Planning a trip to the Windy City? Fancy witnessing its famous skyline from the water? We’ve created a list of some of Chicago’s best river boat tours for you to choose from.
Taking into account value for money, convenience and customer reviews, TravelMag presents our top five Chicago river boat tours, each offering a magical – not to mention educational – way to view one of America’s most fascinating cities.
FROM €31.90 PER PERSON
Experience one of the world’s most beautiful cities on this 75-minute cruise on the historic Chicago River. On this architecture-themed cruise, you’ll traverse all three branches of the river, starting with the main branch before heading up the north branch to the East Bank Club, and then south past the iconic Sears Tower (now known as the Willis Tower) to the old Post Office Building. Throughout the tour, an onboard guide will educate you about the history of the city’s distinctive buildings.
FROM €61.75 PER PERSON
Explore the beauty of downtown Chicago from the water on this relaxing 2.5-hour kayak tour. In either a single or double kayak, you’ll paddle along the tranquil confines of the Chicago River’s downtown section, enjoying the abundant wildlife and passing by landmarks such as the Willis Tower as you listen to fascinating tales about the city from a professional guide. This tour is restricted to just 8-10 people per guide, ensuring a personalised and intimate experience for all.
FROM €61.75 PER PERSON
Discover the ‘darker’ side of Chicago during a late evening kayak tour that takes you to reportedly haunted sites along the Chicago River. Admire the skyline as it begins to light up for the night as you paddle past landmarks built during the city’s 19th-century boom. You’ll end the tour with an encyclopaedic knowledge of this notorious era, having learned about Chicago’s mob-filled past and the legacy left by gangsters such as Papa Johnny Torrio and his protégé, Al Capone. Enjoy personalised attention on this small-group tour, limited to 8 to 10 people per each professional guide.
FROM €37.20 PER PERSON
See Chicago by night and learn about its rich and intriguing architectural history on a 75-minute evening sightseeing cruise. During this tour you will explore the three branches of the famous waterway while marvelling at the city’s iconic landmarks, all impressively illuminated against the night sky. Sights of around 40 iconic buildings are included such as Willis Tower and the John Hancock Center, while your onboard guide — an architectural expert — will explain their history throughout the cruise.
FROM €56.95 PER PERSON
Experience Chicago from both land and water on this picturesque half-day tour. Things begin with a narrated coach tour through the city’s South Side, taking in a number of places of interest including Grant Park, the Loop, the Shedd Aquarium and exclusive shopping areas and neighborhoods. Then it’s time to hit the water. Hop on a high-spec streamliner yacht for a scenic cruise along the Chicago River that offers stunning views of the city skyline.