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Chicago Architecture Center River Cruise aboard Chicago's First Lady provided by Chicago’s First Lady Cruises

Chicago Architecture Center River Cruise aboard Chicago's First Lady

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COVID-19 update: See the added health and safety measures this experience is taking.Read more
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From
US$53.25
Date
2 adults
Options
Low Price Guarantee
No Booking Fees
Travel safe during COVID-19
What you can expect during this experience
  • Contactless payment for gratuities and add-ons
  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
Updated 30/06/20 Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.
Updated 30/06/20 Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.
Overview
See dozens of landmark buildings that line the Chicago River on the only architecture cruise lead by expert docents from the Chicago Architecture Center. The vessel—Chicago’s First Lady—is designed for prime sightseeing in any weather, with guaranteed outdoor seating on the spacious deck plus a climate-controlled indoor cabin.
Itinerary
+
You'll start at
112 E Wacker Dr
112 E Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL 60601, USAOn Chicago's Riverwalk at Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive. Please use 112 E. Wacker for GPS navigation. Look for our blue awning at street level on the southeast corner of the Michigan Avenue Bridge at Wacker Drive.
See address & details
  • 1
    Chicago River
    Stop: 90 minutes -
    The story of the Chicago River is one that continues to unfold. Through periods of industry, transportation, revitalization and recreation, it has grown and changed like the city itself.
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    Pass by Marina City
    Pass by Navy Pier
    Pass by Chicago Architecture Center
You'll end at
112 E Wacker Dr
112 E Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL 60601, USAOn Chicago's Riverwalk at Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive. Please use 112 E. Wacker for GPS navigation. Look for our blue awning at street level on the southeast corner of the Michigan Avenue Bridge at Wacker Drive.
See address & details
Highlights
  • Learn the history behind Chicago's signature skyscrapers and their designers
  • Glide by more than 50 buildings on a cruise down the Chicago River
  • Spacious boat equipped with large picture windows and an open-top viewing deck
  • Narrated by building experts from the Chicago Architecture Center
Important Information
Departure Point
112 E Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL 60601, USA
Duration
1h 30m
Return Details
Returns to original departure point
Inclusions
  • Live commentary on board
  • Local guide (docents)
  • River Sightseeing cruise
Exclusions
  • Drinks & light snacks (available to purchase)
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off not available
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Additional Info
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Your tickets will be held at the dockside box office for collection on the day of the cruise
  • Children must be accompanied by an adult
  • Not recommended for children younger than 12 years
  • Routes, specific vessels, and schedules are subject to change without notice
  • All seating is General Admission. Boarding is on a first come, first serve basis
  • Most departures wheelchair accessible, please advise at time of booking if wheelchair assistance is required
  • Operates in all weather conditions, please dress appropriately
  • Near public transportation
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 40 travelers
Cancellation Policy
All sales are final and incur 100% cancellation penalties.
345Reviews
13Q&A
Traveler rating
  • 302
  • 17
  • 1
  • 1
  • 2
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Time of year
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Popular mentions
Mamjensen wrote a review 14 Sep
Modesto, California408 contributions67 helpful votes
We had a great time on our river cruise and learned a lot about Chicago architecture. The docent was very knowledgeable and obviously cared a lot about the subject matter. We took the 5 o’clock cruise on a Sunday afternoon and we’re treated to a sunset at the end of the cruise
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Response from Deborah R, Director of Sales at Chicago Architecture Center River Cruise aboard Chicago's First Lady
Responded 1 week ago
Those evening departures are extra special when the sun and the weather cooperates. Thanks for sharing.
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klondike204 wrote a review 3 Sep
Grand Rapids, Michigan93 contributions19 helpful votes
Such a solid, informative, engaging tour along the Chicago river. Highly recommended, especially for those with limited time to see Chicago .. which was our case. A bit pricey for a 90 minute tour but, after doing it, can say that it is definitely worth the expense!
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Date of experience: August 2020
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Response from Deborah R, Director of Sales at Chicago Architecture Center River Cruise aboard Chicago's First Lady
Responded 3 weeks ago
Thanks for sharing that you got your money's worth! Hope the info you gained about Chicago helped set you up to enjoy the rest of your short visit.
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Ryan H wrote a review Aug 2020
2 contributions
Great day on the river with a lot of insight into the buildings that line it and some of Chicago's history.
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Date of experience: August 2020
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Response from Deborah R, Director of Sales at Chicago Architecture Center River Cruise aboard Chicago's First Lady
Responded 5 weeks ago
It has been an exceptionally beautiful week. Glad you got to share Chicago at it's best.
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MZaidi227 wrote a review Aug 2020
New Haven, Connecticut142 contributions35 helpful votes
Amazing volunteer from the Architecture Center who was a retired school teacher knowledgeable storyteller. There was some shade at the beginning of the trip then under each bridge. Who knew that the Chicago River was running backward into St. Louis rather than the lake.
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Date of experience: August 2020
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Response from Deborah R, Director of Sales at Chicago Architecture Center River Cruise aboard Chicago's First Lady
Responded 10 Aug 2020
Thanks for sharing all these great details, and 5 stars too! Hope we get to see you and/or some friends aboard again soon.
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pochen9 wrote a review Jul 2020
Chicago, Illinois121 contributions36 helpful votes
As a Chicago native who worked in the city for years, I thought it was about time to refresh my architecture acumen. Geez was i overdue. The tour was leisurely, docent was very knowledgable, and the river was in good form as well. Amazing what an asset it has become by itself
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Date of experience: July 2020
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Response from Deborah R, Director of Sales at Chicago Architecture Center River Cruise aboard Chicago's First Lady
Responded 31 Jul 2020
Always happy to get some hometown love, thamks!
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About the operator

Don’t take it from us – here’s what people have to say about this operator.

By: Chicago’s First Lady Cruises
DavidMarino
00
Fantastic and must do!
This is a wonderful way to spend an hour and a half seeing the beautiful river fronts and architecture of Chicago.
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AMohsen
00
Quite impressive
It could be considered the best river I have ever visited in a big city so far. It is a must-see in Chicago and mos
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rtumbo
00
Awe-Inspiring Visual Experience
Loved this cruise with the history of Chicago before and after the Great Fire. Many important building designs and
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mikekap24
00
I keep going back
I cannot say enough about how amazing of experience this tour is. Does the fact that I've now done it 3 or 4 times
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Philippa P
00
Choose this one....if you are a lover of all things architectural
Out host recommended this tour over the one available on the Chicago card. Our guide was fantastic...very knowledg
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Rolshchikov-Dmitry
00
Best way to get to know Chicago
This amazing river tour goes through the Loop and offers astonishing views at the great Chicago buildings. Our guid
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Amanda W
00
Must do
Today we attended the architectural boat tour by the First Lady fleet. Our docent Patricia was funny and super info
Read more
looking160
00
Sunny November Day
Our guide was Judith. Warm, knowledgable, funny & kept us engage throughout! Worth taking sunglasses as you are tak
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_hcmy_web
00
Great tour guided by a senior architect
Great tour due to the detailed explanations on the different styles. TIP: do not trow away your ticket, with it you
Read more
Jaymill8
00
Architectural Tour Outstanding
Rated #1 for a reason! We enjoyed every minute of this tour and would highly recommend. Docent Bob seemed to know e
Read more
GilletteN
00
Must Do in Chicago!
Alina was our guide and she was absolutely fantastic! We had such a great time and learned a lot about the city / a
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KrystleBT
00
A great introduction to Chicago
This is a great way to see Chicago and learn about its history and architecture. Although I have been to Chicago ma
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virginiaa2015
00
Outstanding
Second time I’ve enjoyed this tour. Docent Patricia Grund excellent guide. A Chicago “must do”!!! Sitting outside
Read more
SLPHammonton
00
Great tour.
This tour was super informative. Judith our tour guide knew everything there was to know about buildings along the
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Michael C
00
Cold, but loved the view
Everyone told us to book an architecture tour when we went to Chicago. We were told also to go on the First Lady as
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Key Details
  • Duration: 1h 30m
  • Mobile Ticket Accepted
  • Instant Confirmation
  • Languages Offered: English
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Frequently Asked Questions about Chicago Architecture Center River Cruise aboard Chicago's First Lady