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Chicago Cruises

Admire the distinct skyline of the city from the water on a leisurely cruise and soak in the most stunning views of Chicago with Chicago boat tours and cruises. There’s a whole host of cruises to choose from. Delve into the architectural history of the city on a Chicago architecture river cruise, enjoy a lunch or dinner cruise on Chicago River, embark on a Lake Michigan Cruise, and enjoy a thrilling ride on a speedboat. Chicago cruises are hugely popular and make for a holistic sightseeing experience that packs a punch with great panoramic views, sumptuous meals on the water, enriching commentary on the landmarks, music and more. Make sure to book Chicago boat tours in advance to grab the best deals!
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Our tips for Cruises

  • Plan in advance. During peak seasons, cruises and boat tours in Chicago tend to be in high demand. To ensure your preferred date and time, it is recommended to plan and book your tickets in advance. This way, you can secure your spot and avoid potential disappointment or unavailability.
  • Arrive early. To avoid any last-minute rush, it is recommended to arrive at the departure point with some extra time before your scheduled cruise or boat tour. This allows you ample time for parking, ticket collection, and completing any necessary check-in procedures. Arriving early ensures a smoother experience and minimizes any potential stress or delays.
  • Stay safe. It is important to attentively listen to the safety instructions given by the crew on board. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the emergency procedures and become aware of the whereabouts of life jackets and other safety equipment available on the vessel. Being prepared and knowledgeable about safety measures ensures your well-being during the cruise or boat tour.

Good to know

Chicago, known as the "Windy City," is famous for its extensive history, impressive architecture, and the iconic Chicago River. An intriguing fact about the river is its backward flow, which was achieved through a significant engineering project called the "Chicago River Reversal" in 1900. By constructing canals and locks, the city successfully changed the direction of the river, preventing pollution from entering Lake Michigan. Every year on St. Patrick's Day, the Chicago River captures attention as it undergoes a remarkable transformation. This tradition originated in 1962 when Stephen Bailey, a plumber, used 100 pounds of green vegetable dye to trace pollutants in the river. Nowadays, this vibrant custom continues, drawing thousands of spectators who gather to witness the river turn a vivid emerald green.

For those seeking a captivating experience, the Chicago Riverwalk offers an ideal opportunity. This popular pedestrian pathway extends along the southern bank of the Chicago River and treats visitors to breathtaking views of the city's skyline, al fresco dining options, recreational activities, and captivating public art installations. Taking a leisurely stroll along the Riverwalk is a delightful way to immerse oneself in the vibrant atmosphere of Chicago.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q: What is the best time to book a Chicago cruise or boat tour?

    Chicago's cruises and boat tours are available throughout the year, with the peak season usually spanning from spring to fall, when the weather is more pleasant. However, each season presents its own distinct allure. Summer attracts more visitors, although it can be busy, while spring and fall provide slightly milder temperatures and a chance for a more tranquil experience with fewer crowds.

  • Q: What are different types of city cruises and boat tours available in Chicago?

    In Chicago, a diverse array of cruises and boat tours are available, encompassing options such as sightseeing cruises, dinner cruises, and themed cruises.

  • Q: What is the typical duration of a boat tour in Chicago?

    The duration of cruises varies based on the specific type and the provider you choose. Architecture cruises typically span approximately 1.5 to 2 hours, sightseeing cruises generally range from 1 to 2 hours, dinner cruises often extend for around 2 to 3 hours, and fireworks cruises typically last about 1 to 2 hours.

  • Q: Is audio guide or live commentary available on board during the cruise?

    Indeed, the majority of cruises and boat tours in Chicago offer live commentary or have experienced guides present on board. These guides impart captivating facts, share historical insights, and highlight significant landmarks and architectural marvels along the route.

  • Q: What should I wear on a cruise or boat tour?

    For optimal comfort, it is advisable to dress appropriately while taking weather conditions into account. In the summertime, lightweight and breathable clothing is suitable. However, it is wise to bring along a light jacket or sweater as the temperature can be cooler on the water. If you are planning to embark on a dinner cruise, dressing in business casual or cocktail attire is often recommended.

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