Tour operates daily from April through October 31st.
Chicago Seadog Architectural Tour
Chicago, Illinois, USA
- Historic river lock: To gain entry to the river you'll first have to pass through the lock, engineered to reverse the river's flow and ease transition between river and lake.
- Architectural gems: Cruising up the river gives you a unique perspective on some of the city's most treasured buildings, including the Willis Tower, Wrigley Building, and more.
- Iconic landmarks: Zipping through the harbor and along the lakefront, you'll enjoy exciting views of beautiful Buckingham Fountain, Grant Park, and the Museum Campus.
About this Chicago, Illinois tour
Chicago is considered to be the home of the world's first skyscraper – the Home Insurance Building. Designed by William LeBaron Jenney and completed in 1884, it was a dizzying ten stories high (calling it a skyscraper was perhaps a stretch), and was notable for its steel frame construction. In 1931, it was replaced by the 45-story Field Building (now the Bank of America building). Forty-five stories – now that's a skyscraper, but by no means the tallest.
Once they perfected the formula for erecting taller buildings, Chicago architects continued to reach for new heights, so to speak. In addition to steel framing, they also pioneered tube framing, which helps resist wind (important in the Windy City). Notable examples include the Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower), which held the title of world's tallest building from its completion in 1974 until 1998.
Cruising the river with a knowledgeable guide will give you a chance to see these iconic buildings up close, and hear about them, too. You'll also learn about an $80 million construction mistake (oops), and why the flow of the Chicago River was reversed. That said, seeing the spectacular skyline, along with the lakefront greenery of Grant Park, from afar as we zip around Lake Michigan, will be as high on your list of Chicago experiences as the skyscrapers.
In 1933 and 1934, Chicago hosted the Century of Progress International Exhibition, otherwise known as the Chicago World's Fair. To reflect its theme of technological innovation, its architects collectively decided to design new, modern forms and explore novel materials and building techniques rather than rehash old ideas. The result was a streamlined – though temporary – skyline that drew millions of visitors during the height of the Great Depression.
Please make your way to Seadog Ticket Booth at Navy Pier, 600 E Grand Ave., Chicago, IL 60611 Centrally located on Navy Pier's Dock Street across from the 150 foot high Ferris Wheel.
Please plan to check-in for your tour at least 20 minutes prior to tour departure time.
Vessels are accessible for most standard manual wheelchairs.
Boat Tour, Adventure, Cultural
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated moderate. Full participation may require extended periods of walking over even and uneven surfaces, steep terrain and/or water activity in a slight current. There may be steps, inclines, cobblestone surfaces, and extended periods of standing. Participants with physical limitations should take this into account.
Suitable for all ages. Children 3 years and younger are free of charge.
Special Medical Restriction
If you have neck, back, knee or hip problems, cardiac or respiratory issues, or you are pregnant, this tour may not be suitable for you, due to the physical nature of the activity required.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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