CHICAGO LINE
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HISTORY OF CHICAGO’S FIRST

ARCHITECTURAL RIVER CRUISE

On June 24th, 1981 Chicago Line Cruises hosted the very first Architectural River Cruise in Chicago.

Over 35 years and numerous skyscrapers later, our award-winning Docents continue to share Chicago’s iconic Architecture with guests from around the globe.

Located in Chicago’s charming Streeterville neighborhood on private docks along the historic Ogden Slip, your tour begins the moment you check-in.

Sail with us and discover the amazing stories behind Chicago’s most iconic buildings.

CERTIFIED & PROFESSIONAL DOCENTS

A TOUR FROM THE EXPERTS

City of Chicago

Al

A native Chicagoan and a tour guide for roughly 3 decades. Al has provided tours for the Chicago History Museum over a wide range of subjects for 19 years, the Neighborhood Tours Program offered by the Chicago Dept. of Special Events for over a decade until the program’s close, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Newberry Library. He is acknowledged as past Volunteer Preservationist of the Year by the Chicago Coordinating Council for Landmarks Preservation. Al has also held leadership positions with the Chicago Tour Guides Professional Assoc. & the Chicago Art Deco Society.

Amy

An avid White Sox fan, Amy was born and raised in the South Suburbs of Chicago. She has both a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts degree in Art History. In addition to working as a Chicago Line Docent, Amy is currently an Instructor at Moraine Valley Community College in Palos Hills, where she teaches Art History and Humanities, and acts as an advisor to the Art Club. As if she weren’t busy enough, she is also taking classes in order to move forward with earning her Ph.D. in Art History. (Photo - Courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago.)

NBC Tower

Wrigley Building

Deb

Deb was born in Chicago. After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Northern Illinois University, she began teaching while working on a Master’s degree in Special Education. Deb has volunteered for and attended classes at the Architectural Society, after which she volunteered her services as a tour guide for the Chicago Historical Society’s various projects. She has been a Docent at Chicago Line Cruises for the past 24 years, providing guests with extensive and fun information on the history and architecture of this great city.

Diane

Diane has been a Docent for Chicago Line Cruises since July 2003. A former clinical social worker, Diane moved here in 1971 to attend the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration. She fell in love with Chicago, its people, and its history, so never left. When away from Chicago Line, Diane is a house historian who researches old Chicago homes. A passionate preservationist, Diane was part of the group that worked to landmark the Old Town Triangle Historic District, which is her home today and her second favorite place to offer tours.

Montgomery Ward Warehouse Building

Willis Tower / Sears Tower

Ed

Ed Mazur is a dynamic, entertaining, knowledgeable, and skilled certified tour guide for more than 25 years. He is a retired professor of Urban Studies/Chicago History and Politics. Known as "the Professor", Ed, a University of Chicago Ph.D., enjoys tours featuring Chicago architecture, history, neighborhoods, gangsters, and religious institutions. Ed Mazur is a veteran Chicago Line Docent and Trip Advisor has described him as "one of the best." Ed is a consultant/guide to World Chicago and a Chicago City Club Board Member.

Judith

Born and raised in the western suburbs of Chicago, Judith attended Illinois Wesleyan University and the University of Wisconsin in Madison, where she graduated with a B.F.A in Art. Judith volunteered for 16 years as a Docent for another organization, leading architectural tours on foot, by bus and boat, and becoming the Docent instructor river cruise candidates. Judith served as a guide for the Chicago Cultural Center Neighborhood Tour program and is an officer of the Chicago Tour Guides Professional Association. (Photo courtesy of the City of Chicago.)

Tribune Tower

77 West Wacker

Katie

Katie an architecture enthusiast, views living in a South Side neighborhood as privilege, amidst a decent measure of brilliantly designed Frank Lloyd Wright homes. She received a B.A. from DePaul University in Communication: Media Studies, Creative Writing, Broadcasting. Katie feels very fortunate to be able to share her affection for the city and lucky to have the chance to combine her love for the city, affinity for performing, respect for architecture, appreciation for history, passion for research and their elusive fondness for public speaking, into one delightful presentation.

Lynn

Lynn earned a Ph.D. in Communication Science from Northwestern University and has taught at every level from preschool through college. After retiring, she began offering tours in what she calls, “the best classroom in the world” – the city of Chicago - to “the best students” – her guests. Lynn successfully passed the rigorous certification programs of the CAF, the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust and historic Glessner House. She loves living downtown in the landmark building that we pass on our cruise, Marina City a.k.a the “corncob buildings”.

Marina City

Carbon and Carbide Building

Marshall

Born and raised in Chicago, Marshall knows the Windy City! He earned a degree in American History from the University of Illinois-Urbana, followed closely by a Master’s degree from the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. A Chicago Greeter and Certified Tour Guide of the Chicago Tour Guide Professional Association. He is a member of the St Sebastian Players (celebrating its 35th anniversary) ensemble and last appeared as Gonzalo in Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”.

Pat

Pat has been a Docent at Chicago Line Cruises for the past 15 years. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Notre Dame and a Master’s degree from Illinois Institute of Technology. An active member in his community of Park Forest, he spent nearly two decades on the Village Board of Trustees, followed by serving on the Library Board and as President of the local Art Center. After teaching high school Art and English for 35 years, Pat continues to spread his wealth of knowledge as a professor of Humanities, Art History and art appreciation at Moraine Valley Community College.

London Guarantee Building

Civic Opera House

Sharon

Originally from Indiana, Sharon Sylvester moved to the Chicagoland area after college to teach high school Spanish. She has been a Chicago tour guide for 20 years, and especially enjoys the history and diversity of this city. During those two decades, Sharon was a docent for the Chicago History Museum on a variety of subjects, including the many diverse neighborhoods and The Devil in the White City, a 2003 book by Erik Larson about the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. When not exploring her home city, Sharon is traveling and spending time with her lovely family.

Shawn

Shawn is a native of the Chicago area and has long held a strong interest in the built environment. He received a B.A. in Architecture from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a minor in Art History focusing on architectural and urban history. Shawn continued his education at UIC, earning a Masters of Urban Planning and Policy with a duel concentration focusing on Physical Planning and Urban Transportation. Shawn has over ten years of experience as a tour guide of Chicago.

John Hancock Center

Chicago Bridge Houses

Terry

Terry has been a Chicago practicing architect, tour guide, and lecturer on bridges for over 20 years. Along with his love of Chicago buildings, Terry has a passion for Chicago bridges. He has worked on several of Chicago’s historic and modern bridges. His fascination with the bridges extends to the bridge houses, which he views as the architectural jewels of Chicago and a living timeline of the city’s architectural styles. When not docenting or day dreaming about his next adventure vacation, Terry practices architecture as a principal at Johnson, Lasky, Kindelin Architects.

OUR VESSELS

FT. DEARBORN

The Ft. Dearborn, our 2 deck, 170 passenger flagship.

INNISFREE

Cruise 1920s-style aboard our 70 passenger vessel, the Innisfree.

CHICAGO LINE’S TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

ARCHITECTURAL CRUISE

Travel all three branches of the Chicago River.

Throughout our signature 90-minute cruise our professional and award-winning Docent will present more than 50 skyscrapers, bascule bridges, and historic sites.
Think of the Venetian canals, a Shinto temple, the medieval Cathedral at Chartres, or the unmistakable skyline of Chicago. Each year thousands of architecture lovers travel to the City of Chicago, the birthplace of the skyscraper… and thousands book passage aboard our enthralling river tour, widely considered the best 90-minutes spent in Chicago.