Lake & River Architecture Tour
(90 Minutes)

A Chicago family tradition since 1935, this is the tour that started it all. This unique excursion tells the story of more than 200 years of fascinating social, cultural and political history, and explores more than a century of groundbreaking architecture. The journey begins with an up-close perspective of Chicago’s internationally-known architecture as seen from the Chicago River. Then venture through the Chicago Lock on to the calm, cool waters of Lake Michigan for expansive views of Chicago's extraordinary 26-mile skyline. Take the selfie of a lifetime on this inspirational experience!


90 Minutes
Adult: $39 | Child (4-12): $18 (Under 4): Free

*Prices listed above are the final prices at checkout.

Gift Cards   Schedule  Group Rates

  • Tickets are non-refundable, but are transferrable to other tours, times, or dates.
  • All tours are weather permitting and schedule may change daily.
  • Ticket sales close 5 minutes prior to departure.
  • Schedule subject to change without notice.
  • All tours subject to availability.

General Tour Information

Climate-Controlled Lounges

If the weather isn't ideal for outdoor seating, most Wendella vessels feature an indoor climate- controlled lounge on the bottom deck with speakers to hear the tour guide's narration. We suggest that if you have a concern about whether your vessel has a Climate-Controlled Lounge or not, to please call ahead. (312.337.1446) The lounge area offers windows on both sides of the vessel to still be able to see the sights during your tour.

Restrooms, Food, and Drinks

Also located on the bottom deck of our climate-controlled lounge are restrooms and a full service bar with snacks, such as chips and candy (no meals or food are served), and a selection of beers, wines, cocktails and soft drinks. All vessel bars accept cash and all major credit cards.

General Cruise Information

Boarding for each tour will begin 10-20 minutes before the tour time. There is no reserved seating, as seating is first come first served. All groups should arrive 30 minutes prior to the tour time. All tickets are non-refundable, however, in the event you are unable to make your scheduled tour date or miss the boat, all tickets are transferrable to another time, date, or tour. Tours depart rain or shine. However, in cases of severe weather, if the Captain deems it unsafe and cancels the tour, all guests will be refunded. Information about wheelchair accessibility to our docks/vessels can be found on our ADA & Accessibility Page. At this time, we do not offer tours in any other languages except English. There is no storage area on our dock, but guests may bring their luggage aboard keeping in mind it may be subject to search.


Wendella offers a 50% discount for active military members and $10 off for veterans. Must present a valid Military ID. Wendella also offers a 50% discount for College Students on Tuesdays all season! Must present a valid Student ID from an accredited College or University. Tickets may only be purchased at the ticket office on the dock if using these discounts.

Unfortunately we do not offer AAA discounts, but follow us on Twitter or Facebook for promo codes and discounts!

For more answers to your questions, please check out our FAQ page .


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What do our customers say?

"This was a great 90 minute tour of the Chicago river and lake Michigan sights. The tour guide was knowledgeable and gave a running lecture of points of interest and history of the city. You go thru "locks" entering and leaving lake Michigan. It was a fabulous vantage point to see Chicago. Price is reasonable."

Review 1 Dotster2014 June 27th, 2016

"After looking at various boat tours, we finally decided to proceed with this company and did the River and Lakes tour. FANTASTIC!! One part is covering historical buildings and the second part goes out to the lake. Before you leave Chicago, you have to do a boat tour. Note, other tour companies did not have 2 levels therefore you did not have the option to relieve yourself from the hot sun and sit in a shaded area. The boat itself is very clean, with well maintained bathrooms. Great job Wendella! We'll be back!!"

Review 3 Love2travelkek June 25th, 2016

"If you are at all interested in Architecture, Chicago history or just amazing views of Chicago, take the Signature River & Lake tour! The tour guide was great! He shared so much information and history with us. He was authentic and enthusiastic in his delivery too. I would definitely recommend Wendella and would go again."

Review 2 Rachel S. June 27th, 2016

"Wendella’s signature tour since 1935."

Safety & Security

Our Safety & Security procedures

Parking & Directions

Directions to our docks as well as parking locations.

ADA & Accessibility

Information on ADA & Accessibility.


FAQs and Wendella contact information.