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All cruises are weather permitting and availability is based on Coast Guard capacity.

Chicago Architecture River Cruise

Gate Prices Adult $41.44
Child (3-12) $21.28

Part urban outing, part outdoor adventure, on this tour you'll explore the masterworks of some of the world's most famous architects, including Frank Lloyd Wright, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and more. There is no better view than from the Chicago River.

See beautiful Chicago by water on your trip, with an exciting cruise that takes you along the banks of the Chicago River. This one-hour cruise passes the best architectural landmarks of Chicago, while you relax and enjoy the splendor from your tour boat! It’s “urban outing” meets “outdoor adventure”, and it’s the perfect way to tour the city that claims as its own such architectural greats as Frank Lloyd Wright.

Shoreline’s reputable 75-Minute Architecture Tour takes you along all three branches of the Chicago River. You’ll be accompanied by a witty and well-informed docent, with whom you can chat in-depth about the history of Chicago’s architecture, including details about “the Great Fire” and the city’s landmark buildings. Mies van der Rohe, Skidmore Owings Merrill, and Helmut Jahn are among the world-famous architects who have made their mark in this metropolis in the form of highly recognizable buildings and functional skyscrapers.

Sights you will see and learn about along this tour include:

  • The Willis (Sears) Tower: At 110 meters high, this famous tower is the tallest in the Western hemisphere and the fifth largest in the world and contains some 3.8 million square feet of business and retail space.
  • The Tribune Tower: Home of The Chicago Tribune, CNN’s Chicago bureau, and WGN Radio, this prominent neo-gothic building was built in 1925 and stands 141 meters above ground.
  • The Wrigley Building: More than just a baseball field or chewing gum brand, the Wrigley name is also attached to this beautiful property that sits on Michigan Avenue’s “Magnificent Mile”.
  • Marina City: This multi-building complex occupies an entire block of the city and sits along the north bank of the Chicago River.
  • The Old Post Office Building: Designed by Graham, Anderson, Probst & White, this famous brick-sided mail terminal was listed by the National Register of Historic Places in 2001.

Enjoy this classic, informative tour of the world’s architectural hub! Tours departing from Navy Pier have Ramps for wheelchair boarding. Shoreline Architecture Cruises depart from the Navy Pier Ogden Slip. Please note that this tour does not run in the winter season.

Build your own discount attraction pass and save on combined admission to two or more attractions. Enjoy guaranteed discounts on Chicago Architecture River Cruise and your choice of other top attractions.


Multiple departures daily: April through November, 10:00am-5:30pm.
Please visit website for departure times. Schedules are subject to change.


Seasonal. Closed November-April.


All cruises are weather permitting and availability is based on Coast Guard capacity. Tour lasts 75 minutes. Does not include Fireworks Cruises. On Peak Days, we recommend departing from the Michigan Avenue location for shorter wait times and greater availability.


Michigan Avenue/Riverwalk (enter Riverwalk at the 401 N Michigan Avenue Plaza) OR
Navy Pier (departs at Ogden Slip at Polk Bros. Park)

Reviews for Architectural River Cruise

Review Snapshot® by PowerReviews Express
 5 out of 5 stars (based on 1 customer ratings)
Average Rating for Architectural River Cruise
0% of respondents would recommend this to a friend.
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Victor was awesome!
By Ray from From St. Louis Area on
User-friendly system, Money Saver
Best Uses:
General Sightseeing, Culture enthusiasts
Bottom Line:
Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

Comments about Smart Destinations Architectural River Cruise:

We enjoyed this tour enormously. Victor was knowledgeable about so many of the buildings and also the architects who created the magnificent works. His humor and delivery of funny lines kept the entire tour entertaining and lively, even though the temperature was in the 40's. Great part of the Chicago experience!

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