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Chicago Sightseeing On Boat Tours

Chicago sightseeing on the water will allow you to enjoy great views off the lake shore.

Most people in Chicago like Lake Michigan and the boats.

At Navy Pier Chicago you can catch a host of Chicago boat tours and enjoy the city in the daytime or at night!

Chicago Navy Pier (© can experience the city from a variety of fun and unique ships off Navy Pier.

Some are big, some are smaller. So you better decide what you want to ride because you have plenty of options to choose from.

Here’s a list of some of the Boat Tour and Sightseeing companies for your convenience to help you decide.

I’m not affiliated or get paid by these companies so I don’t have a preference for one over another. 
In For Fast Action:

        • If you’re in for some speed in your boating adventure, and don’t mind going fast with the breeze in your hair, then a speedboat ride will give you that.
        • Lakefront Speedboat called the Seadog I, II, IV rides may be more your style.
        • These boat offers 30 minute lakefront tours, and a 75 minute River Architectural Tour.
        • Don’t be surprised if you get really wet on this one!
        • They have the Seadog Extreme is faster than the original Seadogs, and will give you an exciting ride.
        • These ships are at the Pier’s Dock Street.
        • The cruises are from April – October if weather permits.
        • No food is provided.

For more information about your Seadog boat rides call (888) 636-7737.

Sailing in Lake Michican (© benkrut)
An exciting sail, the natural way:

        • Some of these ships are big sail boats such as the Tall Ship Windy.
        • This ship is a huge sail ship that holds up to 150 passengers and offers 90 minute cruises.
        • As a passenger you can participate on hands in this ships navigation.
        • You can enjoy lakefront sightseeing & an architectural cruise among other things on this ship.
        • Cruises on the Tall Ship Windy are available in the daytime, and evenings from May to October.

For more information about Tall Ship Windy call (312) 595-5555.

Sailing in Lake Michican (© benkrut).

Looking for More Sightseeing Options, a unique trip, & Water Travel Options:

              • The Shoreline Sightseeing offers lakefront sightseeing, and an Architectural cruise.
              • Chicago Sightseeing will include day and night architectural cruises on the Chicago River route.
              • They have a fireworks cruise that offer a close up view of the fireworks from Navy Pier.
              • They offer Skyline Lake Tours which allows you to sight see Chicago’s skyscrapers from Lake Michigan.
              • They offer Brew and Wine Cruises also.
              • Shoreline provides unique Water Taxi travel in two routes from their dock at the southwest corner of Navy Pier.
              • The taxi travel routes are on the lake to the Museum Campus.
              • One is on the lake to the Museum Campus. Another is on the River to the Michigan Avenue Bridge, & to the Willis or Sears Tower.
              • Shoreline also offers private charters on a choice of their ships.

For more information on Shoreline Sightseeing cruises and schedules please call (312) 222-9328.

Chicago Skyline and Site Seeing Cruise (©

Interested in a Good date night, Romantic ambiance or a nice cruise ride:

Well you’re not going to have to look too much further with an Odyssey Cruise.

                    • It’s a huge ship that has 3 levels with accommodates for up to 700 guests.
                    • The Odyssey offers a Chicago dinner cruise year round.
                    • Has a buffet brunch, plated lunch or dinner, & known for it’s great food.
                    • Offers Lakefront touring & dining.
                    • You can get live entertainment, go dancing, & the ambiance allows for that!
                    • Offers a lot of themed cruises such as holiday cruises, father’s day cruises, fireworks cruises & much more.
                  • This ship cruises year round but limited in winter.

For more information on Odyssey cruise options and tickets, please call (866) 305-2469.

Chicago River with tour boats during the night (©

Looking for some more special Lake cruises and fun:

                    • The Spirit of Chicago is another ship that offers cruises for brunch, buffet lunch and buffet dinner.
                    • Great entertainment and can hold 600 passengers.
                    • Cruises year round and limited in the winter.
                  • Recently had a million dollar renovation.

For more information on The Spirit of Chicago call 866-273- 2469.

More cruising options, great ambiance & fun on the big ships:

                    • Mystic Blue Cruises offer a buffet brunch, a buffet lunch or a buffet dinner.
                    • Offers a Father’s day cruise and fireworks cruise.
                    • Has cruises all year round like the Odyssey and Spirit of Chicago, it’s also limited in the winter.
                  • There’s D.J. entertainment. You can host a lot of parties there.

For more information on the Mystic Blue Cruises call (877) 299-7783.

Boat on Lake Michigan  (© runnyc262).If you’re interested in private charters, there are quite a few you can book off of Navy Pier Chicago:

                  • The Anita Dee Yacht Charters specialize in private, customized cruises for groups of 50-400.
                    • They provides lakefront sightseeing.

For Anita Dee 1 & 2 bookings call (312)379-3191.

                  • There’s also the Kanan Cruises.
                  • These cruises have seating for up to 300 people for lunch or dinner.
                  • Seats up to 400 guests for cocktail receptions.
                  • Kanan Cruises range from 2 to 5 hours and they also operate year round.
                  • Kanan Cruises has handicap accessibility with an elevator to all levels of the vessel.

If you’re interested in booking on Kanan cruises call (312)222-0088.

Night Chicago skyline from pier along Lake Michigan (© gk-6mt).

                  • There’s also Shoreline Charters & events.
                  • You can have your gathering & cruise the Chicago River and Lake Michigan on this private Shoreline charter.
                  • Ships can accommodate guests from 50 to 250 people. You can eat, dance and socialize your time away.

For further information about Shoreline Charters call (312)373-7255.

There is so much to see of Chicago by water. You can ride and cruise the ships off the Pier, and enjoy the rides, and Lake shore views!

These touring vessels will be waiting to pick you up on the docks, so you can enjoy Chicago sightseeing in a different way.