Tours & activities by AAA South from Viator

  • Location: Chicago, Illinois
  • Duration: 75 minutes (approx.)
From USD $33.60

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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.

Highlights

  • 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 or Michigan Ave depending on option selected at time of booking
Duration:
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 Navy Pier Departure
Code: 10AM

Departs at 10am from Navy Pier.

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USD $33.60
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10:45am Navy Pier Departure
Code: 1045AM

Departs at 10:45am from Navy Pier

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USD $33.60
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12:15pm Navy Pier Departure
Code: 1215PM

Departs at 12:15pm from Navy Pier

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USD $33.60
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1:15pm Navy Pier Departure
Code: 5580ARC115PM

Departs at 1:15pm from Navy Pier

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USD $33.60
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1:30pm Navy Pier Departure
Code: 130PM5580ARC

Departs at 1:30pm from Navy Pier

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USD $33.60
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1:45pm Navy Pier Departure
Code: 145PM

Departs at 1:45pm from Navy Pier

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USD $33.60
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3:15pm Navy Pier Departure
Code: 315PM

Departs at 3:15pm from Navy Pier

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USD $33.60
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4:30pm Navy Pier Departure
Code: 4:30PM

Tour departs at 4:30pm from Navy Pier

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USD $33.60
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5pm Navy Pier Departure
Code: 500PM5580ARC

Tour departs at 5pm from Navy Pier

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USD $33.60
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7:30pm Navy Pier Departure
Code: 730PM5580ARC

Tour departs at 7:30pm from Navy Pier

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USD $33.60
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8:15pm Navy Pier Departure
Code: 815PM5580ARC

Tour departs at 8:15pm from Navy Pier

From
USD $33.60
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9pm Navy Pier Departure
Code: 9PM5580ARC

Tour departs at 9pm from Navy Pier

From
USD $33.60
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10am Michigan Ave Departure
Code: 10AMMA

Tour Departs at 10am from Michigan Ave

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USD $33.60
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11:30am Michigan Ave Departure
Code: 1130AMMA

Tours Departs at 11:30am from Michigan Ave

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USD $33.60
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2:45pm Michigan Ave Departure
Code: 2:45PMMA

Tour Departs at 2:45pm from Michigan Ave

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USD $33.60
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1:15pm Michigan Ave Departure
Code: 1:15PMMA

Tour Departs at 1:15pm from Michigan Ave

From
USD $33.60
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Pricing information

Chicago Architecture River Cruise

Architecture River Cruise in Chicago

Inclusions:
  • 75-minute guided architecture cruise of the historic Chicago River
  • Live commentary on board
Exclusions:
  • 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)
  • Wheelchairs or other walking assistance equipment are not provided.
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
You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity. What's this?
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.

Cancellation Policy

If you cancel at least 7 day(s) in advance of the scheduled departure, there is no cancellation fee.
If you cancel between 3 and 6 day(s) in advance of the scheduled departure, there is a 50 percent cancellation fee.
If you cancel within 2 day(s) of the scheduled departure, there is a 100 percent cancellation fee.

Traveler Reviews

Reviewed by: Stephen L, August 2016

The ride was smooth and the host was informative. It gave us a new perspective literally and figuratively on Chicago's skyline. There were plenty of interesting buildings some with historic significance and others with ties to Hollywood films. It provided us with a great opportunity to take photos of buildings that would have otherwise been obscured and seen only by looking up as is the case with street-side walking/bus tours.

We didn't partake in their concessions so we can't comment on that. As a matter of fact, we toured the city on the open deck atop the boat and never even set foot on the lower deck where the concession stand was located. Keep in mind the top deck is open to the elements and you'll need to dress accordingly with hat, sunscreen, scarf, whatever fits the season.

The weather was great, but we did have some noisy neighbors navigating the river nearby, blasting dance music at unfortunate levels. The tour had no control of either, so... no bonus points given, none taken away.

The only issue we had was finding the boarding location. We expected it to be on the pier along with the vessels that give tours of the lake. As it turned out, it was near the city end of the pier where the mouth of the river is located Geez! Why would they put a river cruise near a river - go figure.

Anyway, It was a very relaxing experience, which was a relief after a busy drive into the city, parking the car and walking along the pier. Indoor parking on the pier is available if that's what you desire. With regards to seating on the boat it's first come first served, so get in line early to guarantee you and your guests can sit together and have a good view of Chicago's architecture especially if you're taking photos.

if we're ever in Chicago again, we may retake this cruise. I spent so much time taking pictures that I didn't hear half of what was being said. My better half did listen, so I guess she's got the job of captioning our photos.

Reviewed by: Ioanna P, August 2016

best river cruise ever!