best
2022

  • Guided architecture cruise of the historic Chicago River
  • Live commentary on board
What's not included
  • Drinks (available for purchase)

Make your way to the specified departure place, either the Michigan Avenue riverfront or Navy Pier, in time for your chosen cruise departure—look for the Shoreline Sightseeing Architecture Cruises sign. Since you’ve prepurchased, skip the ticket line and have no worries if this popular Chicago tour sells out. Find a comfortable seat and settle in as your guide, an architecture expert, gives an introduction to Chicago's architectural history. Pass by more than 40 distinctive buildings, including the 360 Chicago Observation Deck, Willis (Sears) Tower, Wrigley Building, and the Lyric Opera House, and learn which buildings famous architects Mies van der Rohe, Helmut Jahn, Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill designed. You have plenty of photo opportunities. Some cruises include a full bar. Your cruise ends at its starting point.

Departure details
  • 401 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611, USA FROM MICHIGAN AVE: Departs from 401 N Michigan Ave at the Shoreline Sightseeing docks. NE corner of Historic Michigan Ave. (Dusable) Bridge. Located alongside Chicago's Honored Pioneer Court.
  • 124 N Streeter Dr, Chicago, IL 60611, USA FROM NAVY PIER: Departs from 124 N Streeter Drive from the Shoreline Sightseeing docks at Polk Bros Park.
Return details
  • Returns to original departure point

  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Near public transportation
If you have questions about accessibility, we’d be happy to help. Just call the number below and reference the product code: 5580ARC

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • All boats have full restrooms and some have a full bar
  • Some boats are single deck vessels, the type of vessel you are placed on cannot be guaranteed
  • Wheelchairs or other walking assistance equipment are not provided.
  • Tour times cannot be changed.
  • Departure locations cannot be changed
  • Most travellers can participate
  • Beginning November 8, 2022 through April 2023, tours will be 60 minutes in length.
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s cancelled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 250 travellers

  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

What you can expect during your visit
  • Regularly sanitised high-traffic areas
  • Contactless payment for gratuities and add-ons
  • Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.

Which attractions will I visit with Chicago Architecture River Cruise?
How much is Chicago Architecture River Cruise?
Chicago Architecture River Cruise price starts from €43.13. Discover and book Chicago Architecture River Cruise on Tripadvisor
What is the Chicago Architecture River Cruise cancellation policy?
Chicago Architecture River Cruise cancellation policy: For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience. Discover and book Chicago Architecture River Cruise on Tripadvisor
Which company provides Chicago Architecture River Cruise?
Chicago Architecture River Cruise is hosted by Shoreline Sightseeing. Read reviews, discover additonal experiences or contact Shoreline Sightseeing on Tripadvisor. Discover and book Chicago Architecture River Cruise on Tripadvisor

If you have questions about this tour or need help making your booking, we’d be happy to help. Just call the number below and reference the product code: 5580ARC

Itinerary
  • You’ll have 2 starting options
    See departure details
  • 1
    Chicago River
    Stop: 60 minutes
    Cruise takes place on the Chicago River.
    Read more
    Pass by
    Chicago Skyline
    Navy Pier
    Skydeck Chicago - Willis Tower
    Tribune Tower
    John Hancock Center
  • You'll return to the starting point
+
About the operator

Don’t take it from us – here’s what people have to say about this operator.

Carlos_Gonzalez2013
Carlos_Gonzalez2013
00
Lots of fun and information!
A great tour by boat by Chicago river. I absolutely loved it. I can't remember the name of our speaker at the tour
Jorge G
Jorge G
00
Birthday celebration. Enjoyed a nice boat ride
Awesome boat ride and experience. Very friendly people. Had the option to be on the deck of the ship or the inside
toiaf169
toiaf169
00
Just ok
Chicago wasn’t as fun as everyone made it out to be. Giordanos was good and our sever was nice but every other rest
Robinson7L
Robinson7L
00
Friendly staff and gorgeous sunny tour!
Boats run very regularly. We were late for our boat and allowed on the next one just 30minutes later. Staff were fr
travelandmarvel
travelandmarvel
00
Informative
If you want to truly delve into the history of Chicago and enjoy some spectacular views of the city, buy tickets fo
Iamsnowhite
Iamsnowhite
00
Loved it
Very nice boat ride, especially for the price. Loved hearing the history of the town and buildings. We had beautif
942christic
942christic
00
Slay!!
We took a Sunday morning architecture river tour. It was informative and fun. Jack was a great tour guide! He gave
Anna P
Anna P
00
Its a must!
If in Chicago don't miss to take a boat tour. Gives you the opportunity to observe the city from a totally differen
Kelsey S
Kelsey S
00
Beautiful views
A nice, short informative boat ride. Great views! Loved the experience having not been to Chicago before. Great
N4539NCmonicab
N4539NCmonicab
00
Great Tour
This tour was really great. Besides the nice views and pictures, we learned a lot about Chicago. The Tour guide was
Fiona S
Fiona S
00
Lake Michigan boat trip
Lovely trip out on the Lake with very informative commentary. Whole experience was seamless and, although booked o
nickss1
nickss1
00
Pleasant 45 minute trip along shoreline
I went on the Lakefront sighting trip. The pick-up point is on the side of the Navy Pier. The staff were efficient.
C7526DZstephaniec
C7526DZstephaniec
00
Relaxing Ride and Pretty Scenery
The boat ride was a good way to relax and see the Chicago skyline from another angle, with all that fresh air and b
FlashGiant
FlashGiant
00
Super informative
Extremely informative! A great tour showcasing many of the buildings and the history of the area. A great trip!
Manderdog
Manderdog
00
site seeing
this was a nice history lesson. Although I wish it was a little longer for the price. We still enjoed it
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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5.0
4,020 reviews
Excellent
3,692
Very good
248
Average
34
Poor
21
Terrible
25

Shellie B
Portland, OR62 contributions
As a former travel writer, I’ve taken a lot of tours. Honestly, this was a Top 5 experience. The difference? The volunteer docent, Jim. He was an older man with an AMAZING memory and enthusiasm for the city. In 1.5 hours, he never referenced a script; he knew every date, architect name, address - it was astounding as was Chicago’s architecture. I’d recommend doing the last tour of the evening when you’ll likely be treated to the sun setting on the reflective buildings of the city. It makes for lovely photos. One last thing: I would have gladly tipped Jim, but the docents don’t accept gratuities.
Written 19 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

MNowosad
San Jose, CA131 contributions
Oct 2022
Excellent river tour through some of the most beautiful buildings of Chicago. Besides being able to have a privileged view of the city's famous architecture, you learn very interesting facts about Chicago history from the tour guide, who presents the stories in a very entertaining and informative way. Strongly recommend bringing a jacket, since, even in the summer (and specially in the winter), it can get cold and very breezy on the boat.
Written 22 December 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Kristen S
Melbourne, Australia12 contributions
This tour was amazing from start to finish! It’s long been a dream of mine to visit Chicago for its architecture and to see it from the river. Well, that dream came true.

Our narrator was fabulous- she knew all the historical details, insights, and she was SO funny.

The tour was enjoyable from start to finish and is such a great way to see Chicago. I learned so much, and have so much to research after!

The tour represents excellent value for money and I highly recommend for all ages.

My tip: if you go in winter, you must have a hat and gloves (maybe two pairs!!) and the warmest jacket you own! It is cold! Second tip: definitely book ahead, and do get there early so you can pick your seat on the deck or downstairs inside. I would say 20-30 mins is enough, though they recommend 30.

This is honestly one of the best tours I’ve ever done- 10/10 recommend!!
Written 21 January 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Drew
1 contribution
Sep 2022 • Friends
We booked from Navy Pier at dusk so we could enjoy a “sunset cruise” and be positioned to see the last fireworks of the season. Unfortunately, the weather changed to blustery and cool. We chose to sit at the back of the boat to avoid rain, if it happened. Wrong choice! To hear the commentary, we should have been front and center. The sound system was weak and a number of families sat around us making it doubly hard to hear the speaker. Our docent spoke for almost 1 1/2 hours without notes (!) but he spoke so quickly that we couldn’t process half of what he said. I would recommend he pepper his phenomenal amount of information with less statistics and more stories. We eventually gave up, sat back and tried to enjoy the sights. It was very disappointing.
Written 4 September 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

yvonnel253
Baltimore, Maryland3 contributions
May 2022 • Couples
Mary Jo, our guide for the May 10 boat tour, was knowledgeable about Chicago’s historic and current architecture, the engineering feats behind the skyscrapers and the history of Chicago River as well as the city. She took the time to introduce herself to passengers who were waiting to board the boat and to find out where they were from and why they were in town. She was organized, articulate, and provided an outstanding 90 minute presentation that was well worth the ticket price. The beautiful day made the trip unforgettable.
Written 18 May 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Alexandra
Lisbon, Portugal36 contributions
Oct 2022 • Family
I have taken a similar tour in high school and now as an almost 30 year old found this so interesting and insightful in a city I was raised near! My husband also thought it was amazing as he’s British and didn’t know much about the history of Chicago and it’s architecture. The guide was really passionate and well informed about all the buildings on the river and had a great sense of humor which made the tour go by super quickly. Would recommend if anyone wants to feel like a tourist and learn more about Chicago, this is great on a sunny day and they even serve some refreshments on board!
Written 11 December 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Tal
1 contribution
Dec 2022 • Friends
For the considerate sum of almost $50 a person I expected much more. There was no cover on the upstairs deck and it was a cold, windy, rainy day. I could hardly hear the guide - speakers at the back of the boat would have been helpful. I wouldn't recommend this tour during the winter, and I feel I didn't get my money's worth.
Written 16 December 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

retrorabbit66
Kokomo, IN152 contributions
Oct 2022
We thoroughly enjoyed our river cruise! We booked the 5:45 time slot in order to see the sunset from the river, but were pleasantly surprised that it was also a full moon that night. We watched the sunset and the moonrise, while learning lots from our docent, Jack. We also became honorary Chicagoans - Jack proclaimed us such after our cruise.

Definitely take this tour if you're in the area. Not only do you learn so much about the city and what makes the architecture unique, you also learn about where to go, what to do, where to eat, and lots of fun facts. And check sunset times for the time of year you visit and try to get on the tour that allows you to get both a day and night view of the city! The character of the city definitely changes once the sun goes down.
Written 15 October 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Robert L
1 contribution
Jun 2022
Heard many great things about the architecture tour and decided to be a tourist for a day even though I have lived in IL all my life. Antonio brought the architecture to life and was very animated when discussing the story of the Chicago fire. The weather was perfect for a 10 am tour and would definitely recommend it for tourists and people from IL who have never experienced the tour before.
Written 6 June 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Billy
Dayton, OH1 contribution
Jun 2022
We arrived for our 11:15a tour and boarded the boat about 10 minutes early. About 5 minutes before the tour was to start, we were notified that the guide was stuck in traffic and the tour would not be able to continue.

We were offered to take the 11:45a tour or receive a refund. The 11:45a tour did not work for us, so we elected for a refund. The staff on the boat were very apologetic. When we arrived at the ticket office, the representative was rude and dismissive regarding the refund. They refunded an amount smaller than what we originally paid. A manager offered the difference in cash, but they did not have cash available and would need to go to an ATM to get money to refund us. The staff in the office had a poor attitude and lack of customer service. We still were not refunded the full amount that we paid, but gave up in the interest of time.

Ultimately the time it took for the trip to be cancelled, and for us to receive a partial refund prevented us from finding another tour with another provider that would work for us. I will choose a different company in the future.
Written 3 June 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Nick J
Hi bzoel - Can you send your booking reference number to info@shorelinesightseeing.com so I can look into your situation?
Written 6 June 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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2023 Chicago Architecture River Cruise