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Chicago’s First Lady Cruises

#1 of 170 Tours in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
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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
09:00 - 16:00
Closed now
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Mon - Wed 09:00 - 16:00
Thu - Sun 09:00 - 17:30

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 3,720 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 2950
  • 390
    Very good
  • 61
  • 17
  • 8
Very interesting and informative

We took a 90 minute architectural tour with first lady cruises and really enjoyed ourselves. The narrator on the boat is a volunteer as I guess all the narrators are. These... read more

Reviewed 2 days ago
Sheryl L
Romeo, Michigan
via mobile

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3,720 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 3,426: English reviews
Level Contributor
283 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 121 helpful votes
Reviewed yesterday NEW

My niece was in town for a conference so we took her on a river cruise so she could see the city in a unique way. These boats are wide and comfortable. You can sit inside or out and the volunteer who was doing the speaking had an unbelievable amount of information to share regarding the architecture. I was born... More 

Thank KenL60089
Romeo, Michigan
Level Contributor
148 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

We took a 90 minute architectural tour with first lady cruises and really enjoyed ourselves. The narrator on the boat is a volunteer as I guess all the narrators are. These individuals actually get to meet with many of the architects and learn little details about the skyline and the individual buildings and how they were all designed and it... More 

Thank Sheryl L
Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
14 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

I haven't done this architecture boat tour since college and forgot how great it is! The views are wonderful and the tour very informative. Our guide was funny and very knowledgeable. It is a side of Chicago that you don't appreciate and it is fun to see another view of the city that you would miss on foot. They have... More 

Thank vinoamore
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
162 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

This is the boat cruise to take -- run by the Architectural Society, the tour guides are volunteers and they know their stuff -- knowledgeable and friendly, the tour is 90 minutes and worth the time. It was chilly the day we went, but just being on the river gives you a different view of the city and some wonderful... More 

Thank kerryharrismail
Gainesville, GA
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

I went on the noon tour on 4-18-17 and it was terrific! Our guide was very knowledgeable and professional. The weather was super which added to the experience. The history of many of the buildings along the riverfront were discussed which included the date constructed, architects/engineers, and type of construction. Take a hat ,sunglasses, and a jacket. it was definitely... More 

Thank Insul8ter
Halifax, Canada
Level Contributor
44 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

I would definitely recommend doing this river tour as a great way to see Chicago. Our tour guide was named Allison (I believe) and she was very knowledgable. I loved hearing the stories about buildings old and new. You get a really great view of the entire city skyline toward the end of the tour. Dress warmly on the water... More 

Thank Lindsay D
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
15 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 days ago NEW via mobile

Every Chicagoan we spoke to in Denver said this is the one thing we must do on our trip. So we did-got tickets in advance for a sunny Sunday afternoon cruise. It lasted 90 minutes and we wished for 90 minutes more! Our volunteer docent guide Joan paced her commentary perfectly and had a wealth of knowledge about the history... More 

Thank Elizabeth K
Level Contributor
111 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago NEW via mobile

This is a fabulous tour by boat of the architectural delight that is Chicago . The history is varied and fascinating and no better way to see all the different styles over the decades than by boat. The tour guides are all volunteers and are passionate and knowledgable about Chicago's glorious buildings . You wouldn't find this out any other... More 

Thank 920lorrainec
Milan, Italy
2 reviews
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Excellent guide, extremely clear in the explanation, highly recommended. Weather was great it is not the first time we have this tour, best experience in Chicago

Thank Laura B
Coral Gables, Florida
Level Contributor
26 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Our volunteer docent guide was terrific, engaging and incredibly knowledgeable, this tour gives you a tremendous sense of the history and architecture of the city! Don't miss it!

Thank barryk721

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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?
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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.
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