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FAMILY OWNED & OPERATED FOR FOUR GENERATIONS

Wendella is founded by Swedish immigrant Bo Albert Borgstrom at Navy Pier. The original Wendela was a 65-foot long, wood-hulled vessel that carried 96 passengers, and tickets cost 25 cents.

Wendella moves to its current location at the Wrigley Building. Wendela is the first vessel to use the newly-constructed Chicago Lock.

Wendella begins “WWII Water Taxi” service for sailors from U.S. Navy Great Lakes Naval Training Station and Navy Pier. Service operates for the remainder of the war.

Wendela is sent into military service for use as a training vessel by the U.S. Navy. It is returned after the war.

Wendella (changed from “Wendela” for pronunciation) is selected to be part of the flotilla welcoming HMS Britannia and Queen Elizabeth to Chicago for the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Wendella Commuter Cruiser service (now Chicago Water Taxi) begins, shuttling rail commuters between the Chicago & Northwestern Train Station and Michigan Avenue during morning and evening rush hour.

Wendella celebrates its 50th anniversary

Wendella Commuter Cruiser becomes Wendella River Bus

The second Wendella is “retired” and replaced with the third Wendella. The custom built two-deck vessel is the brand’s largest to date at 89 feet long and 30 feet wide with a passenger capacity of 340. Wendella River Bus is rebranded as Chicago Water Taxi.

Wendella celebrates its 75th Anniversary. Linnea, sister ship of Wendella, is launched. Sunliner becomes a Chicago Water Taxi.

Lila, sister ship of Linnea is launched. The vessel is named for the late Lila Borgstrom (1935-2011).

Lucia, sister ship of Lila, and fifth tour boat, is launched. Wendella Ltd. becomes the fourth and largest Chicago Water Taxi.

Wendella is founded by Swedish immigrant Bo Albert Borgstrom at Navy Pier. The original Wendela was a 65-foot long, wood-hulled vessel that carried 96 passengers, and tickets cost 25 cents.

Wendella moves to its current location at the Wrigley Building. Wendela is the first vessel to use the newly-constructed Chicago Lock.

Wendella begins “WWII Water Taxi” service for sailors from U.S. Navy Great Lakes Naval Training Station and Navy Pier. Service operates for the remainder of the war.

Wendela is sent into military service for use as a training vessel by the U.S. Navy. It is returned after the war.

Wendella (changed from “Wendela” for pronunciation) is selected to be part of the flotilla welcoming HMS Britannia and Queen Elizabeth to Chicago for the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Wendella Commuter Cruiser service (now Chicago Water Taxi) begins, shuttling rail commuters between the Chicago & Northwestern Train Station and Michigan Avenue during morning and evening rush hour.

Wendella celebrates its 50th anniversary

Wendella Commuter Cruiser becomes Wendella River Bus

The second Wendella is “retired” and replaced with the third Wendella. The custom built two-deck vessel is the brand’s largest to date at 89 feet long and 30 feet wide with a passenger capacity of 340. Wendella River Bus is rebranded as Chicago Water Taxi.

Wendella celebrates its 75th Anniversary. Linnea, sister ship of Wendella, is launched. Sunliner becomes a Chicago Water Taxi.

Lila, sister ship of Linnea is launched. The vessel is named for the late Lila Borgstrom (1935-2011).

Lucia, sister ship of Lila, and fifth tour boat, is launched. Wendella Ltd. becomes the fourth and largest Chicago Water Taxi.

  • 1935

  • 1938

  • 1943

  • 1944

  • 1956

  • 1962

  • 1985

  • 1999

  • 2007

  • 2010

  • 2012

  • 2015

GIVING BACK

Throughout the years, we’ve partnered with local organizations—including the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition (NOCC), Ronald McDonald House, and Cubs Charities—to give back to the Chicago community. We set aside a portion of our tickets each year for use by local charities. We volunteer with various organizations across the city, and help raise funds for schools, social service organizations, and medical research.

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