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“A must”

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.
Dublin, Ireland
Level 5 Contributor
72 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“A must”
Reviewed 13 November 2011

I would absolutely recommend this boat tour. A great way to see the whole city in 2 hours and so much information to soak in. probably better for adults rather than kids

Visited October 2011
Helpful?
1 Thank Monty2212
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Sacramento, California
Level 6 Contributor
98 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“An amazing tour!”
Reviewed 13 November 2011

We thoroughly enjoyed this tour of the amazing architecture that Chicago has to offer. The tour guide was exceptionally knowledgeable about each building, the style, architect, history of the city were all relayed in a professional and interesting manor. I would take this tour again!

Visited November 2011
Helpful?
1 Thank Barbara L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tampa, FL
Level 4 Contributor
45 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Go at sunset”
Reviewed 10 November 2011

We took the sunset cruise and it was a beautiful time of day to see the buildings and be on the river. Our guide was really funny and knowledgeable. They serve alcohol if you want evening cocktails, but it's also good for families.

Visited June 2011
Helpful?
Thank CSailor71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
chiarchitecture, Manager at Chicago’s First Lady Cruises, responded to this review, 22 November 2011
Thanks for the great review of our river cruise! In addition to the river cruise we also offer more than 85 other tours of the city year round. Be sure to check them out the next time you're in town!

Again, thank you for the review. We look forward to seeing you at the Chicago Architecture Foundation again soon!

Jennifer
New Media Manager
Chicago Architecture Foundation
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago
Level 6 Contributor
649 reviews
281 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 240 helpful votes
“Photographic Eye Candy”
Reviewed 10 November 2011

I live in this town and have taken this cruise 3 times. As a serious photographer, the river cruise offers a great deal to shoot but a great deal of obstacles to your getting good images. Here are some things to remember.
- go early or late in the day; there are less people and better light
- stay near the bow of the boat. The view is better and there are less people.
- bracket all your shots because the metering system on your camera has too many objects to play with
- shoot at a high ISO so you can negate you hand-held movement; all a tripod will do is transmit engine vibration to your camera
- beware of wide angle lenses because you are shooting up a tall buildings and will get heavy distortion
- watch your gear, keep your camera bag closed and next to you all all times
- when the boat goes out of the river, through the locks and into Lake Michigan, put your camera down and just watch. The better images are taken on the way back in.
- most importantly, don't hide behind your camera, enjoy this wonderful cruise in an exquisitely beautiful city!

Visited July 2011
Helpful?
Thank Pixelpanderer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
chiarchitecture, Manager at Chicago’s First Lady Cruises, responded to this review, 22 November 2011
Thanks for your review of our river cruise. You definitely gave some great tips for photographers!

In addition to the river cruise we also offer 85 other tours of the city year-round. Which, of course, offer many interesting perspectives that you don't get on the river cruise. Be sure to check them out.

Again, thanks for the great review! We hope to see you at the Chicago Architecture Foundation again soon.

Jennifer
New Media Manager
Chicago Architecture Foundation
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Winnipeg
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Insight that made me appreciate Chicago more!”
Reviewed 9 November 2011

We stumbled across by virtue of having breakfast with a couple who just could not stop raving about it, and as it was a beautiful day...what the heck!

The guide (not an architect, but extremely knowleagable) provided an entertaining and straightforward explanation of the city, and a number of key buildings--only after the tour could I appreciate WHY the buildings are so diverse (hint...a fire destroyed averything for miles!!).

Not a lot to say, excpet that this tour (or one like it) should probably be a a "must do" or close for everyone visiting--and maybe even some residents of the city! Tip...do it on a nice day. I was thinking a few times "this would not be so fun in wind and rain".

Visited October 2011
Helpful?
Thank InThePeg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
chiarchitecture, Manager at Chicago’s First Lady Cruises, responded to this review, 22 November 2011
Thanks for the great review of our river cruise! In addition to the river cruise we also offer more than 85 other tours of the city year round. Be sure to check them out the next time you're in town!

Again, thank you for the review. We look forward to seeing you at the Chicago Architecture Foundation again soon!

Jennifer
New Media Manager
Chicago Architecture Foundation
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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