Shoreline Sightseeing

Welcome to Shoreline Sightseeing

More Boats, More Tours, More Chicago!

Sailing Chicago’s waterways since 1939, Shoreline Sightseeing is one the best ways to explore and discover Chicago! Family owned for three generations, Shoreline Sightseeing today operates Chicago’s largest and most diverse boat touring fleet with ten major touring vessels and 10 water taxis.

Come discover Chicago’s vibrant history, famous architecture and breathtaking skyline on a variety of cruise and tour options available. Shoreline offers classic Skyline Tours on Lake Michigan, guided Architecture Cruises on the Chicago River, dramatic Fireworks Cruises, guided River Ride/City Walk Architecture Tours, fast, fun Water Taxi’s and special events. 

Shoreline Sightseeing Chicago

Box Office Address

600 East Grand Avenue

Chicago, IL 60611

P. 312-373-7258

E. Groups@shorelinesightseeing.com

W. Shoreline Sightseeing Chicago

Get Around Chicago!

Shoreline Water Taxis make fast, fun connections between Chicago’s major touring destinations including Navy Pier, the Michigan Avenue Bridge, Willis Tower/Union Station and Chicago’s Museum Campus. You can also call on Shoreline Charters for memorable events from casual get-together, to corporate meetings, to special celebrations for family, friends and groups. We invite you to explore Chicago with us and we look forward to welcoming you on a Shoreline Sightseeing cruise or tour!

The Shoreline Tour Translations App allows speakers of Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, German and French to see and learn more about Chicago. Please note that this app does not include English as the live tour is presented in English.

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 Group Trip Planning Information

Camp Group information sheet/Reservation form

Planning help

Please let us know how we may help you create an outstanding field trip for your Summer Campers or Preschoolers. Contact our Group Sales Department at 312-373-7258 or email groups@shorelinesightseeing.com.

About Group Tours:

  • We need to receive your deposit to reserve your date and time.
  • A confirmation will be sent via fax or email.
  • Advance booking required (2-days minimum advance booking) and popular times for camps sell out fast!
  • Payments may be made by cash, check or credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express).
  • Final Payment and minimum guest count is due two weeks before the tour.

Phone: 312.373.7255

Fax: 312.321.0632

General Charters email:

charters@shorelinesightseeing.com

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Shoreline Sightseeing for School - Camp - Scout and Pre-School Groups

Shoreline Sightseeing

School and Youth Group Field Trips

Shoreline Sightseeing’s fun, convenient and informative School field trips have been specially designed to give school groups a memorable experience! From 45-minute Lake Tours to one-hour Architecture Cruises, your students will come away with a new appreciation of a city that literally rose from the ashes of the Great Chicago Fire!

Summer Camp, Scout and Pre School Group Field Trips 

Shoreline Sightseeing is delighted to offer Camp Directors and Preschool educators a package specifically designed with summer camp group outings in mind to give camp groups and preschoolers a memorable experience!

Tour and Cruise Packages for Youth Groups! 

Waterfront Adventure School Trips

Shoreline’s Waterfront Adventure from Navy Pier combines an exciting 45-minute Lake Michigan boat tour with a professional narration on Chicago’s dramatic history. Your students will learn about milestones in Chicago’s growth including the reversing of the Chicago River and the construction of famous museums such as the Shedd Aquarium.

Waterfront Educational Material Package

Tour Times

Waterfront Adventure Tours operate in the spring at 10:45 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. Monday-Friday with additional times of 11:15 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. once they are full. Vessel capacity is 150-250 people.

Waterfront Adventure for Summer Camp, Scout and Pre-School Trips

Shoreline Sightseeing is delighted to also offer Camp Directors, Scout Troop Leaders and Preschool educators a package specifically designed with summer camp group outings in mind to give camp groups, scout groups and preschoolers a memorable experience! Shoreline’s Waterfront Adventure from Navy Pier combines an exciting Lake Michigan boat tour with a professional narration on Chicago’s dramatic history. Shoreline is offering special departures of an extended version of our famous, narrated Skyline Boat Tour from Navy Pier at a very special price for children and adults. It’s a great way to experience the city and great fun for kids of all ages—and for counselors, too! It’s also is an ideal addition to any Navy Pier summer outing.

Waterfront Educational Material Package

Tour Times

Waterfront Adventure Tours operate at 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. Vessel Capacity is between 150 and 250 people.

Architecture Exploration Cruises

Shoreline’s Architecture Cruises on the Chicago River are a popular option for older students. These one-hour tours are led by professional docents who explain how Chicago rose from the ashes of the Great Fire of 1871 to become the home of the skyscraper and the birthplace of modern architecture. Cruises include more than 40 famed landmarks including works by Helmut Jahn and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.

Spring Tour Times

Architecture Exploration Cruises operate in the spring at 10:00 a.m., 10:45 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and 12:15 p.m. Vessel Capacity is 100 for 10:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. departures and 200 for 10:45 a.m. and 12:15 p.m.

Summer Tour Times

Waterfront Adventure Tours operate at 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. Vessel Capacity is between 150 and 250 people.

Shoreline’s Skyline Lake Tour

Shoreline’s Skyline Lake Tour, a traditional half-hour Lake Michigan Skyline Cruise available from April through October, makes a memorable group event! Special rates are available for groups of 20 or more. See all of Chicago’s fabulous lakefront sights with a convenient half-hour boat ride from any of our convenient, lakefront docks.Learn about Chicagos colorful history and famous landmarks as you enjoy the panorama of Chicagos famous skyline! These cruises depart from our docks at Navy Pier.

Boarding begins 15 minutes prior to departure time.

Rates – School Groups Weekdays & Daytime only
Adults $12
Seniors (ages 65 and over) $11
High School $9
Grades K–8 $6
Rates shown for group of 20 or more. Weekend K-8 rates for children 12 and under only. Some black-out dates may apply.  School Groups and Tour operators must book directly through our group sales department at 312-222-9328.

Planning Information

School Group Information Sheet and Reservation Form

Summer Camp, Scouts and Pre-School Groups Information Sheet and Reservation Form

Planning help

Please let us know how we may help you create an outstanding field trip for your students. Contact our Group Sales Department at 312-373-7258 or email groups@shorelinesightseeing.com.

About Group Tours:

  • Reservations are not guaranteed without a deposit and a signed contract.
  • A confirmation will be sent via fax or email.
  • Advance booking required (two business-days) and popular times sell out fast!
  • Payments may be made by cash, check or credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express).
  • Final Payment and minimum guest count is due two weeks before the tour.

Special Events

Looking for a unique way to host your School’s next Graduation, project prom or a fundraiser.  With a Shoreline Charter, the vessel you select is yours alone for the duration of your 2-3 hour event. Your guests will experience the perfect setting as they cruise beautiful Lake Michigan or float along the historic Chicago River. Whether you are hosting a casual brunch for 20 guests or an upscale after prom celebration for up to 200 guests, Shoreline has the perfect vessel for your gathering.

A perfect setting for:

  • Senior Graduations
  • Proms and Project Graduation
  • Fundraising
  • Teacher Meetings and get togethers
  • And More!

Phone: 312.373.7255

Fax: 312.321.0632

General Charters email: charters@shorelinesightseeing.com

Family Trips

Shoreline Sightseeing

Family Trips

Since the beginnings of  Shoreline Sightseeing, Chicago has been our kind of town since 1939, the year we launched our first boat! So we know how to show your Family Chicago at its very best. Join us for our entertaining and educational Architectural River Cruise departing from Navy Pier. There’s no better view of the city of Chicago than from the deck of a Shoreline boat. A Shoreline Architecture Tour is a fascinating way to explore Chicago’s past and present. Our professional and entertaining docents tell the story of a city that literally rose from the ashes of the great Chicago fire.

Shoreline’s Sunset and Skyline Lake Tours are a great introduction to Chicago, with breathtaking views of one of the most beautiful cities in the world. And if it’s fireworks you want, a number of our cruises include a front-row seat for Navy Pier’s spectacular fireworks displays.Watch fireworks rise up from the lake against Chicago’s skyline when you join us for a Wednesday evening fireworks cruise. Or enjoy a fun outing on Lake Michigan. Whether you are native of Chicago or visiting, Shoreline Sightseeing your ticket to embrace Chicago in all its beauty.

Architecture Tours 

Experience one of the world’s most beautiful cities on a Shoreline Sightseeing Architecture River Tour. This exciting journey takes you down all three branches of the historic Chicago River, as our experienced and entertaining guides tell the dramatic story of Chicago’s rise from the Great Fire of 1871 to become the home of the skyscraper and the birthplace of modern American Architecture.

Along the route are dozens of landmark buildings by world-famous architects, including Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Helmut Jahn, Adrian Smith and Jeanne Gang. On most Wednesday and Saturday nights in the summer, Shoreline also offers dramatic Architecture/Fireworks Cruises, ending with a front row seat for Navy Pier’s famous fireworks displays. Our Night Architecture Cruises offer another popular option to see Chicago’s skyscrapers gleaming against the night sky. All Architecture Tours offer unbeatable day and evening views. Be sure to bring your camera to capture the drama and details of these world-famous architectural gems.

Skyline Lake Tours  

Discover the most memorable way to see Chicago… on a Shoreline Tour! Our Skyline Lake Tours offer breathtaking views of our city’s famous skyscrapers from an amazing vantage point on Lake Michigan. These tours depart from our docks at Navy Pier, Chicago’s #1 tourist attraction! With multiple departures daily, Shoreline’s Skyline Lake Tours are great for a day in the city or as part of a night on the town.

Chicago FireWorks Cruises

Make a memory that will last a lifetime on a Shoreline Fireworks Cruise. Shoreline offers a variety of dramatic boat tours that end with a front-row seat for one of Navy Pier’s spectacular fireworks displays. Whether you take our Architecture/Fireworks Cruise or a Lake Fireworks Cruise, you’re in for an awe-inspiring tour of our city. Architecture/Fireworks Cruises depart from Gateway Park at Navy Pier (southwest corner) and from the Michigan Avenue Bridge (northeast corner). Lake Fireworks Cruises depart from our docks on Navy Pier’s Dock Street.

Walking Tours

Why limit yourself to either a boat tour OR a walking tour of Chicago when Shoreline now offers you both in one, great tour?  We listened to customer feedback about their experiences in our city, and realized that we could offer something that no other company offers: an all-in-one  boat and walking tour.  Let Shoreline show you some of the best views of Chicago on a brief boat tour on the  river.   Then, disembark at one of our centrally located docks to continue your guided, small group walking tour to see some of the most important historical points in the city. Be dazzled by the gorgeous interior spaces of buildings like the Rookery, the Chicago Cultural Center, and the Intercontinental Hotel.  Delight in learning hidden secrets, bizarre stories, and little-known details on Chicago’s beautiful architecture. Our new walking tours let you experience Chicago at its best-on water and on land-on these one-of-a-kind, up-close-and-personal tours.

Recommended for those ages 13 and over.  Tours fill up fast, so reserve your spot today!

Shoreline Sightseeing Docking Map and Boarding Locations

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Author: Stuspots

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  • jamie

    oh wow, i remember i came here last summer, the tour was really amazing, the tour guide made the tour very intriguing, plus the breeze was soo calming 🙂

  • janet

    i just took my kids here last week, and it was honestly the best tour ever, the site were just astounding as well as the host… also the weather was really amazing, such a cool breeze