Chicago Architecture River Cruise

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Tour Information

Key Details

  • Mobile Voucher Accepted
  • Free Cancellation
  • Instant Confirmation
  • Lowest Price Guaranteed
  • Duration: 1 Hr
  • Language:
  • Departure Details :
    1: 600 E Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60611, USA
    2: 401 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611, USA
  • Return Details :
    Returns to original departure point
  • Cancellation Policy :
    For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience. Tours booked using discount coupon codes will be non refundable.


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All taxes, fuel surcharges and service fees included

Choice of several departures throughout the day

Family friendly

Fully narrated tour

Great overview and orientation of the city

Know More about this tour

Take an architecture cruise down the Chicago River and learn about the citys famed architecture from your knowledgeable guide. Board your tour at Navy pier for an exciting journey that takes you down all three branches of the historic Chicago River and past impressive architectural landmarks.

Pass by more than 40 distinctive buildings on your cruise including the John hancock center, The wrigley building, the Aon Center, Willis tower (Sears Tower), the IBM Building and more. Your guide, an expert in architecture, will recount the two major events that helped shape the architectural history of the city. Learn about how the invention of balloon-frame construction revolutionized how homes were built, and hear the dramatic story of Chicago's rise from the Great Fire of 1871. Both of these milestones led Chicago to become one of the cradles of modern American architecture.

Along the scenic 75-minute route, see buildings by world-famous architects including Mies van der Rohe, Helmut Jahn and Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM). This river tour provides the best advantage point to admire the distinct city skyline and marvel at world-famous architecture while learning about Chicago's fascinating history.

For a full list of Chicago architectural wonders seen on this tour, see the Itinerary section below.


On the Chicago architecture cruise, you will see and learn about the following landmarks:

• Navy Pier
• Lake Point Tower
• Aon Center
• John Hancock Center
• Cityfront Center
• Illinois Center
• NBC Tower
• Chicago Tribune Tower
• London Guarantee Building333 North Michigan Building
• 401 North Michigan
• Wrigley Building
• 35 East Wacker
• Leo Burnett Building
• IBM Building
• Marina City
• RR Donnelley Center
• LaSalle-Wacker Building
• 222 North LaSalle
• Central Office Building
• Merchandise Mart
• 333 West Wacker, Montgomery Ward Complex
• River Cottages, Merchandise Mart
• Fulton House
• 225 West Wacker
• Boeing World Headquarters
• Civic Opera Building
• AT&T Corporate Center
• USG Building
• Riverside Plaza
• Citicorp Center
• Willis Tower (Sears Tower)
• Chicago Board of Trade
• Central US Post Office
• US Post Office Central Processing and Distribution Center
• 311 South Wacker
• River City


Guided architecture cruise of the historic Chicago River

Live commentary on board


Hotel pickup and drop-off

Additional Info

Confirmation will be received at time of booking

Not wheelchair accessible

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.

Near public transportation

Most travelers can participate

This tour/activity will have a maximum of 250 travelers

Traveler Reviews

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  • 17-Mar-2020

    Jim was an excellent guide, the captain and the staff were also great. We will definately be taking this tour again.

  • 16-Mar-2020

    Great! Loved all the information we received about the history of a lot of the buildings. Our guide was very informative. Highly recommend this tour!

  • 10-Mar-2020

    The tour is very good. But let down when you get there and saw the price at the counter is about $7 cheaper than what I paid online. Spoiled the moment.

  • 06-Mar-2020

    Excellent tour! Great tour guide! Very interesting history about Chicago. Known by the Indians as the stinky onion

  • 05-Mar-2020

    This cruise is absolutely fantastic!
    Victor, our tour guide, is so passionate about the buildings architecture. It pours out as he shares the information! He entire crew is very welcoming and helpful!
    Perfect for the whole family! Our 80 year old auntie loved it!!!
    Thank you so much!

  • 20-Dec-2019

    If you want to learn a little about Chicago's history and origins, its architecture and take a nice little cruise along the river, this is the way to do it. Make sure to get there early to start lining up for boarding so you have a shot at getting the seat(s) you want. There are plenty, but it does get crowded so if you have a big group who all wants to stay together, the earlier the better! (We didn't, but we saw several groups who had to split up a bit. But some nice people offered to switch their seats to try and help accommodate them. That was nice to see.)

  • 28-Oct-2019

    We had an excellent time and Jim was very engaging and knowledgeable.
    We were only in town for a couple of days and very glad we chose this activity

  • 28-Oct-2019

    This is what everyone says to do here. Unique, history - fire, river reverse, midwest architects, smelly onions - all good for all ages.

  • 22-Oct-2019

    It was amazing, our tour guide Liz was very informative and had a lot of knowledge about the city, would definitely recommend it. They have a bar and two floors. Definitely being a coat of you come to the tour near 5pm.

  • 22-Oct-2019

    We took our cruise right before sunset and it was a great way to start our evening. Our tour guide gave us lots of great information about the many beautiful buildings along the river. We were fortunate to get a amazing sunset while we were on our river cruise. Looking at the skyline of Chicago right at sunset was the best part of our evening. The bonus for us was a full moon was coming up at the same time.

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