Tours & activities by Chicago ORG INC from Viator

Chicago Architecture River Cruise

945 Reviews

  • Location: Chicago, Illinois
  • Duration: 75 minutes (approx.)
  • Tour code: 5580ARC

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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.


  • 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
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.

Recent Photos of this Tour

Schedule details

Select a month to view a calendar of availability and departure details.

Departure Dates:
Departure Point:
Navy Pier
75 minutes (approx.)
Return Details:
Returns to original departure point

Pricing information

Click the link below to check pricing & availability on your preferred travel date. Our pricing is constantly updated to ensure you always receive the lowest price possible.

10am Departure
Code: 10AM

Tour Departs at 10am

USD $31.75
Pricing details
10:45am Departure
Code: 1045AM

Departs at 10:45am

USD $31.75
Pricing details
1:15pm Departure
Code: 5580ARC115PM

Departs at 1:15pm

USD $31.75
Pricing details
2:45pm Departure
Code: 2:45PM

Tour departs at 2:45pm

USD $31.75
Pricing details
3:15pm Departure
Code: 315PM

Departs at 3:15pm

USD $31.75
Pricing details
4pm Departure
Code: 4:00PM

Tour departs at 4pm

USD $31.75
Pricing details
4:30pm Departure
Code: 4:30PM

Tour departs at 4:30pm

USD $31.75
Pricing details
5:45pm Departure
Code: 5:45PM

Tour departs at 5:45pm

USD $31.75
Pricing details

Pricing information

Chicago Architecture River Cruise

Architecture River Cruise in Chicago

  • 75-minute guided architecture cruise of the historic Chicago River
  • Live commentary on board
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
Additional Information:
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • All boats have full restrooms, double-deck seating and some have a full bar
  • Wheelchair accessible (except for upper decks)
Itinerary: 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
Voucher Info:
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Local Operator Information:
Complete Operator information, including local telephone numbers at your destination, are included on your Confirmation Voucher. Our Product Managers select only the most experienced and reliable operators in each destination, removing the guesswork for you, and ensuring your peace of mind.

Traveler Reviews

Reviewed by: csql, October 2015

Great fun and great services

Reviewed by: Peter F, October 2015

A tour of this type rises or falls on the strength of the guide/narrator. Our narrator, Ben, was both personable and knowledgeable. I consider this tour a must when you're in Chicago, whether you're a resident or a tourist. You'll learn how and why the flow of the Chicago River was reversed, what Second City really means, how Chicago supports those towering buildings despite the squishy land beneath them, the histories of major architects who have shaped the Chicago, and the plans for adding even more spectacular buildings in the near future.

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Tour code: 5580ARC