Experience the “top tour in Chicago and one of the top ten tours in the U.S.” according to TripAdvisor users. The Chicago Architecture Foundation Center River Cruise is a must for out-of-towners and Chicagoans alike. CAC-certified volunteer tour guides—called docents—interpret more than 50 buildings along the Chicago River. You’ll find out how Chicago grew from a small settlement into one of the world’s largest cities in less than 100 years. In 90 minutes, get the real story on Chicago architecture and its history.
Capture Chicago Photography Cruise
Attention photographers! Capture Chicago's beautiful buildings during an exclusive CAF River Cruise designed with the photographer in mind. Move freely around the boat and have access to all angles while a highly-trained docent points out architectural highlights along the way. The tour will pause three times giving you the prime opportunity to capture the city's architecture. This tour is only offered by the Chicago Architecture Center and Chicago's First Lady Cruises.
Saturdays & Sundays at 9am
Twilight River Cruise
The city's most popular tour is now offered at twilight. 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 7:30pm departures; available seasonally.
- CAC Members please call 312.922.8687 or come to the CAC Box Office at 111 E. Wacker Dr. to redeem your 2-for-1 benefit.
- You can buy a CAC membership over the phone and redeem your 2-for-1 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 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 private rental or have a group of 20 or more?
Please contact our group sales team at 312.322.1130 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Directions to Chicago’s First Lady boat dock
See a map here or enter 112 E. Wacker Drive into your GPS.
Your CAF River Cruise departs from a dock just 8 blocks north of the CAC Shop and Tour Center. Located at the southeast corner of the Michigan Avenue Bridge at Wacker Drive, a blue 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.
About 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.