- 1 hour (Approx.)
- Mobile ticket
Experience one of the world’s most beautiful cities on a 75-minute cruise on the historic Chicago River. On this architecture cruise, head down the main branch of the Chicago River, up the north branch to the East Bank Club, and then south past Willis Tower (Sears Tower) to the old Post Office Building. Take in magnificent city skyline views as you see more than 40 notable buildings, including the John Hancock Center and the Wrigley Building, and learn about their distinctive architecture from your onboard guide, an expert in architecture.
- 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
- Guided architecture cruise of the historic Chicago River
- Live commentary on board
- Hotel pickup and drop-off
1. 600 E Grand Ave
2. 401 N Michigan Ave
Returns to original departure point
Take an architecture cruise down the Chicago River and learn about the city’s 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 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.
Please note: all tours through March 31, 2019 are 60 minutes in length. All tours beginning April 1, 2019 are 75 minutes in length.
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
- 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
For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
This was my 3rd or 4th Chicago River Architectural cruise and was definitely the best. Our guide/docent, John, loves Chicago, the river and the architecture. He was wonderful.
This was an awesome experience. Highly recommended. We had a beautiful day to enjoy. Our guide was very knowledgeable.
The tour guides knowledge of Chicago architecture was outstanding, presented with humour, making the tour enjoyable
First of all - due to concerns about the weather, we wanted to change the date/time of our pre-booked tour and the company was brilliant - no fuss, no bother, just "yes, no problem". So I've bumped up the review to 5 stars for the service. The tour itself was great - our guide was very knowledgeable, clearly interested in his subject and full of enthusiasm, which meant that he carried his audience with him even if they weren't initially all that interested in architecture! We learned lots about architecture, the city and the river, and I would highly recommend this tour.
Very enjoyable and informative. Perfect for all ages. Our guide was very knowledgeable and personable. Worth the money for sure, it was a cold day but the warm tea and hot chocolate available to purchase helped keep us warm!
Absolutely loved the architectural tour! Our tour guide was so knowledgeable and we learned so much! Would definitely recommend to anyone visiting Chicago.
We had a great boat tour, we learned a lot about the different history and stories of Chicago's skyscrapers as well as a lot about the new river walk plans that are being constructed currently. It was a perfect quick, not too long but not too short kind of touristy thing to do. I highly recommend it!!
Ben was so knowledgeable and interesting with the best sense of humor! This was by far the best tour we have been on.
The Architectural River Cruise was amazing! One of my favorite things to do in Chicago. My first boat ride was as an elementary school student and each time I return to Chicago I choose to book this tour again. So much wonderful information about the city!
The guide was very informative! The employees were polite and helpful. Definitely a great tour to take
Great tour of the city. Tour guide was excellent. So many interesting buildings. I would say this is a must for any visit.
A really great way to see the city and learn about Chicago history. Our guide was FABULOUS!!!!!!!Taking the 12;30 PM cruise was perfect, enjoyed the Navy Pier and then the cruise. The staff was excellent!!
A great way to see the different buildings of the city!! Staff and boat crew were great!! Docent was very knowledgeable.
It was a foggy day but still gorgeous. The guide was very knowledgeable. I saw and learned a lot about Chicago in a short period of time. Highly recommend!
This was a gem! We are thrilled we did this tour. It was informative, pleasant and interesting. The buildings are fantastic, our guide was outstanding, and the boats are smooth, clean and fun! We will definitely do this again when we return to Chicago!
We had a wonderful tour of the architectural view of the city. Our guide was well informed and interesting
Jim our tour guide was great! Stephanie at Giardellis wants to meet him to confirm that he’s real! Great tour!