Shoreline Sightseeing Boat Tours in Chicago, IL

Classic 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 60-minutes long from November 1st to April 15th please dress for an outdoor event. 75-minutes the remainder of the year.
  • 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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Rwell
Sunderland, United Kingdom
"Very informative! "
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed March 12, 2020
We took the “architecture” cruise from the Navy Pier up the river and back (approx $40 per adult) but well worth it. We struck lucky with the weather considering it’s March, but this guided tour is very informative and entertaining. Highly recommend this if you are visiting Chicago.
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davip3060
Cambridge, Canada
"Exactly what I expected - quite good!"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed February 26, 2020
We were able to find a time slot on the long weekend in August when the city was super busy, which is accredited to Shoreline's variety of time slots offered. Our tour guide was alright, gave us the necessary information but not too memorable, which is okay because we were more so on the boat ride just to see the city on a tight time budget. Price was fair for what you get, recommend!
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TraDayHoliday
Dallas, Texas
"Skyline Shoreline Chicago "
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed February 24, 2020
River Architecture tour with Shoreline- accessible entry off Michigan Avenue (and Navy Pier)next to Apple Store. We bought tkts at kiosk for the 60 min tour $39each and enjoyed our guide Victor-who was an eloquent and quick informative speaker -with historic references on each major landmark as well as movie trivia and humor.
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1309travisH
Thornton, Colorado
"Excellent way to see the city!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed February 11, 2020
Being in Chicago for only a short time, Shoreline was a great choice for seeing a lot. The unique perspective offered by being on the water and the educated narration were awesome! If you get a chance, try and catch a tour over sunset... beautiful!
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Summerasalifestyle
Malibu, California
"So touristy, cool and worth it!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed January 30, 2020
Shoreline sightseeing architectural tour: So touristy and so cool. Educational too. Learn about the city, the architecture and how the river works. Some of the boats are jammed packed and others near empty. It seemed like the boats on the north side were less full due to hotel proximity...I rode on an empty boat and totally enjoyed having the space.
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Shoreline Sightseeing Boat Tours is located at Classic 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.