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Chicago Architecture Center River Cruise aboard Chicago's First Lady provided by Chicago’s First Lady Cruises

Chicago Architecture Center River Cruise aboard Chicago's First Lady

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COVID-19 update: See the added health and safety measures this experience is taking.Read more
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What you can expect during this experience
  • Contactless payment for gratuities and add-ons
  • Face masks required for travellers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
  • Hand sanitizer available to travellers and staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
Updated 30/06/20 Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.
Updated 30/06/20 Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.
Overview
See dozens of landmark buildings that line the Chicago River on the only architecture cruise lead by expert docents from the Chicago Architecture Center. The vessel—Chicago’s First Lady—is designed for prime sightseeing in any weather, with guaranteed outdoor seating on the spacious deck plus a climate-controlled indoor cabin.
Itinerary
  • You'll start at
    112 E Wacker Dr
    112 E Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL 60601, USA
    On Chicago's Riverwalk at Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive. Please use 112 E. Wacker for GPS navigation. Look for our blue awning at street level on the southeast corner of the Michigan Avenue Bridge at Wacker Drive.
    See address & details
  • 1
    Chicago River
    Stop: 90 minutes
    The story of the Chicago River is one that continues to unfold. Through periods of industry, transportation, revitalization and recreation, it has grown and changed like the city itself.
    Read more
    Pass by
    Marina City
    Navy Pier
    Chicago Architecture Center
  • You'll end at
    112 E Wacker Dr
    112 E Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL 60601, USA
    On Chicago's Riverwalk at Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive. Please use 112 E. Wacker for GPS navigation. Look for our blue awning at street level on the southeast corner of the Michigan Avenue Bridge at Wacker Drive.
    See address & details
+
Highlights
  • Learn the history behind Chicago's signature skyscrapers and their designers
  • Glide by more than 50 buildings on a cruise down the Chicago River
  • Spacious boat equipped with large picture windows and an open-top viewing deck
  • Narrated by building experts from the Chicago Architecture Center
Important Information
Departure Point
112 E Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL 60601, USA
Duration
1h 30m
Return Details
Returns to original departure point
Inclusions
  • Live commentary on board
  • Local guide (docents)
  • River Sightseeing cruise
Exclusions
  • Drinks & light snacks (available to purchase)
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off not available
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Additional Info
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Your tickets will be held at the dockside box office for collection on the day of the cruise
  • Children must be accompanied by an adult
  • Not recommended for children younger than 12 years
  • Routes, specific vessels, and schedules are subject to change without notice
  • All seating is General Admission. Boarding is on a first come, first serve basis
  • Most departures wheelchair accessible, please advise at time of booking if wheelchair assistance is required
  • Operates in all weather conditions, please dress appropriately
  • Near public transportation
  • Most travellers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 40 travellers
Cancellation Policy
All sales are final and incur 100% cancellation penalties.
349Reviews
13Q&A
Traveller rating
  • 304
  • 17
  • 1
  • 1
  • 2
Traveller type
Time of year
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Popular mentions
Thomas W wrote a review Nov 2020
5 contributions
+1
Truly couldn't be happier with the experience. Got super lucky with the weather...not often shorts are worn aboard their tours in Nov, no doubt! The Information shared by the docent (a volunteer from the Chicago Architecture Center) was impressive and took the visual beauty of
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Response from Deborah R, Director of Sales at Chicago Architecture Center River Cruise aboard Chicago's First Lady
Responded 2 weeks ago
You did get lucky with the weather. Glad Joan truly enhanced your visit.
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LifeAsIz wrote a review Sep 2020
Long Beach24 contributions15 helpful votes
This was a great tour. It was relaxing and informative. Our docent was incredibly knowledgable. I highly recommend this river cruise if you want to gain some architectural knowledge of the Chicago River area. I took a river cruise with a different tour company a few years back
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Date of experience: September 2020
1 Helpful vote
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Response from Blake_CAC, Manager of Sales Support at Chicago Architecture Center River Cruise aboard Chicago's First Lady
Responded 21 Oct 2020
Thank you for the review, I'm glad we were able to ensure you felt safe onboard and enjoyed the cruise!
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Mamjensen wrote a review Sep 2020
Modesto, California417 contributions107 helpful votes
We had a great time on our river cruise and learned a lot about Chicago architecture. The docent was very knowledgeable and obviously cared a lot about the subject matter. We took the 5 o’clock cruise on a Sunday afternoon and we’re treated to a sunset at the end of the cruise
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2 Helpful votes
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Response from Deborah R, Director of Sales at Chicago Architecture Center River Cruise aboard Chicago's First Lady
Responded 15 Sep 2020
Those evening departures are extra special when the sun and the weather cooperates. Thanks for sharing.
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klondike204 wrote a review Sep 2020
Grand Rapids, Michigan93 contributions39 helpful votes
Such a solid, informative, engaging tour along the Chicago river. Highly recommended, especially for those with limited time to see Chicago .. which was our case. A bit pricey for a 90 minute tour but, after doing it, can say that it is definitely worth the expense!
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Date of experience: August 2020
1 Helpful vote
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Response from Deborah R, Director of Sales at Chicago Architecture Center River Cruise aboard Chicago's First Lady
Responded 4 Sep 2020
Thanks for sharing that you got your money's worth! Hope the info you gained about Chicago helped set you up to enjoy the rest of your short visit.
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Ryan H wrote a review Aug 2020
2 contributions2 helpful votes
Great day on the river with a lot of insight into the buildings that line it and some of Chicago's history.
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Date of experience: August 2020
1 Helpful vote
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Response from Deborah R, Director of Sales at Chicago Architecture Center River Cruise aboard Chicago's First Lady
Responded 21 Aug 2020
It has been an exceptionally beautiful week. Glad you got to share Chicago at it's best.
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About the operator

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

By: Chicago’s First Lady Cruises
DavidMarino
00
Fantastic and must do!
This is a wonderful way to spend an hour and a half seeing the beautiful river fronts and architecture of Chicago.
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AMohsen
00
Quite impressive
It could be considered the best river I have ever visited in a big city so far. It is a must-see in Chicago and mos
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rtumbo
00
Awe-Inspiring Visual Experience
Loved this cruise with the history of Chicago before and after the Great Fire. Many important building designs and
Read more
mikekap24
00
I keep going back
I cannot say enough about how amazing of experience this tour is. Does the fact that I've now done it 3 or 4 times
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Philippa P
00
Choose this one....if you are a lover of all things architectural
Out host recommended this tour over the one available on the Chicago card. Our guide was fantastic...very knowledg
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Rolshchikov-Dmitry
00
Best way to get to know Chicago
This amazing river tour goes through the Loop and offers astonishing views at the great Chicago buildings. Our guid
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Amanda W
00
Must do
Today we attended the architectural boat tour by the First Lady fleet. Our docent Patricia was funny and super info
Read more
looking160
00
Sunny November Day
Our guide was Judith. Warm, knowledgable, funny & kept us engage throughout! Worth taking sunglasses as you are tak
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_hcmy_web
00
Great tour guided by a senior architect
Great tour due to the detailed explanations on the different styles. TIP: do not trow away your ticket, with it you
Read more
Jaymill8
00
Architectural Tour Outstanding
Rated #1 for a reason! We enjoyed every minute of this tour and would highly recommend. Docent Bob seemed to know e
Read more
GilletteN
00
Must Do in Chicago!
Alina was our guide and she was absolutely fantastic! We had such a great time and learned a lot about the city / a
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KrystleBT
00
A great introduction to Chicago
This is a great way to see Chicago and learn about its history and architecture. Although I have been to Chicago ma
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virginiaa2015
00
Outstanding
Second time I’ve enjoyed this tour. Docent Patricia Grund excellent guide. A Chicago “must do”!!! Sitting outside
Read more
SLPHammonton
00
Great tour.
This tour was super informative. Judith our tour guide knew everything there was to know about buildings along the
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Michael C
00
Cold, but loved the view
Everyone told us to book an architecture tour when we went to Chicago. We were told also to go on the First Lady as
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Key Details
  • Duration: 1h 30m
  • Mobile Ticket Accepted
  • Instant Confirmation
  • Languages Offered: English
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