Sail Away in the Windy City: 10 Best Boat Tours in Chicago

Chicago, a city that sits on the shores of Lake Michigan, offers some of the most scenic boat tours in the US.

With a range of options available, from leisurely sightseeing cruises to thrilling speed boat rides, there is something for everyone.

The boat tours in Chicago provide a unique perspective of the city's skyline, architecture, and history. Whether you're a first-time visitor or a local, a boat tour is a great way to explore the city from a different angle.

These tours offer a refreshing break from the hustle and bustle of the city and provide a relaxing and enjoyable experience.

Boat tours in Chicago are available throughout the year, but the best time to take a tour is during the summer months when the weather is warm and the lake is calm.

The tours vary in length and price, and some tours even offer food and drink options on board.

In this blog post, we will explore the best boat tours in Chicago, highlighting the unique features of each tour and why they are worth your time and money.

From the popular architecture boat tour to the exhilarating speed boat ride, we will provide an in-depth review of each tour, helping you decide which one is right for you.

1. Tours & Boats Architecture Tours

Tours & Boats Architecture Tours
900 S Wells St, Chicago, IL 60607 (Google Maps)

Tours & Boats Architecture Tours is a must-try boat tour for architecture enthusiasts.

The knowledgeable and friendly tour guides provide insightful information about the city's renowned buildings and their history.

The tour is well-paced and not too long, making it perfect for visitors looking to learn about Chicago's architecture without feeling overwhelmed.

The boat is spacious and comfortable, and the sunset tour offers breathtaking views of the city skyline. The affordable parking and adult Capri Suns are a plus. Highly recommended for anyone visiting the city!

2. Chicago River Boat Architecture Tours

Chicago River Boat Architecture Tours
465 N McClurg Ct, Chicago, IL 60611 (Google Maps)

Chicago River Boat Architecture Tours offers a beautiful and informative 90-minute boat tour that showcases the city's stunning architecture.

With friendly staff and a knowledgeable tour guide, visitors can learn about the history and design of the buildings that line the river.

The boat also offers reasonably priced snacks and drinks in a comfortable salon.

This tour is a great way to see the city and appreciate its unique architectural style.

3. Chicago Fireboat Tours

Chicago Fireboat Tours
200 N Breakwater Access, Chicago, IL 60601 (Google Maps)

Chicago Fireboat Tours is a boat tour agency that offers a fantastic way to explore Chicago's skyline. The knowledgeable and friendly guides make the tour even more enjoyable.

The boat is clean and unique since it's an old fire boat. The price is reasonable, making it an excellent value for the money.

Bob, the tour guide, shares interesting facts and history without making it boring. The tour takes you on the Chicago River and Lake Michigan, providing a great view of the city.

This boat tour is highly recommended for those who want to experience Chicago from a different perspective.

4. SailingChi

111 N Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60601 (Google Maps)

SailingChi is a top-notch boat tour that offers a unique sailing experience in an amazing location.

With a friendly and knowledgeable captain, SailingChi is perfect for both first-time boaters and experienced riders.

The luxury and comfort of the Beneteau 47.7 sailboat is unbeatable, and the captain provides hands-on training for those interested.

Whether you're looking for a social outing or a relaxing sail, SailingChi has got you covered. Don't miss out on this remarkable experience!

5. 3rd Coast Charters

3Rd Coast Charters
400 E Monroe St, Chicago, IL 60601 (Google Maps)

Looking for an exciting boat tour experience on Lake Michigan with a safety-conscious captain and a touch of humor on the side, 3rd Coast Charters is the way to go.

With its stunning bluebird skies, beautiful coastline, and stops in the "play-pen" and Navy Pier, this tour offers an unforgettable experience.

Bring your own food and drinks, play your favorite music, and enjoy a day out on the water with close friends.

3rd Coast Charters is perfect for multiple outings throughout the summer.

6. Come Sailing

Come Sailing
400 E Monroe St, Chicago, IL 60603 (Google Maps)

Come Sailing is a top-notch boat tour agency that offers unforgettable experiences on the water.

With Captain Mike at the helm, guests are treated to a pristinely maintained boat and exceptional customer service.

The prices are reasonable, and the tour includes a front-row seat to Saturday night fireworks.

The captain gets guests as close as possible to the fireworks for an unforgettable display. Come Sailing is a must-try for anyone looking for a memorable boat tour experience.

7. Blackhawk Boat Tours

Blackhawk Boat Tours
W 9th St, Chicago, IL 60607 (Google Maps)

Blackhawk Boat Tours is a top-notch boat tour agency that offers a private boat tour of the Chicago River and Lake Michigan.

The captain, Ken, is an expert at delivering an adventurous and thrilling ride around the lake while balancing it out with a calm river ride.

The tour offers plenty of great photo opportunities of the city, making it the perfect way to enjoy a beautiful summer day in Chicago.

If you're looking for a unique and exciting way to explore the city, Blackhawk Boat Tours is definitely worth considering.

8. Shoreline Boats Tours

Shoreline Boats Tours
600 E Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60611 (Google Maps)

Shoreline Boats Tours offers an excellent boat tour on the Chicago River.

The knowledgeable guide, Becky, provides interesting information about the city.

The tour can be enjoyed during the day or at night, with the option to purchase drinks and snacks.

It's a great way to explore the city and learn more about its history. Highly recommended!

9. Chicago Sailboat Charters

Chicago Sailboat Charters
2 W Belmont Harbor Dr, Chicago, IL 60657 (Google Maps)

Chicago Sailboat Charters offers a fantastic sailing experience for anyone looking to explore the city from the water.

Their knowledgeable and friendly captains prioritize safety while still making sure everyone has a great time.

The company also offers boat rentals and sailing lessons for those interested in learning more about sailing.

Don't miss out on this unforgettable experience while in the city.

10. The Sophisticated Lady Yacht Charters

The Sophisticated Lady Yacht Charters
1559 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60605 (Google Maps)

The Sophisticated Lady Yacht Charters is a fantastic boat tour that is highly recommended.

The staff is professional, responsive, and accommodating. They will do everything to make your experience exceptional.

The boat is spacious and very clean. Captain Bill and the crew are great and have the best stories and experiences to share.

This boat tour is perfect for any occasion, and you won't be disappointed.