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Chicago Lake and River Architecture Tour

star-4.5891 Reviews
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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

Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

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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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 Tours & Cruises
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
  • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
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:

  • Contactless payments for gratuities and add-ons
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:

  • Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
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 by Viator travelers.  We perform checks on reviews

Reviews

4.5
star-4.5
891 Reviews

Reviews by Viator travelers

We perform checks on reviews

Showing 1-10 of 891 reviews
star-5
Best boat ride with views
Gladis_G
, Aug 2022
This tour was so neat. Our tour guide was funny and was very knowledgeable. It was well worth doing. I enjoyed learning about the buildings and their history. I would book this tour in a heart beat when I return.
star-5
Great Tour Though this...
Sidney_E
, Aug 2022
Great Tour Though this beautiful city. I would definitely recommend for anyone who visits Chicago. 👍🏾👍🏾👍🏾
star-5
Architectural river and lake cruise
Patricia_M
, Aug 2022
The guide was excellent. He was informative, interesting and humorous! We learned more about both the architecture and history of Chicago.
star-5
Nice stories about Chicago
Fabrizio_G
, Aug 2022
Very nice tour about Chicago, listening stories about Gangsters like Al Capone or what happened in the Eastland disaster. Heidi has been very kind and competent with all her fascinating stories !
star-4
Wonderful experience
Alexandria_C
, Aug 2022
The water & the view we’re very relaxing! I read enjoyed the experience. The instructor was very particular and informing of the different agricultural building of Chicago!
star-5
Great experience
Francisco_C
, Aug 2022
The whole raid was great, starring with customer service, the vessel, the person explaing was also amazing
star-5
Memorable boat ride
Pratap_N
, Aug 2022
The tour guide was soo good made every moment memorable for us..The entire staff was so helpful n also the overall boat ride was wonderful
star-4
Beautiful skyline and city views
Ella_W
, Aug 2022
Great view of the skyline out on the lake and a really informative guide who welcomed any extra questions and answered them really well. Also got the experience of going through the city rivers. I wasn’t sure whether to just do a river tour and not the lake but definitely glad I did this one as you got a bit of both!
star-4
Loads of Lake Michigan time
Samantha_J
, Aug 2022
This tour was excellent. Our tour guide, Sarah, was incredible. She was knowledgable and engaging. Highly recommend! FYI- This tour gives you a lot of time on Lake Michigan which was so awesome to see the city from that perspective (we got great pics of all 5 of the tallest bldgs in Chicago!). There is less time on the river within the city compared to the Chicago Architecture tour. But that isnt even a ding against this tour. I wouldn’t say one is better than the other. I would say take both tours if you can or choose which experience you are feeling more that morning.
star-5
Chicago nights
Brian_R
, Aug 2022
The Wendella staff was very friendly and fun! The Brie of the city from the lake is breathtaking. If you are in Chicago, you should definitely take this tour.
star-5
Excellent tour
Alun_R
, Aug 2022
Wonderful 90 minute tour and worth every cent. Takes you out on the lake and then back for the river tour. Excellent and informative commentary throughout, giving all the detail needed. Highly recommended.
star-5
Awesome experience
Jennifer_L
, Aug 2022
Awesome experience! Would recommend to anyone who is vacationing in Chicago. My son and I learned a great deal.
star-5
Phyllis, the tour guide...
Krisanna_B
, Aug 2022
Phyllis, the tour guide was amazing! Great views of the city from both the river and Lake Michigan! Learned so much!
star-5
Splash Zone!!
Alana_S
, Aug 2022
Scott was amazing and knowledgeable! Depending on the choppy lake water, be prepared to get wet!! We thoroughly enjoyed the tour.
star-3
Great your, Excellent views of Chicago's beautiful architecture.
angieglover39
, Aug 2022
The tour was very informative and the narrator engaging. However, seating was uncomfortable if you didn't get there earlier enough to get a good seat. So, I recommend if you are planning to take this tour that you arrive early or be prepared to stand or sit down below.
star-5
Wonderful tour, the guide...
Christopher_R
, Aug 2022
Wonderful tour, the guide was very entertaining and knowledgeable, and I felt the experience was very much worth what I spent.
star-4
Don’t nag me.
PATRICE_H
, Aug 2022
Knowledgeable commentary. It was a bit too full of jokes that weren’t that funny. Quit bugging me.hhhjj
star-5
OMG!!! Loved it!!!
Socar_C
, Aug 2022
It was PHENOMENAL! I really enjoyed it! I learned so much about the history of the city. It was a great time!
star-5
Amazing
Patrick_W
, Aug 2022
The tour guide was so entertaining & informative. I've been on several of these architectural tours and this was the best one ever. He was great.
star-5
Great tour. Emily was...
Charles_B
, Aug 2022
Great tour. Emily was amazing. My 11 year old son loved going through the locks. We highly recommend

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