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Chicago’s First Lady Cruises

#1 of 170 Tours in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
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Address: 112 E Upper Wacker Dr, Southeast Corner of Michigan and Wacker, Chicago, IL 60601
Phone Number:
+1 847-358-1330
Website
Today
09:00 - 17:30
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Hours:
Mon - Wed 09:00 - 16:00
Thu - Sun 09:00 - 17:30
Description:

Only the Chicago Architecture Foundation and Chicago's First Lady Cruises...

Only the Chicago Architecture Foundation and Chicago's First Lady Cruises can showcase Chicago's world renowned city architecture with style, class and comfort. Open-air and air-conditioned seating is available. Learn about the architecture and design of over 50 buildings as described by CAF-Certified Volunteer Docents/Guides. Don't settle for imitations, look for the CAF logo. Full Service Bar onboard each vessel. 90-minute river architecture cruises depart daily. Cruising season May - November. All tours depart from Riverside Gardens, Michigan Ave. and Wacker Dr. (Southeast corner of the Michigan Avenue Bridge). Look for our blue awning.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 3,727 reviews
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  • 2956
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  • 390
    Very good
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    Poor
  • 8
    Terrible
Architecture Tour Great

This was well worth the money. Very interesting and a really good tour of the main sites in Chicago as seen from the river and lake! Interesting history and knowledge of the... read more

Reviewed 2 days ago
Keeks1988
,
Goa, Goa, India
via mobile

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3,727 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 3,432: English reviews
Goa, Goa, India
Level Contributor
43 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

This was well worth the money. Very interesting and a really good tour of the main sites in Chicago as seen from the river and lake! Interesting history and knowledge of the buildings and current facts. Highly recommend.

Helpful?
Thank Keeks1988
Christchurch, New Zealand
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

Traveled to Chicago for the first time, and everyone I talked to said that I had to do the tour. Glad that I did, as although there was a cold breeze on the tour, a hot chocolate kept me warm through the great commentary by the guide. Pleased that I did it at the start of my time in Chicago... More 

Helpful?
Thank kiwigrant2017
Athol, New York
Level Contributor
4 reviews
Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

I was tentative about taking this tour but it was a beautiful sunny day. I was pleased to learn so much about Chicago's past and present buildings and the different styles over the century. The presenter was well spoken and knowledgeable. I would recommend this tour.

Helpful?
Thank guidinglight2014
Level Contributor
26 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

We took the architecture tour on the First Lady Cruise and it was amazing. Great weather, knowledgeable (but not annoying) tour guide, and just enough time out on the water- both on the river AND the lake! Beautiful.

Helpful?
Thank Shelley W
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
90 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

I've never been an architecture buff but this tour really made the subject interesting, and there's such a broad sampling of styles to view in Chicago. We talked about the buildings the next day as we walked through the downtown area. This was definitely worth the time, highly recommend.

Helpful?
Thank charcoll99
St. Paul, MN, US
Level Contributor
116 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 180 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

We hesitated on the architecture boat tour due to the price (expensive) and the weather (windy and rainy) until our last day in Chicago. We talked to several people who just raved about it so we decided to chance the weather, walk through the rain and buy tickets for an afternoon tour. It was totally worth it! Our guide was... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank Susan B
Chicago
Level Contributor
285 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 122 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

My niece was in town for a conference so we took her on a river cruise so she could see the city in a unique way. These boats are wide and comfortable. You can sit inside or out and the volunteer who was doing the speaking had an unbelievable amount of information to share regarding the architecture. I was born... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank KenL60089
Romeo, Michigan
Level Contributor
148 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 days ago NEW via mobile

We took a 90 minute architectural tour with first lady cruises and really enjoyed ourselves. The narrator on the boat is a volunteer as I guess all the narrators are. These individuals actually get to meet with many of the architects and learn little details about the skyline and the individual buildings and how they were all designed and it... More 

Helpful?
Thank Sheryl L
Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
14 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

I haven't done this architecture boat tour since college and forgot how great it is! The views are wonderful and the tour very informative. Our guide was funny and very knowledgeable. It is a side of Chicago that you don't appreciate and it is fun to see another view of the city that you would miss on foot. They have... More 

Helpful?
Thank vinoamore
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
162 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

This is the boat cruise to take -- run by the Architectural Society, the tour guides are volunteers and they know their stuff -- knowledgeable and friendly, the tour is 90 minutes and worth the time. It was chilly the day we went, but just being on the river gives you a different view of the city and some wonderful... More 

Helpful?
Thank kerryharrismail

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  • Will you pick up and drop off at my hotel?
  • I have a family of 7. Can your tour accommodate all of us together?
  • How should I dress for this tour?

Staying in Downtown / The Loop

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Downtown / The Loop
Often visitors' first stop in Chicago, The Loop is a good starting point to sample the city's energy and flavor. This central business district boasts Michelin-rated restaurants, upscale hotels, premier shopping, and enough arresting architecture to keep your camera busy for hours. You won’t find too many photo galleries of downtown Chicago without a shot of Millennium Park and Cloud Gate (“The Bean”), one of the most iconic landmarks in the city. A stunning skyline coupled with cultural attractions like the Art Institute of Chicago present a Downtown where work and play peacefully coexist.
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