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Chicago Lake and River Architecture Tour

star-4.5713 Reviews
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Chicago, United States
Chicago Lake and River Architecture Tour
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Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance. Learn more
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Safety measures
icon1 hour 30 minutes  (approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English and 2 more

Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

Overview

Step aboard a boat for a comprehensive cruise that details the history of Chicago's architecture. Enjoy views of the Chicago skyline accompanied by architecture-focused commentary that points out each of the landmark buildings. As you cruise through Lake Michigan, snap photos of you and your party against the stretch of Chicago's 26-mile shoreline.
  • Comprehensive architectural tour
  • Live commentary on Chicago's architectural gems
  • Travel by boat along the Lake Michigan shoreline
  • Buy tickets in advance for this must-do Chicago activity
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400 N Michigan Ave , 400 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611, USA

The vessel departs and returns to Wendella's Michigan Avenue Docks located in the heart of Chicago's Magnificent Mile, at the base of the Wrigley Building. Look for the blue "Wendella" awning over the dock staircase. Descend the stairs to the river-level dock.

This activity will end right where it started.
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Weapons prohibited by US Coast Guard
  • Stroller accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Near public transportation
  • Outside alcohol is prohibited
  • All bags are subject to search
  • Increased sanitation and hand sanitizer stations
  • Arrive 15-30 Minutes prior to your departure time
  • Most travelers can participate
  • Contact tour operator for wheelchair & ADA access
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 300 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Wendella Tours & Cruises
You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
Where do we meet for the Chicago Lake and River Architecture Tour?
A:We are located at 400 N Michigan Avenue at the historic Wrigley Building. Wendella has four dock locations that extend west from the Michigan Avenue (DuSable) Bridge to Wabash Avenue.
Apr 2021
Q:
Is there parking available for the Chicago Lake and River Architecture Tour?
A:There are two parking garages near the departure point: AMA Plaza parking at 401 N. State Street and InterPark Public Parking at 430 N. Rush St. (Parking fees apply at both locations.)
Apr 2021
Q:
Is the Chicago Lake and River Architecture Tour handicap accessible?
A:We operate 3 boats with wheelchair lifts between decks. All our boats can accommodate wheelchairs & have toilets that are ADA compliant. For guests who are deaf or hard of hearing, a written script of the narration is available at the ticket office.
Apr 2021
Q:
Can I bring my service animal with me on the Chicago Lake and River Architecture Tour?
A:A service animal is a dog that is trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability. Pets and dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA and are not allowed.
Apr 2021
Q:
Are there restrooms available on board the Chicago Lake and River Architecture Tour?
A:Yes. Restrooms are located on the lower deck of each vessel; changing tables are also available in each restroom.
Apr 2021
Q:
How early should I arrive for the Chicago Lake and River Architecture Tour?
A:Boarding begins 15-30 minutes prior to the scheduled departure time.
Apr 2021
Q:
Does the Chicago Lake and River Architecture Tour operate in bad weather?
A:Our cruises depart rain or shine. Our vessels include sheltered areas and climate-controlled lounges. Ponchos are available for purchase onboard. However, in cases of severe weather where the cruise must be canceled, all guests will be refunded.
Apr 2021
Q:
Is the boat climate controlled during the Chicago Lake and River Architecture Tour?
A:Most of our vessels feature an enclosed climate-controlled lounge on the lower deck with speakers to hear the tour guide’s narration. If you have a concern about whether your vessel has an interior lounge, please call the phone number on your ticket.
Apr 2021
Q:
Is food/drink available during the Chicago Lake and River Architecture Tour?
A:A full-service bar is available onboard. Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, as well as an assortment of snacks, are available for purchase. Bar sales are credit cards only. No cash purchases.
Apr 2021
Q:
Can I store my luggage during the Chicago Lake and River Architecture Tour?
A:There is no storage area on our dock, but guests may bring their luggage aboard keeping in mind it is subject to inspection.
Apr 2021
Q:
What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during Chicago Lake and River Architecture Tour?
A:The policies on face masks and attendee health are:

  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
See all safety measures taken by Chicago Lake and River Architecture Tour.
Q:
What is the policy on sanitization during Chicago Lake and River Architecture Tour?
A:The policies on sanitization are:

  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
See all safety measures taken by Chicago Lake and River Architecture Tour.
Q:
What is the social distancing policy during Chicago Lake and River Architecture Tour?
A:The policy on social distancing is:

  • Contactless payments for gratuities and add-ons
See all safety measures taken by Chicago Lake and River Architecture Tour.
Q:
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during Chicago Lake and River Architecture Tour?
A:The policy on staff health & safety is:

  • Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
See all safety measures taken by Chicago Lake and River Architecture Tour.

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Traveler Tips


  • "This is an absolute must if you are coming to Chicago for the first time OR if you have been to Chicago many times but have never seen the beautiful cityscape from the lake." See review
  • "To see the city from the lake and river is a must.. Too much to miss out if you are not doing both." See review

Reviews

4.5
star-4.5
713 Reviews

Reviews by Viator travelers

We perform checks on reviews

Showing 1-10 of 713 reviews
star-1
Disappointment
Diane_H
, Jul 2022
I would love to share photos but I signed up for the trip at one pier and it somehow changed locations to a pier across town that I couldn’t possibly make it to on time and when I went to see if I could change locations I was told that it was the last tour of the day and they refused to refund my money. I found out later that it wasn’t the last tour and that there were other booking available. It cost me $85 dollars for nothing. No tour just disappointment. I can’t even believe…
star-5
I LOVE CHICAGO
Jennifer_G
, Jul 2022
Amazing experience!! Our tour guide was great. The buildings are even more beautiful from the water where you can truly appreciate the architecture. A must for first timers to Chicago!!
star-5
Must Do Tour
Mark_S
, Jul 2022
Visiting from NC with family. Really enjoyed the history lesson on the buildings, River and lake. Loved seeing the beautiful sights.
star-5
First trip to Chicago
Tracie_C
, Jul 2022
We loved this tour! So much information about all the beautiful buildings including history and lots of trivia to keep things entertaining. Our guide was amazing!
star-5
Great experience!! John...
Deanne_M
, Jul 2022
Great experience!! John was amazing!!! Learned so much!! The lake portion furthered the experience!!
star-5
Great tour!
marc_p
, Jul 2022
The guide was informative and had a great sense of humor. His narrative made the tour a fun event. My friends and I had a nice time visiting the city.
star-5
The tour was very good...
Diana_W
, Jul 2022
The tour was very good organized and the guide Jack was wonderful, funny and knowledgeable! It was real pleasure to have this experience!
star-5
It was a great...
Deshuan_D
, Jul 2022
It was a great experience. The tour guid was very entertaining. I would definitely do this tour again.
star-5
A must do in Chicago
Lisa_S
, Jun 2022
Our guide, Molly, was amazing and very knowledgeable! Great experience. Beautiful ride. Suggest sun screen and hats in the summer.
star-5
Great day on the water
Diane_H
, Jun 2022
Nice trip on the river and lake. It was great to learn some history of the city and the buildings as well as the lock system. I do wish there would have been acknowledgement of the Indigenous People who inhabited the area before Westward expansion
star-5
Fantastic architectural tour
Deborah_G
, Jun 2022
The tour was wonderful. Great tour guide. Met lovely people. The view of Chicago were spectacular. I will be visiting Chicago again and I will go in this tour again
star-5
Highly recommended
Jody_B
, Jun 2022
Wonderful evening. Our guide was exceptional and offered a great deal of information. Would recommend this tour for nice family adventure.
star-5
Chicago architecture & lake shore tour, it was Wonderful
Cynthia_B
, Jun 2022
The ship was clean and the captain and his crew were very professional and friendly. The tour guide, Joe, was fantastic! Very knowledgeable and personable. We had a great day!
star-5
A great day on the lake!
Mayra_P
, Jun 2022
Going out on Lake Michigan and passing through the locks was really something awesome. The guide was informative but not constantly chatting away...she was really great. It was a beautiful, clear sunny day and we had a blast!
star-5
Good time had by all!
william_s
, Jun 2022
Beautiful day, great narrator, views were spectacular. We especially enjoyed the views and history from lakeside
star-5
Great boat ride!
Chris_G
, Jun 2022
The three of us (wife, daughter and myself) had a great experience on this excursion. Great crew and good accommodations on the boat. It was a full boat but not crowded. Bathrooms were clean and the tour guide and crew were awesome. I would recommend this to everyone!
star-5
Fun and Informative tour
Toni_M
, Jun 2022
Comprehensive overview of Chicago skyline and architecture. Tour guide was extremely knowledgeable and had a good sense of humor. I highly recommend.
star-5
MUST DO
Rachel_D
, Jun 2022
Best time! Not one complaint! Will definitely do it again! The speaker was amazing! Very Knowledgeable
star-5
Nice.
SeungYeob_B
, Jun 2022
It was a good memory. Staffs were so kind and good. nice ship and nice trip. the city view from the lakeside was so good.
star-5
Best experience in Chi
Peyton_M
, Jun 2022
Jack the tour guide was so freaking awesome-so genuine, friendly, and humorous. He really made a rainy boat tour so enjoyable and interesting!

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