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Seadog Chicago River & Lake Architecture Tour

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  • 1 Guest
    • Adult (13+)
    • Child (3-12)
    • Infant (0-2)
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Key Highlights

  • A perfect introduction to Chicago
  • Entertaining and informative narration
  • Lots of fun for kids and they don′t get bored
  • Take a turbo-charged ride up Lake Michigan
  • Overview
    Combine a fascinating tour of Chicago’s exciting architecture with the thrill of a super-fast speedboat ride. It’s a winning formula.

    This narrated cruise is packed full of interesting and surprising facts. Kids enjoy the tour so much they don’t notice they are learning.

    Including a length of the Chicago River, as well as Lake Michigan, the route takes you through the city’s celebrated Locks. You will see many famous skyscrapers such as the Sears Tower, North America’s tallest building and the fantastic neo-Gothic Tribune Tower.

    Brace yourself for the Captain’s grand finale as your craft races up Lake Michigan at 30 knots in clouds of flying spray.

  • Activity Schedule & Itinerary

    Activity Schedule

    When does it run?

    01 Apr - 05 Nov: Daily


    1 hour 45 minutes (including boarding)

    Start time

    01 Apr - 29 May: 11:15am, 1:15pm, 3:15pm, 5:15pm, 7:15pm*
    30 May - 03 Sep: 11:15am, 1:15pm, 3:15pm, 5:15pm, 7:15pm,
    04 Sep - 05 nov: 11:15am, 1:15pm, 3:15pm, 5:15pm
    (*Note: There are no 7:15pm architectural tours on any Friday, Saturday & Sunday in October. )
    **Only available on Friday and Saturday in shoulder season.
    Duration: 1 hour 45 minutes (including boarding)

    Meeting Point

    Cruise departs from Navy Pier, where ample parking is available. Directions for reaching Navy Pier are given in Additional Information.
    Please report at the meeting point 15 minutes before the start time. This is mandatory to allow time for pre-departure briefing.

    Ending Point

    The cruise ends at the starting point


    The Seadog Chicago River & Lake Architecture Tour is the only tour in Chicago to take you from the lakefront, through the locks and along the river. There is no hotel pick-up for the cruise, which starts from Navy Pier, where there is ample parking. Details of how to reach Navy Pier are given in Additional Information.

    To receive your boarding pass please present your voucher and photo ID at the activity operator’s ticket kiosk at Navy Pier. Boarding begins 30 minutes before departure time.

    Food and drink can be brought on board, but remember – it is hard to eat while the boat is going fast. Be prepared to be splashed – Seadog is an open-air speedboat. If conditions are windy and the lake has a chop, there is a good chance you’ll get wet. It’s all part of the fun!

    This exciting, descriptive, 75-minute Seadog architecture tour is fun and interesting. It includes a river tour and a speedboat ride along the lakefront. As you nip along, your Captain will treat you to an entertaining and informative commentary .

    Leaving Navy Pier, you sail north up Lake Michigan and can admire spectacular views of the Chicago skyline. Your Captain will explain why the beautiful Chicago lakefront is almost all parkland.

    Turning off the lake, you will pass through the historic Chicago River Locks and discover why and how the flow of the Chicago River was reversed between 1887 and 1922.

    As you cruise upstream, you will hear how Chicago architects pioneered skyscraper construction, and find out about the dozens of super-tall buildings along the river bank. These include the Tribune Tower, a remarkable neo-Gothic building, and the Sears Tower, the tallest building in North America.

    Other famous buildings you will see are:

    Lake Point Tower:The unique clover shape of this residential building was designed to let strong lake winds more easily slip around its edges, reducing their direct effects on the structure.

    Equitable Building: This steel and glass tower stands on a granite plaza said to cover the site where Chicago's first resident Jean Baptise Pointe Du Sable built his trading cabin.

    Wrigley Building: Home of the William H. Wrigley Company, the walls are constructed with six increasingly-lighter shades of terra cotta causing the ornamental top of the structure to reflect the greatest amount of light.

    Marina City: Marina City rises above the river like two 61-story ears of corn. Built in 1964, this Bertrand Goldberg design was a study in urban density. Combining private residences, office space, retail and entertainment, Marina City provided self-contained living within the greater city area.

    333 West Wacker Drive: The curved, green glass facade on this dramatic building was designed to reflect the bend in the river.

    R.R. Donnelly Building: Controversial Catalonian architect Ricardo Bofill designed the facade of the Donnelly building as a whimsical homage to classical Greek style. None of the "columns" on its illusory facade are structural.

    You will also hear the story of an $80 million dollar skyscraper construction mistake. It’s always fun to hear about projects that went wrong, especially if you were not involved!

    At Sears tour Seadog turns around. Once back in Lake Michigan, your Captain finishes the tour with a thrilling speedboat ride along the lake featuring Buckingham Fountain, Grant Park, beautiful Chicago Harbor, Chicago’s Museum Campus and much, much more!

    Your thrilling 75-minute trip ends back at the starting point at Navy Pier.

  • Inclusions & Exclusions


    • 75-minute speedboat ride
    • Narration (in English) from the Captain
    • Taxes and fees
    • Fuel surcharge


    • Hotel pick-up and drop-off
    • Refreshments
  • Please note

    Please call the activity operator at least 24 hours prior to confirm the precise time slot you would like to take. You must print and present your voucher in order to redeem services purchased. Please present your voucher and photo ID at the activity operator’s ticket kiosk located at Navy Pier. You will be issued boarding passes at this time. Boarding begins 30 minutes prior to cruise departure time.

    Cruises go ahead rain or shine all year long. In the rare event the Coast Guard prohibits cruising because of weather conditions, your activity operator will contact you to make other arrangements

    Safety Alert - Pursuant to an advisory issued by the U.S. Coast Guard, please power off Samsung Galaxy Note 7 devices while onboard the ship.

    Additional info

    The confirmation voucher includes the local activity operator’s contact details and local telephone numbers at the destination. They will happily answer any logistical questions you may have.Ample parking is available at Navy Pier where the cruise starts. Alternative parking is available at 460 E. Illinois and 403 E. Grand (one block from Navy Pier). Free Navy Pier Trolley Service runs continuously from parking lot to Navy Pier along Illinois & Grand.Directions for reaching Navy Pier:From the South:Take the Dan Ryan Expressway West to Lake Shore Dr. NorthExit Grand Ave./Illinois St. to Navy PierFrom the Southwest:Take Interstate 55 North (Stevenson) to Lake Shore Dr. NorthExit Grand Ave./Illinois St. to Navy PierFrom the Far Southwest:Follow Interstate 57 North to the Dan Ryan Expressway WestGo to Lake Shore Dr. North Exit Grand Ave./Illinois St. to Navy PierFrom the Southeast:Take 90/94 West (Dan Ryan Expressway) to Lake Shore Dr. NorthExit Grand Ave./Illinois St. to Navy PierFrom the North:Take 90/94 East (Kennedy) to Ohio St. ExitTurn right on Fairbanks/Columbus Dr.Turn left on Illinois St. to Navy PierFrom the Northeast:Take Lake Shore Dr. South to the Grand Ave./Illinois St. exitTurn left on Illinois St. to Navy Pier
  • Customer Reviews
    • Very nice boat trip!

      The day was very rainy, but officials Seadog gave us raincoats (ponchos) and the trip was a success! Our tour guide told us a lot about Chicago, about the history and...

      ELENA CHERNOVA, Russian Federation
    • Seadog Chicago River & Lake Architecture Tour

      Tour was fun, although it did not operate at the times posted on the website....

      Eric J Soderlund, United States
    • Seadog Chicago River & Lake Architecture Tour

      Wednesday afternoon tour times are different that posted on the website. Also, the tour operator had never seen one of the vouchers and was unclear what to do with it....

      Eric J Soderlund, United States

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