Wendella is committed to providing the highest degree of hospitality to our guests. We have recruited and trained a staff of professionals who maintain and operate Wendella's vessels, as well as a dock crew that assist our guests both before and after the tour. All Wendella vessels are certified annually by the United States Coast Guard (USCG) for passenger safety and all our Captains are USCG Licensed Merchant Marine Officers.
Since 1935, generations of visitors and Chicagoans alike have made a Wendella Boat Tour a family tradition. Wendella boats, the original boat tour company in Chicago, has provided millions of visitors and commuters with an opportunity to experience the city in a unique way utilizing one of its greatest natural resources – the Chicago River and Lake Michigan.
All Wendella vessels feature a full cash bar and most have a climate-controlled main cabin. Restrooms are available on all our vessels. Wendella Vessels have state of the art sound systems which enhance and support our live narrations.
Chicago's Original Architecture Tour® (Adult: $35.50 - 75 minutes) departs from the Wendella Main Dock at the Wrigley Building. An expert tour guide in Chicago's architecture and history leads you through all three branches of the Chicago River. This 75-minute tour highlights Chicago's rich architectural heritage, with dramatic views of residential and commercial buildings along the Chicago River. During this tour you will discover a wide range of architectural styles designed by notable architects Mies van der Rohe, Bertrand Goldberg, and Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. This tour is suitable for everyone, especially those interested in the architectural history of Chicago.
Signature Lake and River Tour (Adult: $35.50 - 90 minutes), Wendella's signature tour since 1935, is a comprehensive overview of Chicago, offering breathtaking views of our magnificent skyline and an up-close perspective from the Chicago River. Departing from the Wendella Dock at the Wrigley Building, this 90 minute tour features a live narration highlighting Chicago’s rich history and architectural heritage. Your tour guide, and expert in Chicago's architecture and history, will lead you through the Main Branch of the Chicago River and through the Chicago Lock out to Lake Michigan. This tour will entertain everyone, particularly those with a desire to experience the beauty of Chicago's remarkable skyline.
Chicago at Sunset Tour (Adult: $35.50 - 2 hours) is offered at 7:45pm on summer evenings. Enjoy this 120-minute Sunset Cruise as you watch the sun set over the Chicago skyline from Lake Michigan. Departing from the Wendella Dock at the Wrigley Building, this cruise includes a brief narrated tour of Chicago's history and a view of the water and light display at Buckingham Fountain. Enjoy time with friends or a romantic evening with someone special. Whether a tourist or a local resident, Wendella Boats is the best way to experience Chicago.
Chicago River Experience Tour (Adult: $19 - 45 minutes) departs from the Wendella Dock at the Wrigley Building. Family-oriented and casual, this 45-minute tour aboard the iconic Chicago Water Taxi introduces guests to the city's history and architectural heritage. This river-only tour provides you with views of the Main Branch and part of the South Branch of the Chicago River including Willis Tower.
Lake Michigan Fireworks Tour (Adult: $35.50 - 2 hours) departs from the Wendella Dock at the Wrigley Building and heads out to Lake Michigan for the Navy Pier fireworks. This cruise will lead you north and south along the city's spectacular lit up skyline. A unique Chicago experience for an evening with someone special, a fun night out with friends, or an exciting night with the family! This 120-minute cruise is offered Wednesdays and Saturdays throughout the summer (Memorial Day-Labor Day) and includes a brief narrated tour.
Chicago River Bridges Tour(Adult: $44.80 - 2 hours) is offered once a month from June-October. Chicago has more moveable bridges than any city in North America; second only to Amsterdam in the world. Join Wendella and Author Patrick McBriarty as we explore the variety of bridges and bridgehouses, no two are the same. The 2-hour tour travels on all three branches of the river and covers more than 20 bridges.
Wine & Cheese Cruise (Adult: $60.50 - 2 hours) is offered biweekly May 28-September 17 from 5:45pm-7:45pm. Sample sweet and savory wines and cheeses from Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine while cruising Lake Michigan and the Chicago River. Unlike our traditional tours, the Wine & Cheese Cruise does not include a narrated tour, but a tour guide is available to answer any questions you may have. With an enjoyable playlist and a more casual set up, this cruise is the perfect occasion to gather with friends or co-workers after work.
Beer & BBQ Cruise (Adult: $53.75 - 2 hours) is offered biweekly June 4-September 24 from 5:45pm-7:45pm. Sample a variety of beers from local brewery Goose Island and authentic barbecue from Sweet Baby Ray's. Enjoy these Chicago favorites while cruising Lake Michigan and the Chicago River. Unlike our traditional tours, the Beer & BBQ Cruise does not include a narrated tour, but a tour guide is available to answer any questions you may have. With an enjoyable playlist and a more casual set up, this cruise is the perfect occasion to gather with friends or co-workers after work.
Festive Wildlife River Cruise (Adult: $75 or two-for-$125 package - 2 hours) is a special one-time only wildlife cruise, led by Friends of the Chicago River’s expert staff. Enjoy the summer evening as you ride through the downtown skyscraper canyon, from Michigan Avenue to Goose Island to the Amtrak Lifting Bridge and even the famed Bubbly Creek. Cruise date is Wednesday, June 24th from 6:00pm-8:00pm. This fun Chicago River cruise features open bar and delicious bites from the Entertaining Company and Wow Bao. Friends’ Summer Cruise is generously sponsored by Wendella Sightseeing Company and benefits Friends' McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum. Don’t miss out! Purchase tickets here.
St. Patrick's Day Cruise (Adult: 35.50 - 2 hours) is a cruise where you can view the annual dyeing of the Chicago River from one of our vessels and experience a Chicago tradition. Unlike our traditional tours, this cruise does not include a narrated tour, but instead features festive Irish music. A full-service cash bar, including green beer is available on board.
Magnificent Mile Holiday Cruise (Adult: $35 - 2 hours) is a way to celebrate the start of the holiday season with Wendella! Join us for a kid-friendly fireworks cruise on the Chicago River during the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival. Enjoy seasonal music and a brief narrated tour. Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages are available for purchase and Wendella will provide complimentary hot apple cider, hot cocoa, and cookies!