The Chicago Architecture Foundation Center River Cruise aboard Chicago's First Lady is the city's official architecture tour!
Led by the Chicago Architecture Center's knowledgeable and expertly trained docent volunteers, the cruise reveals fascinating stories behind Chicago's majestic buildings in a way no other tour can.
Thank you for a great 2019 cruise season! Cruises resume March 15, 2020.
CAFC River Cruise
$44.48 (plus applicable tax)
$49.48 includes Chicago Architecture Center admission (plus applicable tax)*
This classic tour is a must for out-of-town visitors and Chicagoans alike. Chicago Architecture Center docents lead you on an entertaining and engaging 90-minute experience. Learn about the architects who created our city's magnificent buildings—and the stories behind them.
Daily departures Mar. 30—Nov. 24, 2019.
CAFC Twilight River Cruise
$49.21 (plus applicable tax)
$54.21 includes Chicago Architecture Center admission (plus applicable tax)*
Have a magical experience as you cruise the Chicago River at twilight. You'll delight in breathtaking views as you discover the stories behind our glorious buildings. Limited availability.
Evening departures May 17—Oct. 14, 2019.
Departs from northeast corner of Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive, at 112 E. Wacker Dr., on Chicago's Riverwalk. Look for the blue awning.
Parking is available at 111 E. Wacker Dr., right next to the Chicago Architecture Center.
Infants 3 and under $25
All passengers must present a ticket to board.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where is the dock's wheelchair accessible entrance?
You can access an ADA ramp at Wacker Drive and State Street. When you reach the Riverwalk level, head two blocks east to reach the dock.
Where is parking available nearby?
Parking is available at 111 E. Wacker Dr., right next to the Chicago Architecture Center. Read more at cruisechicago.com.
Is there food/drink available onboard?
Yes. All boats have a full bar available onboard, as well as local, Chicago-area snacks available for purchase.
Is there assigned seating?
All seating is general admission. There are enough seats for all guests to have a seat outside, so you won’t have to sit inside unless you want to. Indoor seating is available for those who wish to stay out of the sun or adverse weather conditions.
What's included in a CAC visit?
A visit to the Chicago Architecture Center (CAC) includes access to two floors of extraordinary exhibits. Admission is normally $12, but with the river cruise bundle, you get access for only $5! Learn more about the CAC at architecture.org.
Can I rent the boat for special events?
Yes! Chicago's First Lady's fleet is available for groups of 2—250 to charter for your special events. You can find out more information by visiting cruisechicago.com.
Do I need to buy tickets in advance?
Advance reservations are recommended as many tours sell out during the summer season and on weekends. Also, the weekday 7:30pm tour often sells out in advance.