Chicago Line Cruises - architectural boat tours, see the architecture from the river

Chicago Line cruises offers architectural cruises and historical cruises along the Chicago River and in Lake Michigan. Come find out why customers rave about the quality of a Chicago Line cruise. We also provide opportunities for private charters and specialty cruises. 

 

 

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Specialty Cruises


The Innisfree catches a breathtaking view of the Chicago Skyline during our Historical Cocktail Cruise.

The Innisfree catches a breathtaking view of the Chicago Skyline during our Historical Cocktail Cruise.


6:00-7:30 p.m.

Monday through Saturday

May 26th to Labor Day

Route: Lake and River

Narration: Partial


8:00-9:30 p.m.

Monday through Saturday

May 26th to Labor Day

Route: River

Narration: Total


9:45-11:00 p.m.

Saturday Nights

May 26th to Labor Day

Route: Lake/River*

Narration: None

*subject to change from lock operation


Adults: $42.00; Seniors: $35.00; Youth: $23.00; Bar Package: $20.00

The duration of the tour is 90 MINUTES


Historical Cocktail Cruise

Three and a half centuries ago, what we call Chicago was little more than a swamp ... and a shortcut home.

Marquette and Jolliet "discovered" this uninhabited expanse in 1673 on their return trip to Canada, having already paddled 2,500 miles to chart the Mississippi River. Carrying a calumet (peace-pipe) given to them by an Illinois chief to assure safe passage, the priest and the explorer had to haul their canoes the last few miles in order to find "du Portage de Checagou." It was a muddy and malodorous stretch of land so useless the Potawatomi had not bothered to settle it.

Even by the 1820s, a disappointed land speculator reported, "I was up to my stirrups in muck and water (between the fort and Wolf Point). I wouldn't have given sixpence an acre for the whole of it."

How did this unpromising track of marsh land, raked by blistering lake winds, become the colossus we know today?

I act... I move... I push...
— Robert de La Salle, French explorer of Chicago

That remarkable story awaits you on board our Historical cruise.

Jolliet's rival La Salle was among the first to see Chicago's great destiny. He wrote in 1683 that – someday – this continental crossroad would be "the gate of empire, the seat of commerce. Everything invites to action."

"The typical man who grows up here must be an enterprising man," wrote La Salle. "Each day he will exclaim, 'I act, I move, I push.' And there will be spread before him a boundless horizon."

To this day, no one has penned a more fitting description of Chicago's indomitable founders and early history. This is a tale of ironic turns of fate and iron-willed pioneers, with plenty of heroes and tragic figures on the way.

Ironic turns of fate and iron-willed pioneers

Chicago's story begins with rises to buildings so high that, in the words of Carl Sandburg, "they had to put hinges on the top floors to let the moon go by." In a span of only six years – after the Great Fire – Chicago went from a city without one recognizable landmark to the center of world architecture.

No matter which way you turn from the deck of our flagship Ft. Dearborn, or the elegant Innisfree, yet another story looms up from the riverside – related in fascinating detail by our expert Historical Tour guide.

This is where Queen Victoria started the public library with her personal gift of 8,000 volumes; where a former clerk, Marshall Field, invented the concept of the department store; and where Armour devised the meat-packing assembly line (later copied by Henry Ford) and refrigerated distribution. 

Make no little plans.
— Daniel Burnham, American Architect, Urban Planner, and Director of Works for the World's Fair in Chicago

Chicago always beckoned the ambitious – from the resourceful Haitian fur trader du Sable, to the builders of industrial and merchant empires – and now it beckons you. If you are looking for a terrific story, this one is incomparable.

Sail with us and discover the city that redefined cities. Chicago took almost everyone by surprise, and it will take your breath away.

Click HERE to see the Historical Cruise Route.

Architectural Cocktail Cruise

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Sip your favorite cocktail and listen to Chicago’s immense history as the breathtaking, burnished hues of early evening set into the sky. Sail into the night with a fabulous light show across Lake Michigan. The towering majesty of Chicago’s architecture awaits you.

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.

Friday, May 23rd to August 31st, 2014 - Mondays through Saturday nights.
6 p.m. - Historical Cocktail Cruise (Lake and River) is partially narrated, casual, sails on Lake Michigan & Chicago River.
8 p.m. - Architectural Cocktail Cruise (River Only) is fully narrated and sails on Chicago River ONLY.

Friday, September 1st to October 5th, 2013 - Mondays through Saturday nights.
6 p.m. - Historical Cocktail Cruise (Lake and River) is partially narrated, casual, sails on Lake Michigan & Chicago River.

Fireworks Cruise

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In centuries past, English kings and invited nobles beheld spectacular displays of fireworks from royal barges. Now you can, too.

Fireworks cruise sails on both the Chicago River and Lake Michigan each Saturday at 9:45pm. 
Please note that there is no narration.

Our Premium Bar Package is available for an additional $20 per adult passenger.


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COMPLIMENTARY STARBUCKS COFFEE SERVED

Passage is $42 per adult, $35 per senior, and $23 per child (ages 7-18) 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.

Phone:312-527-1977

tickets@chicagoline.com

Chicago Line Cruises

North Pier Docks

Ogden Slip at McClurg Ct.

Chicago Illinois, 60611