Chicago River Boat Architectural Tour

Forming a length of 156 miles when combined, the Chicago River is a system of rivers and canals the characterize the infamous skyline of Chicago today. The river, running through the city, including the city center Chicago Loop, is evident of man made design and infrastructure when completed craftily. In 1887, the river was reversed through civil engineering by taking water from Lake Michigan and discharging it into the Mississippi Watershed. Memorialized today, it’s a national landmark you have to add to your travel list.

Throughout our signature cruise one of our award-winning Docents will present more than 50 skyscrapers, bascule bridges, and historic sites.

In a world of iconic architecture, only a few images are so instantly recognized they need no subtitle.

Think of the Venetian canals, a Shinto temple, the medieval Cathedral at Chartres, or the unmistakable skyline of Chicago. Each year thousands of architecture lovers travel to the City of Chicago, the birthplace of the skyscraper… and thousands book passage aboard our enthralling river tour, widely considered the best 90-minutes spent in Chicago.

On your Architectural Tour you will learn how the Great Chicago Fire jumped a river and allowed for visionaries of structural steel and plate glass, such as John Wellborn Root, William Le Baron Jenney, Louis Sullivan (Wright’s mentor) and Daniel Burnham, in less than ten years, lift Chicago from the ashes of the fire to new heights. Chicago’s ascent continued into the 20th century with titanic figures such as Bertrand Goldberg, Fazlur Khan and Mies van der Rohe – (higher/taller) buildings, sleeker – and it has soared in the 21st century with audacious new steeples such as The Trump Tower and Aqua designed by Jeanne Gang, an internationally known artist of architectural design.

Join us for a 90-minute Architectural Tour aboard Chicago Line Cruises.  On Saturdays, at 8:30 p.m. we offer a 2 hour Architectural / Fireworks Cruise.

A jaw-dropping excursion through a city that defied all expectations … even the laws of gravity.

Tour Information

  • Pricing
    • Adults $49
    • Seniors $48
    • Youths $30
    • Kids under 6 go free!
  • Tours run daily:
    • Chicago River Boat Architecture Tour: (90 Minutes Long)
      • 10 am
      • 11 am
      • Noon
      • 1 pm
      • 2 pm
      • 3 pm *Not Available Friday thru Sunday Summer Months*
      • 4 pm
      • 5 pm
      • 6 pm
      • 8 pm
  • 90 minute duration

Are you ready to learn more about Chicago’s architecture nestled along the Chicago River?

Be sure to bring your camera – you’re not going to want to miss these shots.



By Phone: (708) 488-6343

Tour Departure Location

465 N McClurg Ct, Chicago, IL 60611

Map Boats