Chicago Line Cruises

"Without question the best architectural tour available in Chicago; witty, informative, engaging."

Offering architectural boat tours on the Chicago River and Private charters.

ArchiTectural Cocktail Cruises

Architectural Cocktail Tour

8:00-9:30 p.m.

Monday through Saturday

Offered in 2015

Route: River

Narration: Total

Adults: $42.00;    Seniors: $35.00;   Youth: $20.00;    Bar Package: $20.00

The duration of the tour is 90 MINUTES


Our Premium Bar Package is available for an additional $20 per adult passenger.
Premium Bar Package includes: beer, wine, mixed drinks and a fully-stocked, top-shelf bar.

In the world of iconic architecture, only a few images are so instantly recognized they need no subtitle. 

Think of St. Peter's Basilica, the Taj Mahal, and the Notre Dame Cathedral.

Or the unmistakable skyline of Chicago.

Each year thousands of architecture lovers make a pilgrimage to this birthplace of the skyscraper. Countless more book passage aboard our enthralling river tour, widely considered the best 90 minutes a visitor can spend anywhere in the city.

Critics say that no other city has influenced and embodied the state-of-the-art in high-rise design and modern architecture as prominently as Chicago; virtually every major architect has a signature building here.

Join us for a jaw-dropping excursion through the city that defied all expectations ... even the laws of gravity.

Chicago's ambitious business leaders in the late-1800s (after most of the commercial district had been erased by the Great Fire) faced a quandary. Hemmed in by water on three sides and a rail center to the south, they knew that if the city were to grow, it would have to grow up. "Limited as to ground, business sought the air," wrote an observer, as quoted in Donald L. Miller's City of the Century.

"Not since man began to pile one stone upon another," wrote an influential French critic, "has so difficult a problem (as tall buildings) been presented to the architect."

Chicago is where that problem was solved.

Sail with us and learn how the devastating Fire jumped a river and cleared the way for visionaries of plate glass and structural steel such as Jenney, Root, Burnham and Sullivan (Wright's mentor). Over less than a decade, the Chicago School of ingenious grillage foundations and steel-frame construction techniques lifted all architecture heavenward.

However, not all of Chicago's landmarks are vertical.

On board our expert-narrated cruise you'll learn how smoldering debris from that 1871 inferno hastily plowed into Lake Michigan, forming the basis of the 2,800-acre landscape masterpiece that today is Grant Park (now home to Frank Gehry's inimitable concert Pavilion).

And you will learn how a merchant by the name of Montgomery Ward, virtually alone, waged a fanatical 25-year legal crusade to keep our glorious lakefront "free and clear" from other Chicago barons who wanted Grant Park for an industrial factory zone.


Passage is $42 per adult, $35 per senior, and $20 per child (ages 11-18) and each includes complimentary Starbucks Coffee, Twinings Tea, soft drinks, and fresh-baked muffins or cookies.

State and local taxes are not included. Children 6 and under are allowed free passage, space permitting. Tickets are non-refundable; however tickets may be exchanged for other dates/times, space permitting. Routes and schedules are subject to change due to weather, Chicago lock operations and bridges. Please call to confirm schedule. 

Ticket Office

465 N. McClurg Ct.


Chicago Line Cruises

North Pier Docks

Ogden Slip at McClurg Ct.

Chicago, Illinois 60611