Chicago Architecture River Cruise
package options
from $41.44
the low down
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.
  • You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.
  • Chicago, Illinois , United States of America
  • 75 minutes
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what to expect

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 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
inclusions and exclusions

  • 75-minute guided architecture cruise of the historic Chicago River
  • Live commentary on board
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Returns to original departure point
  • 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
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • 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.
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • PLEASE NOTE: All tours between 11/27/2017 and 2/25/2018 will be 60 minutes in length
cancellation policy
  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.