Chicago River: 1.5-Hour Guided Architecture Cruise
Culture & history
For first-time visitors
Nature & adventure
Experience Chicago’s legendary architecture from the best seat in the house: the river. Enjoy a comprehensive tour with a live fun guide as you navigate through the heart of the city covering all 3 branches of the Chicago River.
Our Top Experiences and Tours in Chicago:
If youʻre booking your trip to Chicago last minute, we have you covered. Below are some of the top tours and experiences!
Pre-purchase your ticket to skip the ticket line and guarantee your place on this popular cruise
Experience the architectural river tour which started it all – back in 1935
Enjoy year-long cruising with a choice of outside deck-top or indoor climate-controlled seating
Learn from expert tour guides the importance of Chicago’s architecture and how it has developed over the years
Enjoy true Chicago hospitality with locally sourced food and drinks available at a full service cash bar
Experience more of Chicago by boat than on any other architectural cruise. See architectural highlights and enjoy an open-air deck or climate-controlled interior as you travel the main River and its north and south branches.
View all of Chicago's architectural highlights during this comprehensive sightseeing tour. Be entertained by the expert and friendly tour guides as they explain the 130 year-long history behind the skyline, while bartenders and staff keep you comfortable with refreshments.
Choose between the fresh air of the open-air decks or enjoy the comfort of the climate-controlled interiors during your cruise. The tour starts at the Michigan Avenue (DuSable) bridge and goes up the main branch of the Chicago River past Wolf Point.
It then cruises along the north and south branches of the river, before heading back past the Chicago Riverwalk towards Lake Michigan.
On the way, learn about ornate, historic early skyscrapers like the Wrigley Building and the Tribune Tower, the imposing art deco Merchandise Mart, mid-century skyscrapers like the Mies Van der Rohe AMA Building.
Don't miss the circular Marina City Towers, the majestic Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower and the tallest building in Chicago) the soaring AON Center, and more modernist structures like Aqua, Trump Tower, Nuveen, and the new Vista Tower.
During your cruise, have the opportunity to enjoy a full-service cash bar featuring authentic Chicago products, including local beer and spirits, and Garrett’s Popcorn.
Don’t forget to take a selfie at the Grand Staircase at the front of the boat or pose for photos at the picturesque stern or bow of this classic vessel.
Boat trip along the main, north, south river
Access to open deck
Access to climate-conditioned interior deck
Local expert tour guide
Children under 4 years of age are free
Seats on the decks are chosen on a first-come, first-serve basis
All bags are subject to search
Vessels include restrooms with diaper changing tables, cash bar, and climate control
Passengers can bring their own non-alcoholic beverages and food
Cancel up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund