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Architecture River Cruise

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.
  • Adult gate price $34.88
  • Child gate price $19.62
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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 one-hour Architecture Cruise 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! Ramps are available for easy wheelchair boarding, and maps and architectural guides are handed out and can be kept as souvenirs after the trip. Shoreline Architecture Cruises depart from the Navy Pier Ogden Slip. Please note that this tour does not run in the winter season.

Reviews for Architecture River Cruise

Review Snapshot® by PowerReviews Express
 4.8 out of 5 stars (based on 19 customer ratings)
Average Rating for Architecture River Cruise
0% of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Customers most agreed on the following attributes:

Pros:
Fun (5), Informative (3)
Best Uses:
Tried it? Write a Review
Reviewed by 19 Customers Sort by:
Displaying Reviews 1-10 of 19 Back to Top Previous | Next »
Fabulous!
By Spider Vacation Verified Reviewer from Lenexa, KS on
Pros:
fun, Interesting
Bottom Line:
Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

Comments about Smart Destinations Architectural River Cruise by Shoreline:

We went in the early fall so crowds weren't an issue. Our guide Sarah was great! We really enjoyed the cruise and getting a different view of the city. Sarah was very knowledgable about the architecture. It would be good to do early in the trip to get a feel for the area.

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[2 of 2 customers found this review helpful]

Favorite attraction in Chicago!
By LilRhody from Newport, RI on
Pros:
Great price, fun, Great views, Infiormative, Perfect Amount Of Time
Bottom Line:
Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

Comments about Smart Destinations Architectural River Cruise by Shoreline:

This tour was my favorite attraction our whole trip! The most beautiful views, right in the middle of downtown chicago and in the middle of all of the action. The tour spans over a large area of Chicago, perfect length of time it flies by. Can enjoy a nice cool cocktail on board, tour guide extremely knowledgable, and great photo opportunities

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[2 of 2 customers found this review helpful]

Awesome tour
By Mom3boys Verified Reviewer from Crofton MD on
Bottom Line:
Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

Comments about Smart Destinations Architectural River Cruise by Shoreline:

This had been recommended by several friends so it was the first thing we did when we arrived in Chicago. It was a fun and informative way to see Chicago. Our tour guide was very entertaining and knowledgeable. It was a great tour and I would highly recommend.

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Very informative
By Becky from Portland, ME on
Pros:
fun, Educational, Educational fun
Best Uses:
Learn About Chicago, Good Photo Ops,
Bottom Line:
Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

Comments about Smart Destinations Architectural River Cruise by Shoreline:

We really wanted to get a good intro to Chicago and heard good things about this tour. So glad we did! Our tour guide, Brett, knew so much about the city and gave a really informative and fun tour. Perfect op to take lots of pictures, too, because you can get a good view you won't get from the street. I feel like I learned so much! Bring a jacket, though, because even if its hot out you'll get cold on the boat.

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Great City
By Bernie from Dallas on
Pros:
Family, Best, Weather
Bottom Line:
Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

Comments about Smart Destinations Architectural River Cruise by Shoreline:

This was the best vacation we've had!!

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Great way to end our trip!
By Chris from Charlotte, NC on
Bottom Line:
Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

Comments about Smart Destinations Architectural River Cruise by Shoreline:

We did the Architectural River cruise the morning before departing. This was a great way to end our trip - a fun ride around the City where we made great memories for the whole week! Our tour guide was great!! Don't remember his name, but it was great.

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Fun, informative, great experience!
By Kelly348 Verified Reviewer from Pittsburgh, PA on
Pros:
Entertaining, Informative, fun, Professional
Cons:
Delayed By Late Customers,
Bottom Line:
Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

Comments about Smart Destinations Architectural River Cruise by Shoreline:

We had so much fun on this cruise. It was so interesting and informative. It's a great way to introduce yourself to Chicago and learn about the history as well as all the city has to offer!

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[1 of 1 customers found this review helpful]

That's a must!
By France Verified Reviewer from Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Québec, Canada on
Bottom Line:
Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

Comments about Smart Destinations Architectural River Cruise by Shoreline:

Not easy to find the trolley office that is inside the Hilton Palmer in the gift shop

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A cant miss cruise!
By Tani from Miami on
Pros:
Learn About The History, See The City
Cons:
nothing negative to say,
Bottom Line:
Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

Comments about Smart Destinations Architectural River Cruise by Shoreline:

This is a great way to relax after a long day and enjoy the city view

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Cover the tall building chicago in 30 ms
By Krish Verified Reviewer from Saint Paul,MN on

Comments about Smart Destinations Architectural River Cruise by Shoreline:

Cover the tall building chicago in 30 mins and history of each building with cruise ride. Never miss this in Chicago.

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Architecture River Cruise Details

Phone: 312-222-9328
Address
600 East Grand Avenue
Departs from Ogden Slip at Navy Pier
Chicago, IL 60611
Hours
Multiple departures daily: April through November, 10:00 am–7:00 pm.
Schedules are subject to change; please visit http://shorelinesightseeing.com/todays-schedule/ for daily departure times.
Note
All cruises are weather permitting and availability is based on Coast Guard capacity. Evening cruises are not included with the Go Chicago Card.
Closings
Closed in Winter (November-April).
  • Good for families
  • Parking available
  • Restaurant or snack bar
  • Restrooms
  • Disabled access
  • Reservations not required

Directions and Transportation

Address
600 East Grand Avenue
Departs from Ogden Slip at Navy Pier
Chicago, IL 60611
Public Transportation
Driving Directions
Illinois Street east towards Lake Michigan to Navy Pier. Take the Navy Pier Exit off of Lake Shore Drive.

Admission and Offer Information

Present your Go Select Pass at the Shoreline Sightseeing ticket booth or the Navy Pier Ogden Slip ticket booth.

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

Architecture River Cruise Packages

Save even more with these pre-built discount packages that include Architecture River Cruise bundled with other great Chicago attractions.

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