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Chicago Architecture River Cruise

Badge of ExcellenceChicago, United States

From HK$377.11

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Secure your spot while staying flexible
Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance.
  • 1 hour 15 minutes (approx.)
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English


Cruise down the Chicago River to see the city's famous architecture on this boat tour. With commentary from your onboard guide, watch the spectacular skyline glide by, including more than 40 notable buildings like Navy Pier, the Wrigley Building, and the John Hancock Building. Cover all three branches of the Chicago River, passing the East Bank Club, the old Post Office Building and the Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower).
  • Discover all three branches of the Chicago River with your guide, an expert in architecture
  • Enjoy the best vantage point to admire the distinct city skyline and architecture
  • See more than 40 buildings including the Wrigley Building and Willis Tower
  • Discover the major events that helped shape the architectural history of Chicago

Why Travelers Choose This Tour

This ultra-flexible cruise runs more than 20 times daily from Navy Pier and Michigan Avenue.

What's Included

  • Guided architecture cruise of the historic Chicago River
  • Live commentary on board
  • Drinks (available for purchase)

Meeting And Pickup

Meeting points

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End point

This activity ends back at the meeting point.

What To Expect

Make your way to either Navy Pier or Michigan Avenue (depending on option chosen) for your cruise departure. Board your riverboat and find a comfortable seat; a restroom and sometimes a full bar are available on the boat. Listen as your guide, an architecture expert, gives you an introduction to the city's landmarks. 

Along the scenic route, see buildings by world-famous architects including Mies van der Rohe, Helmut Jahn, and Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. A boat on the river is the best vantage point to admire the distinct city skyline.

Pass by more than 40 distinctive buildings, including the John Hancock Center, the Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower), the Wrigley Building, and the Lyric Opera House. Listen as your guide recounts 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.

Your cruise ends at its starting point.

Chicago River

Cruise takes place on the Chicago River.

1 hour Admission Ticket Free

Chicago Skyline (Pass By)

Enjoy an amazing view of the city's skyline.

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
  • Departure locations cannot be changed
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 250 travelers

Cancellation Policy

You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.

  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

about cancellations.

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.

Q:What is the policy on sanitization during Chicago Architecture River Cruise?

A:The policy on sanitization is:
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas

Q:What is the social distancing policy during Chicago Architecture River Cruise?

A:The policy on social distancing is:
  • Contactless payments for gratuities and add-ons

Traveler Photos

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Traveler Tips

Most of the boat is exposed, so make sure to wear appropriate attire in the case of rain or direct sunlight.
There are 2 departure piers (East Michigan and East Grand) so make sure that you’re at the right place.
8,520 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
Reviews by Viator travelers.
Showing 1-10 of 8,520 reviews
Wonderful history of...
Jennifer_G, Aug 2022
Wonderful history of Chicago’s architecture, beautiful skylines, amazing tour guide all on a relaxing river cruise.
Must do in Chicago
Amy_Y, Aug 2022
Great introduction to the history of Chicago through architecture. Our guide said he had been doing tours for 10 years and it really showed in the smoothness and amount of information provided in his explanations. Despite it probably have been his 3000x giving the tour, his energy and friendliness really brought the experience to life. It was the perfect amount of time and moment to “relax” between non stop being on our feet the day before and after.
Great experience
Joseph_T, Aug 2022
Spiro made the trip very interesting. I don't think the cruise would have been as good if it were not for Spiro.
Great City Views!
Tara_W, Aug 2022
Great tour and highly suggested! We went on the 7:30pm tour which was absolutely perfect timing. We were able to see the city during dusk and the beauty of it lit up at night.
All around best tour
Maria_D, Aug 2022
Great historical tour of the architecture and with the best views. Spiro was well knowledges about the history of his city.
Architecture tour
Michael_D, Aug 2022
This was great Spiros was such a brilliant guide. Recommend to anybody visiting Chicago would love to do it again.
The history of Chicago...
Paula_S, Aug 2022
The history of Chicago and it’s architecture was fascinating. Our guide was enthusiastic and knowledgeable. She asked for questions and interacted with the group.
I was in town on a...
jessica_a, Aug 2022
I was in town on a business trip. I wanted to experience Chicago in some type of way in the little time that I had. This tour popped up on my google search.. it was amazing. I have to say, Patrick was our tour guide. He was nothing short of an expert on this tour. I didn’t expect to learn so much about Chicago, her was clear, funny, entertaining and like I said..expertly delivering a fantastic experience. I hope they treat him well. He sure was amazing, I shared the videos and pics I captured. All my co workers had serious FOMO. They are all booing with me next time. As Patrick said , there’s always something new on the tour as the years go on. Bravo! Thx To the crew and Patrick. Great job.
Loved learning about the...
Christine_F, Aug 2022
Loved learning about the city and the views are fabulous while floating down the river. . Boat narrator was fantastic too!!
Take the Tour!
Jennifer_T, Aug 2022
Great tour! Great knowledge, interesting facts and beautiful skyline from the water! The whole team was great!
Elizabeth_M, Aug 2022
We fell in love with the city because of this tour and learned so much. The tour guide was amazing and knew her stuff top notch! We were treated with much respect and had a smooth ride! This was an amazing experience that we would recommend to anyone. You will see the city with much detail and admire the beauty it has to offer!
A great view.
Cheryl_K, Aug 2022
The view as the boat turned the first time was great. I wished the guide would have given a heads up for the photo opportunity. The coffee was awful that is why only 4 stars. It was chilly and a whiskey/coffee helped. The guide was delightful, knowledgeable, and personable.
Tour guide speaks like there’s no tomorrow. I couldn’t understand him a thing
Sonia_G, Aug 2022
The skyline is wonderful but it feels rushed because the tour guide speaks way to fast as if he didn’t care for the tourists.
SarinaIsabel_S, Aug 2022
The tour was amazing!! It was my first time in Chicago and this was the highlight of our trip. Our tour guide Kevin gave a spectacular narration of Chicago's history and had cute 'dad jokes' to keep us entertained throughout the trip. He also surprised us with a fun little performance at the end of the tour.
Happy Birthday Evan!
Ryanne_P, Aug 2022
Absolutely fantastic staff! They were friendly, wiping off seats for us with the rain and the tour guide Evan was well educated and super friendly as well! Bummed we couldn’t buy Evan a birthday shot for his 21st but he graciously declined since he was working lol The views are gorgeous on the river, even the toddlers enjoyed it. Would recommend for anyone that loves a good view, boats or architecture.
Wonderful tour!
Catherine_M, Aug 2022
Our guide Jack was awesome! We learned a lot and the architecture in Chicago is incredible to see on this tour.
Must-do experience!!
Kirsten_A, Aug 2022
We had the most amazing time on this tour! Our guide, Antonio, was absolutely fantastic. Entertaining yet informative. The views were unreal, even for someone who spends a lot of time in Chicago. Highly recommend this, very worthwhile.
fantastic !
HARRIET_L, Aug 2022
our docent was very informative and funny and entertaining. I learned a lot about the city I did not know before
Excellent and clear even for a French speaking
Martin_G, Aug 2022
Excellent tour, very clear and understandable, even for me whose English is a second language. The guide (Victor) was incredibly knowledgeable!
Spectacular Views
Dawn_C, Aug 2022
Chicago is such a beautiful city that I, even as a New Yorker, appreciate its allure. Its architecture and the stories behind it add to its charm. I’d recommend this tour to anyone who visits Chicago.


Product code: 5580ARC