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Chicago Architecture River Cruise
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Reviewed 1 September 2017

We've been to Chicago many times but never took an architectural cruise on the river. We had some time and the weather was great so we decided to take a cruise with "Shoreline Sightseeing". You can buy your tickets online at shorelinesightseeing.com or purchase them at their kiosk located on Michigan Avenue. If you buy them online you get a small discount and can go directly to the boarding area. If you don't have tickets you must purchase them ($39.99) at their kiosk before going to the boarding area (also if you use the Citypass you also have to go to the kiosk to get your actual tickets). They do not have a senior discount but you can get an online discount as stated earlier. The tours leave about every 45 minutes starting at 10:00 am and last about 75 minutes. They take a picture of your party prior to boarding the boat and the photos are available for purchase when you get back to the dock after the tour ($20.00 for 3 photos and a stock photo of some of the buildings).

There is a bar and restrooms on the lower deck where you can get water, pop, alcoholic beverages and snacks. Our Captain, Kenya, gave us a short introduction and safety tips and then introduced our guide, William. He introduced himself as a millennial and was both humorous and very knowledgable about the history of the city, the architectural styles of the various buildings and the stories behind many of the buildings. The tour goes down the main branch of the Chicago River as well as part way down both the North and South branches of the River. You see about 40 different buildings and get a little history of all of them. William did a great job of keeping us entertained as well as informed about everything we saw. He took one short break but talked almost nonstop for most of the tour. He took many questions during his talk and made himself available to answer questions after the tour and provide recommendations for things to see and places to eat once we left the cruise.

A teaser of some of the things you may see are a "You are Here Map" on a building, a building that only takes up only about 30% of its actual footprint and uses water tanks at the top of they building to counteract wind sway, buildings that have trains running below them, self contained condos with restaurants, services, and shopping as well as parking spaces for your car and slips for your boat all built below your home, old structures that have been or are in the process of being renovated as well as brand new construction, a building that lets you walk out into an enclosed window and see the city below your feet as well as a building that has a window that cantilevers out of it's frame to see the City below. Some of the buildings are right by the side of the river while others are set back into the cityscape. William made sure we all got to see every structure and answered all our questions. This was a great way to see the city and get an understanding of its history. I would greatly recommend it and would definitely do it again.

Date of experience: August 2017
Thank Ron26067
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
chicagohartnett, Digital Marketing Coordinator at Shoreline Sightseeing, responded to this reviewResponded 5 September 2017

Thanks for the great review! We're so happy you enjoyed your tour with us!

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Reviewed 1 September 2017 via mobile

Our guide William was very informative. The rest of the staff was accommodating and kind. I learned a lot about Chicago's history as well as architecture. This is a tour that I would definitely recommend.

Date of experience: September 2017
Thank mattieson
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
chicagohartnett, Digital Marketing Coordinator at Shoreline Sightseeing, responded to this reviewResponded 5 September 2017

Thanks for riding with us!

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Reviewed 1 September 2017 via mobile

This was an excellent tour. The staff was very friendly and the boat was clean and roomy. Our docent, Blake, was great. He really knew his stuff and was a good presenter. I'm so glad we did this tour. Strongly recommended.

Date of experience: September 2017
Thank Kevin F
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
chicagohartnett, Digital Marketing Coordinator at Shoreline Sightseeing, responded to this reviewResponded 5 September 2017

Thanks for riding with us! We're so glad you enjoyed your tour!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 September 2017

I choose the river boat cruise with fireworks. it was a great experience and the guide Ben is very well prepared. With his explanations permitted to appreciate the achitectonic beauties and different styles of Chicago

Date of experience: August 2017
Thank Rossana G
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
chicagohartnett, Digital Marketing Coordinator at Shoreline Sightseeing, responded to this reviewResponded 5 September 2017

Thanks for riding with us!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 August 2017 via mobile

So be a tourist, even if you've lived in the Chicago area for ever! This tour should be on your list of things to do in Chicago. Very interesting!

Date of experience: August 2017
Thank Krdieter
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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