A Brief History of Wendella Sightseeing Co. Inc.
Wendella Sightseeing, Co. Inc., a Chicago family owned and operated business is entering its’ 78th season as one of Chicago’s premier sightseeing and tourism venues. Founded in 1935 by Albert Borgstrom, a Swedish immigrant, Wendella is now in its third generation with Michael Borgstrom serving as its President. The company has been and continues to be an integral part of activities associated with expanded use of the Chicago River and the city’s evolving lakefront. Our mission statement and motto is- "Showcasing Chicago to the World. Setting the Standard for the Industry."
Sightseeing Tours and Special Event Charters
As Chicago's original tour boat company, Wendella features three distinctive tours, all focusing on the history and architecture of the city. They include the Combined Lake and River Tour, the Chicago River Architecture Tour and the extremely popular Chicago at Sunset Cruise. All tours are presented by trained professional tour guides. Wendella also provides a full venue of private special event and specialty cruises including the Wine and Waves architectural wine tasting cruise.
The Chicago Water Taxi
In 1962, Wendella started a rush hour commuter service between Michigan Avenue and the Northwestern Railroad Station, enhancing transportation options for the city’s thousands of commuters by utilizing the resources of the Chicago River. Known as the River Bus since 1999, now the new Chicago Water Taxi, Wendella provides seven-day a week water transportation service to thousands of commuters. Since 1962, the RiverBus has safely carried an estimated 4 million rail commuters. In 2006, the RiverBus documented more than 19,000 departures and was the official water transportation for Tall Ships Chicago 2006. The Chicago Water Taxi’s current stops are Michigan Avenue at the Wrigley Building, LaSalle/Clark Street, Madison Street by the Metra and Amtrak train stations and Chinatown in Ping Tom Park.
During the past 78 seasons, Wendella Boats has provided millions of visitors and commuters with an opportunity to experience the city in a unique way utilizing one of its greatest natural resources…the Chicago River. Whether it was providing transportation from a commuter train station or narrating the history of the city or its architecture during a tour, the company has always set the highest standards for safety, accuracy of information, timeliness and customer service.