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.

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.


** Our bars are not always open on the shoulder months.
Snacks and beverages are available for purchase throughout the cruise (on most boats based on seasonality.)

Tripster 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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paulaD1696NV
Toronto, Canada
"Had a great time"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed May 21, 2019 NEW
Everybody raves about this boat tour and with good reason. It’s fun, comfortable and there is a bar. The washrooms are clean and comfortable. We enjoyed it and would recommend incorporating it as a part of any trip to Chicago. Our impressions of the tour may have suffered from the hype—it was great, but not life-changing. We are glad we did it, but wouldn’t feel the need to do it again.
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Cherubicgal999
Singapore, Singapore
"Architecture Boat Cruise"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed May 21, 2019 NEW
I hopped onto to an evening boat cruise with Shoreline on 13th May 2019. The weather was great and sunny but became chilly and windy by the end of the two hours boat cruise. The guide was knowledgeable and friendly. Lots of worthy photos to snap and admired. A wonderful time to enjoy Chicago!
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Pearlie00025
"Architectural River Tour"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed May 21, 2019 NEW
My husband and I took a 75-minute river tour of the skyscrapers and historic buildings in Chicago with this company. We enjoyed it. Our tour guide was knowledgeable and enthusiastic, and answered questions. Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages are sold on board. There are bathrooms on board. They have tours leaving every 90 minutes, so it is easy to pick a time that works with your travel schedule.
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Samantha25uk
Glasgow, United Kingdom
"Architectural River Cruise"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed May 21, 2019 NEW
We didnt have the best 3 days weather wise. But we were lucky when we did this. 90 mins along the river. Looking at beautiful buildings. The first 60 mins the sun was shining and really enjoyed sitting back relaxing and listening to the history. But by the end the wind was picking up and I just wanted it to finish. So if you get a good day it's a nice way to relax and admire Chicago. The guides are good and have a lot of knowledge. If its windy I would miss it.
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deanl149
Amherst, Ohio
"Flowing backward"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed May 19, 2019 NEW
Nick is a very interesting and dynamic speaker who is very knowledgeable about the Chicago architecture observable on the river tour. As a structural engineer, nick was able to offer great insight into construction details, styles, form, and history as a native Chicagoan. The most rememberable story for me was toward the end when Nick described the feat of reversing the flow of the river. It is worth hearing his story about how and why this happened. The barge is comfortable and clean with a bar and other amenities.
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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.