Chicago River Architecture Tour with Small Boat Upgrade Option

Badge of ExcellenceChicago, USA
Chicago River Boat Architecture Tour

From $49.00

Select Date and Travelers

up to 24 hours before the experience starts (local time)

  • 1 hour 30 minutes (approx.)
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English


Chicago is known internationally for its architectural diversity and dynamism—and this in-depth tour will introduce you to many of the city’s best-known and most influential landmarks. Meet at the pier right off Lake Shore Drive, hop aboard your boat, and set off. You’ll spy highlights ranging from Chicago’s skyscrapers and bustling Navy Pier to the famous “Bean” sculpture—and will learn about the different architectural movements that shaped the city. Upgrade your experience to a small boat with a maximum of 60 people.
  • This in-depth boat tour is an ideal option for architecture enthusiasts
  • See a new perspective on the Windy City when you explore by boat
  • Learn all about Chicago’s architecture and history from your guide
  • Discover many top Chicago landmarks, all in a single tour

What's Included

  • Local guide
  • Port pickup and drop-off
  • Bottled water
  • Coffee and/or Tea
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Snacks

    Meeting and Pickup

    Meeting point

    • 465 N McClurg Ct, Chicago, IL 60611, USA

    End point

    This activity ends back at the meeting point.

    What To Expect

    Additional Info

    • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
    • Wheelchair accessible
    • Children must be accompanied by an adult
    • Near public transportation
    • Most travelers can participate
    • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 175 travelers
    Operated by Chicago River Boat Architecture Tours

    Cancellation Policy

    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.

    Traveler Photos

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    Featured review
    Absolutely loved it. Best 90 mins spent. Jim is an incredible guide and I learned so much. Was a highlight of the visit. A must.


    685 reviews
    Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
    Reviews by Viator travelers.
    Showing 1-10 of 685 reviews
    A must for a Chicago visit!
    Laurie_F, May 2024
    The crew and guide were fabulous! I have taken similar tours but learned so much more this time! Lots of fun and educational!
    It was not good at all,...
    Samin_B, May 2024
    It was not good at all, the person who explained was not good , and need to make it better. The lady who gave us the explanation was not good and need to hire someone better.
    Chicago trip.
    Bradly_P, May 2024
    The Boat ride was great and relaxing. I didn't like the fake goddess statue on top of one of the building's.
    Ezra_P, May 2024
    Beautiful views, great history, & a comfortable boat ride. We had a blast. The tour guide was so knowledgeable about Chicago.
    Can't miss this!
    Kasia_H, May 2024
    Very informative and interesting tour - anecdotes about architects helped bring historical Chicago to life.
    First time in Chicago
    luz_h, May 2024
    Our guide is knowledgeable and informative on our tour, the whole crew, the captain Rommel,, friendly and accommodating to all the visitors
    Fun trip for a nice weather day.
    Cindy_S, May 2024
    Reservation information included close parking garage which was very helpful. Ed was a fun tour guide. Very friendly and knowledgeable about architects and their buildings, along with some trivia thrown in. Bring jackets (wind gusts on the water) and sun screen (even on partly cloudy day one if our fair skinned group got sunburned) Highly recommend this tour!
    Book direct with local operators vs. using 3rd party Viator services!
    Kim_N, May 2024
    We did not make it there in time as traffic jam delays. You would not refund my money but the operator would have, but because I used your 3rd party service I could not get a refund for a valid reason and need to cancel. Lesson learned, I will book direct going forward with operators vs. using your 3rd party services. Unhappy customer!
    Chicago second city and second chance
    Christian_I, May 2024
    Chicago is such a blessing city. When the part of the city was burned 🔥 the city lost many people and many people lost their jobs which was chaos but the government and owners of business decided to rebuild the city because they love the city and don't want to let down people who went through the disaster.
    Tour and emergency rescue
    Paul_S, May 2024
    We not only learned about the Chicago architecture but we also saved a jumper off one of the bridges. Our Captains were awesome and Chicago's Fire and rescue were top notch as well.
    We ran a few manitues...
    Jean_O, May 2024
    We ran a few manitues late due to a parking issue. The Captain had the crew put the plank back on and we were able to get on. Very kind. The host's dialog was excellent.
    A must do when in Chicago
    Kris_K, May 2024
    Marshal was a very knowledgeable of the history of the buildings! Very interesting boat tour! Very accommodating with refreshments!
    Viator makes it stressful
    Greg_Z, May 2024
    The tour itself is great, but viator controls the booking process and does not make clear what company is giving the tour and you must search for the point of departure in emails- this is unnecessarily stressful as Chicago is big and there are tour boats leaving from many locations. we almost missed our boat ride as our hotel sent us to the wrong location-assuming we we leaving near Michigan ave and the Chicago river when we are not. Why not just leave clear directions in every viator email to us rather than just one?
    Very informative and beautiful tour
    Tara_M, May 2024
    Outside of the thorough and entertaining information on the architecture, I love that our guide went around and greeted people to find out where they were from and knew our sports teams and other facts about our home towns.
    Great and great views
    Asha_S, Apr 2024
    Fun and informative, the lady gave us a lot of facts. Bar and complementary coffee, juice, snacks. 10/10!
    Awesome Tour
    Michael_W, Apr 2024
    Narrator was very knowledgeable and gave some great insight into this beautiful city and it’s architecture!
    Awesome experience, learned so much.
    Scott_H, Apr 2024
    Absolutely loved it. Best 90 mins spent. Jim is an incredible guide and I learned so much. Was a highlight of the visit. A must.
    The Chicago Architectural Boat Tour is highly recommended.
    Christina_P, Apr 2024
    Ed our tour guide has such a great sense of humor and his knowledge of Chicago’s history of architecture was unbelievable. So glad I finally booked this tour.
    Alot of information
    Lisa_G, Apr 2024
    The boat is nice, chairs basic and a bit tightly packed in. The guide was very knowledgeable. He talked continuously from start to finish and spoke very fast. I missed some facts. I feel a more bullet pointed way with a breather to take it in would be my preference. Refreshments a nice touch on a hot day.
    Worth the time and money
    Wayne_T, Apr 2024
    Very informative. Also the tour narrator spoke clearly (very important), was personable and had a good sense of humor.

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