Shoreline Sightseeing Boat Tours in Chicago, IL

Shoreline SightseeingClassic Lake - 600 East Grand Ave. Navy Pier River Tour - 94 N Streeter Dr. Chicago, IL 60611
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Overview

Cruise around Lake Michigan or see Chicago’s famous and historic architecture with Shoreline Sightseeing. No matter which cruise experience you choose, you’re in for an exciting time. Tours include professional narration, snacks and beverages available for purchase, and unparalleled views of Chicago. Each touring vessel has been custom crafted to ensure the safety and security of passengers.

Good To Know

from Ashley, one of our Chicago Travel Experts
  • Tour lengths vary dependent upon the tour type and weather.
  • Leashed dogs are allowed onboard.
  • Snacks and beverages are available for purchase throughout the cruise.
  • Boats are not easily wheelchair accessible.
  • Bring your camera for epic pictures of Chicago’s cityscape and architecture.

Discover More With Us

Insights from Reserve Direct's own team members

Amy Wallace

What an awesome way to see the city of Chicago by water! We boarded the ship from Navy Pier, which returns to the same location making it easy and convenient. The atmosphere is very engaging with expert guides sharing information about the city. The evening cruise is a perfect way to watch the Chicago skyline change from day to night. Great experience for all ages!

Description

from Shoreline Sightseeing Boat Tours
Explore Chicago's rich history, famous architecture and awesome skyline. Choose From the Classic Lake Tour on Lake Michigan or Architecture Tours on the Chicago River.

Shoreline's classic Lake Michigan boat tour you’ll see the city as never before as you enjoy the commentary on Chicago’s dramatic history and architectural landmarks. This 40-minute tour provides a panoramic view of the Chicago skyline.

Classic Lake Tour from Navy Pier Departs from the south side of Navy Pier across from McDonalds 600 E. Grand Ave. 60611. Boarding begins 15 minutes prior to Cruise Time.

  • Tour is 40-minutes long, please dress for an outdoor event.
  • Boat will return to the same dock it departs from.
  • Cash bar on most boats.
  • Don't forget your camera.
  • No wheelchair accessibility.


Architecture River Tour from Lake Michigan or Navy Pier
Shoreline's expert guides will share an insider’s glimpse into the buildings, architecture, and engineering that made Chicago famous as the birthplace of the skyscraper and home of modern American architecture. Nothing is more impressive than this world-renowned architecture as seen from the Chicago River on an architecture tour!
Architecture Tour from Michigan Ave. Departs from Northeast Corner of Michigan Ave. (DuSable) bridge and the Chicago River.
401 N. Michigan Ave. 60611


Architecture Tour from Navy Pier Departs from Polk Bros Park near the entrance of Navy Pier

Tour is 75-minutes long, please dress for an outdoor event.
The boat will return to the same dock it departs from.
Cash bar on most boats.
Don't forget your camera.
Not accessible to wheelchairs. Stairs required for dock and boarding.

Reserve Chicago Customer Reviews

Have you been to Shoreline Sightseeing Boat Tours? Share your knowledge and be the first to review this.
TripAdvisor Reviews
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katie k
"Water taxi"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed July 16, 2018 NEW
Love the option of the water taxi. Nice way to just be on the lake for a little bit without taking a 'tour' and great views of the skyline. Definitely recommend.
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GerryBaron06
Kimberton, Pennsylvania
"Fantastic way to see Chicago from a different perspective"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed July 16, 2018 NEW
A group of us went on this trip because someone in the group had done it before and recommended it. The views of the city from the river are amazing. We had a very good guide (an architecture student) who gave us the stories behind many of the buildings we saw. This is a great way to see a side of Chicago you cannot see at street level. Wear a hat because there is very little shading on the boat. Bring water as well to keep yourself hydrated. There is a bar onboard if you want adult libations.
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hugmee
"5 star guide nick"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed July 15, 2018 NEW
A boat tour through the heart of Chicago , a very good 75 mins on board , The guide was 5 star knowledgable and interesting
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Carl R
"So worth it"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed July 15, 2018 NEW
Instead of buying 2 pizzas, treat yourself to an utterly professional boat tour through downtown Chicago. The skyline comes alive through the narration of your professional guide. The sound system is great. The brief history from the great Chicago Fire through the latest in architectural breakthroughs makes your visit to Chicago come alive. An absolutely perfect 75 minutes that will stay with you forever.
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PiggyRusnak
Chicago, Illinois
"a very wonderful cruise of the chicago river"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed July 15, 2018 NEW
This is one of the best sightseeing cruises of the Chicago river. The tour of the river was about 75 minutes. The guide was very friendly and funny. He knew what he was talking about. The boat was nice — it had bathrooms and a bar. This is a cruise that you need to do when you visit Chicago.
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Shoreline Sightseeing Boat Tours is located at Shoreline SightseeingClassic Lake - 600 East Grand Ave. Navy Pier River Tour - 94 N Streeter Dr. Chicago, IL 60611
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Frequently Asked Questions about Shoreline Sightseeing Boat Tours

Where does the Classic Lake Tour go?
The Classic Lake Tour covers the entire downtown city skyline from north to south. The six-mile trip on Lake Michigan proceeds north past Navy Pier to the Hancock Building, east out to the lighthouse, and south towards the Willis (Sears) Tower and Museum Campus, which includes the Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium, and Field Museum of Natural History.

Do I need reservations for the Classic Lake Tour?
Yes. Please note that while a ticket reserves your spot on the cruise, seating is on a first come, first served basis. For better seating, arrive early.

What information is provided on the Classic Lake Tour?
This cruise includes professional narration that highlights special events in our city’s history and points out landmarks on our famous skyline.

What is covered on the Architecture River Tour?
The Architecture River Tour goes down the main branch of the Chicago River, up the north branch to the East Bank Club, and then south past the Willis (Sears) Tower to the old Post Office Building. Each cruise is led by a professional and entertaining guide who provides detailed descriptions of more than 40 landmark buildings seen on the river cruise.

Do I need reservations for the Architecture River Tour?
Yes. As a popular tour choice in Chicago, these tickets sell out quickly. Please note that while a ticket reserves your spot on the cruise, seating is on a first come, first served basis. For better seating, arrive early.

Will cruises operate rain or shine?
In the spring and fall, our schedule is largely dependent on weather. However, our tours will usually sail during the summer, though the weather may require a reduced schedule. It is up to the Captain to decide whether conditions are unsafe and to delay or cancel the cruise accordingly. If cruises are canceled due to stormy weather, or any other reason, refunds will be issued for pre-purchased tickets.

Are your boats covered?
Most of our tour boats are double-deckers with a partially covered overhead, but four of our Architecture River Tour boats have a single deck with no cover.

Do your boats go through the locks?
No.

Is alcohol served onboard?
Alcohol is available on most of our boat tours.

Are snacks and beverage available for purchase?
Yes.

Do the boats have restrooms onboard?
Yes.

Are your boats accessible to people with disabilities?
The upper decks of our Chicago River Architecture Tour boats are accessible to people with disabilities. However, our vessels are not equipped with elevators. Therefore, restrooms, which are located on the lower deck, are not accessible. Additionally, the upper decks of our Architecture Tour vessels are open and provide no protection from the elements, although we do have a light-weight awning-type covering in the event of rain. Our Classic Lake Tour boats have limited access to people with disabilities. Our ramps are accessible only to wheelchairs with a narrow base and not at all to motorized vehicles.

Do you allow dogs on board?
Yes, leashed dogs are allowed.