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The north entrance to the 111 E Wacker parking garage is closed for repair. Please use the south entrance on East South Water Street.

Experience why we're the #1 rated boat cruise in Chicago, tickets are on sale now for the 2024 season!

Buy Tickets

Duration
1.5 Hours
Price
Tickets start at $54.00
CAC member conditions apply; please call (312)-922-8687 to reserve tickets
Meet
Northeast corner of Michigan Ave. and E. Wacker Dr. Look for the black awning marking the stairway entrance.

Voted number one boat tour in North America in 2024 and a Top 10 Boat Tour in North America by USA Today readers for 4 years in a row as well as Chicago Reader's Best Tour for over 10 years and the "Best Chicago Experience" by CS magazine! Looking for the ultimate Chicago architecture experience? Buy a combo ticket for the river cruise AND visit the Chicago Architecture Center—you'll save $9!

For more than 25 years, the CAC's expertly trained docent volunteers have led the CAC River Cruise, sharing fascinating stories behind more than 50 buildings along the Chicago River. Hear how Chicago grew from a small settlement into one of the world's largest cities in less than 100 years. In just 90 minutes, you'll get the best overview of Chicago’s architecture and its history.

The CAC River Cruise is available in 4 languages: Continental French, Latin American Spanish, Japanese and Korean. To access these languages, please download the "Listen Everywhere" app in advance. Once you are on board the boat, the app will connect and allow you to listen in your selected language as the boat makes its way down the river.

*Continue your exploration with a visit to the CAC! Combo tickets include admission to the Center for just $5 (regular price $14). Admission is valid up to 7 days before or after your cruise.

*Please note that infant tickets must be purchased with a Priority or General Boarding Adult ticket. 

Evening River Cruise

The city's most popular tour is now offered in the evening. Serene and bathed in softer light, the city's architecture takes on a whole new life in the setting sun. Wind-down from the work-week by enjoying a cocktail with friends and family and experience Chicago's skyline on our luxury boats.

All departures lATER THAN 5:00 PM

Tour Tips

  • CAC Members please call 312.922.8687 or come to the CAC Box Office at 111 E. Wacker Drive to redeem your BOGO benefit. 
  • You can buy a CAC membership over the phone and redeem your BOGO annual benefit at the time of your membership purchase.
  • Each person must have a ticket, including infants and children.
  • All tours depart rain or shine.
  • Arrive 30 minutes prior to your cruise departure time. Allow extra time for traffic and parking in summer.
  • Cruise guests board 15 minutes before departure time.
  • GENERAL ADMISSION SEATING
  • A full-service bar and snack bar are available onboard.
  • Tickets start at $54.00 for daytime cruises, $59.00 for evening cruises. Upgrade your ticket for $5 to include Chicago Architecture Center admission. Your visit must occur within 7 days before or after your tour. View the CAC's hours.
  • Tickets may not be refunded or exchanged if you miss your boat. Allow extra time.
  • Find more information, including available parking, in our FAQs

Interested in a tour for a group of 20 or more?
Please contact our group sales team at groupsales@architecture.org. Private rentals are available.


Directions to Chicago’s First Lady boat dock

See a map here or enter 112 E. Wacker Drive into your GPS.
Located at the northeast corner of Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive, a black awning marks the boat dock entrance stairs that lead down to the river. If you have limited mobility, see these directions for an alternative way to reach the dock.

Chicago's First Lady Cruises logoAbout our Boat Partner

We’re proud to partner with Chicago’s First Lady Cruises, operator of Chicago’s finest fleet of cruising vessels. Its boats hold up to 250 passengers and feature open-air upper decks, full-service bars, climate-controlled lower cabins and upscale marble and granite restrooms. Being onboard is sure to be an experience you'll never forget. 

 

Upcoming Chicago Architecture Center River Cruise aboard Chicago's First Lady Tours