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Chicago Lake and River Architecture Tour

star-4.5562 Reviews
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Badge of Excellence
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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

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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All taxes, fees and handling charges
Alcoholic Beverages
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 Boats
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
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:

  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
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:

  • Regular temperature checks for staff
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
562 Reviews

Reviews by Viator travelers

Showing 1-10 of 562 reviews
star-5
You Have To Take This Tour!
CarmenR_W
, Nov 2021
This lake and river tour is a "must do" tour. I did a walking architectural tour the day before I took this one, but I still enjoyed it. Seeing the views from the boat perspective was beautiful and fascinating. Our tour guide (I'm sorry I don't remember her name) was outstanding! Not only was she knowledgeable and informative, she was entertaining, humorous, and captivating in her delivery. She made learning about the architecture of the city so interesting. At no time did I feel that the info was a repeat of my walking tour. Yes, some of the info crossed over, but it was still interesting because it was presented from a different perspective and view. Our guide was engaging with the passengers and made us feel comfortable, welcomed, and appreciated for taking the tour. I highly recommend this tour to those visiting Chicago, especially for the first time.
star-5
Fun Experience
Canceria_S
, Nov 2021
Tour guide was very knowledgeable and gave good information. Experiencing the lock was very interesting.
star-5
Excellent and Thorough
Coxteacher
, Oct 2021
Excellent and Thorough Tour Alex, our guide, was excellent. We loved that the tour included Lake Michigan. We highly recommend this.
star-5
Gorgeous intro to Chicago
Connie_V
, Oct 2021
Took my teen who had never been to Chicago before. Trip was gorgeous and informative. I especially liked the feature of traveling the river and then going out on the lake.
star-5
Made it late to the lake...
Marcos_T
, Oct 2021
Made it late to the lake and architecture tour. So was able to do the architecture tour. But I tried to get a refund and Maria the supervisor there actually gave me a really hard time which almost ruined the experience
star-5
Good experience
Truc_T
, Oct 2021
Nice view of the city and story about the history. The tour guide also tips for other places to go in the city
star-5
Great guide and sites! ...
Patrick_M
, Oct 2021
Great guide and sites! Kept good control of the crowd and had stories going over all the different buildings.
star-5
Best thing to do in Chicago
Fatoumata_J
, Oct 2021
Best view and experience in Chicago. Everyone is very friendly and professional. We are definitely doing it again on our next trip to Chicago. I highly recommend it.
star-5
Return to life
Raul_M
, Oct 2021
Beautiful experience staff really friendly I do it again never I going to forget this wonderful experience Thank you for make me have good memories about Chicago river and Lake Michigan
star-4
Great time
Rachel_T
, Oct 2021
Great guide, beautiful buildings, loved the lighthouse. The history of some things were fascinating, others a little wordy

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