Chicago Architecture: Exploring City's Lake, River Structures
1,700 Ratings
Duration: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Cancellation: 1 day learn more
What's Included
  • All taxes, fees and handling charges
  • Outdoor and Indoor climate-controlled seating option
  • Local Expert Guide
  • On-board restrooms
What's Not Included
  • Alcoholic drinks, non-alcoholic drinks, and snacks available for purchase on board
  • Storage
Additional Information

Embarking on a journey since 1935, this much-loved Chicago ritual is the very tour that pioneered the way. This intriguing voyage narrates the tale of over two centuries of absorbing socio-cultural and political history while delving into over a hundred years of avant-garde architecture. The tour kicks off by offering a detailed view of Chicago’s world-renowned architectural beauty from the vantage point of the Chicago River. It then proceeds through the Chicago Lock, leading to the serene surroundings of Lake Michigan, presenting panoramic vistas of Chicago’s incredible 26-mile skyline. Capture a memorable selfie on this inspirational journey!

  • Weapons prohibited by US Coast Guard
  • Outside alcohol is prohibited
  • All bags are subject to search
  • Arrive 30 Minutes prior to your departure time
  • Contact tour operator for wheelchair & ADA access
  • Indoor and outdoor seating is available on a first come, first served basis
  • Special requests entered at checkout cannot be guaranteed
400 N Michigan Ave
North Michigan Avenue
Arrive at 400 N Michigan Avenue 30 minutes before your departure and you will be directed to your boarding dock. Please allow yourself plenty of time to arrive if driving. We do not have parking. It is recommend that you book parking in advance.
Cancellation Policy

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours before the scheduled departure time.

Customer Ratings
(1700 Ratings)
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May 17, 2024
Our b'day river tour excursion - Great little tour of the architecture, and history, of the downtown Chicago skyline. It was very neat getting the background out how, why, when all these buildings were constructed. Also, our tour guide had lots of info about Chicago's history. How Chicago got it's name...after stinky onions 🌰 to how the city burned down back in the 1800's. And it wasn't because of Mrs. O'Leary's cow 🐄 , as the fable has been told. Another interesting fact among many, the tour boats 🚢 can't just float out to Lake Michigan from the river. They enter a lock and dam system to raise the boats to the level of the lake when departing the river. They reverse the process when returning back to the river. Lots of neat info! Book a tour with Welland. We did the 90 minute tour, which is cheaper than the 45 minute tours (I guess people want the shorter tour). I cannot see the benefit though, as you probably miss quite a lot in those other 45 minutes. Furthermore, the boat has upper and lower decks (upper deck is best for viewing, unless it rains like it did on us for a short while). But below deck is cover, bathroom(s), and a bar with non-alcoholic/alcoholic drinks and snacks. Enjoy!!! Thank me later
Review provided by Viator
May 16, 2024
Wonderful tour! - John was our tour guide and he was fabulous! His knowledge of the history of the city and explanation of the architecture was superb. Highly recommend this tour!
Review provided by Viator
May 16, 2024
Great tour! - All of it was great! I especially liked being on the latter part of the River and learning about the different buildings and building styles
Review provided by Viator
May 16, 2024
Informative tour with beautiful sights - In 90 minutes we got a wonderful overview of Chicago’s architecture and history. Our tour guide, Jay, was knowledgeable, entertaining and she encouraged questions and would easily elaborate on any subject Chicagoland. Although the boat was full, it was easy to see the buildings close up and get great shots of the beautiful skyline. I would love to bring my family back for this tour since this was a solo trip for me.
Review provided by Viator
May 13, 2024
Great time - Very fun! I went with my dad and grandma and both had just the best time. It was a pretty day so on the water was great and got a little chilly at times.
Review provided by Viator
May 13, 2024
Awesome time on the water - John did a great job. Beautiful day on the water Loved it all . Will book another voyage soon. Wendella never disappoints
Review provided by Viator
May 13, 2024
Lots of fun facts! - Our tour guide, Kenny, was so entertaining! Lots of cool facts and a beautiful day on the water. Would recommend next time you're in Chicago
Review provided by Viator
May 12, 2024
Amazing trip - Totally worth it. Make sure to bring a cap, umbrella and coat. The tour guide was very good , we had a great time
Review provided by Viator
May 12, 2024
Great boat tour - Great entertaining & informative commentary on the tour. We really enjoyed our trip. The queuing to get to the dock could have been improved by being a bit clearer, perhaps placing some boards with the timing of the tours around. Our tour was at 11.30am and being asked to get there at least 30 mins beforehand, we arrived at 10.50 and joined a queue, to be told it was for the 11am boat. We weren’t the only people who did that. There were lots of people just got told to hang around until the 11am boat has gone.
Review provided by Viator
May 16, 2024
Needed to cancel - Asked for refund due to one of friends extremely sick. No one ever responded to request. I understand 24 hour cancel policy however it was morning of and we were going for her birthday. She’s in from Vegas so can’t pick another day. Asked for consideration and haven’t heard from anyone. Called and emailed
Review provided by Viator
Select Date and Tickets
up to 15 guests
1 Adult
May 2024