Why Choose Wendella?

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.

About Us

History

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.

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Amenities

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.

Tours

Chicago's Original Architecture Tour® (Adult: $35.50 - 75 minutes) - Be inspired by the captivating, visual art that is Chicago’s legendary architecture, and the exceptional architects who created this ever-changing, dynamic legacy for all to enjoy and admire. This comprehensive tour will navigate through the heart of the city on all three branches of the Chicago River while your professionally-trained architectural guide tells the story of more than 130 years of innovation in design, style and technique and why it is important today.

Wendella's Signature Lake & River Tour (Adult: $35.50 - 90 minutes) - A Chicago family tradition since 1935, this is the tour that started it all. This unique excursion tells the story of more than 200 years of fascinating social, cultural and political history, and explores more than a century of groundbreaking architecture. The journey begins with an up-close perspective of Chicago’s internationally-known architecture as seen from the Chicago River. Then venture through the Chicago Lock on to the calm, cool waters of Lake Michigan for expansive views of Chicago’s extraordinary 26-mile skyline. Take the selfie of a lifetime on this inspirational experience!

Chicago Sunset Cruise (Adult: $35.50 - 90 Minutes) - Be a part of nature’s nightly celebration as you watch the sun slowly set behind the city from the tranquil waters of Lake Michigan on this serene and romantic cruise. Toast the end of the day with a glass of wine, ice-cold beer or hand-crafted cocktail. Chicago’s magnificent skyline is simply stunning! Share this unique experience with someone special.

Chicago River Experience (Adult: $19 - 45 minutes) - Experience the energy and spirit of the city on this awe-inspiring voyage through the concrete, steel and glass canyon of downtown Chicago. This casual, family-friendly introduction to the Windy City’s rich history and architectural heritage may be brief but it is not short on discovery and wonder.

Chicago Fireworks Cruise (Adult: $35.50 - 2 hours) - No city embraces summer quite like Chicago. Join in the celebration with friends and family on this epic fireworks cruise. Get up-close and personal every Wednesday and Saturday night with an unobstructed 360-degree view of this exciting and thunderous spectacle.

Chicago River Bridges Tour (Adult: $35.50 - 2 hours) - Wendella and noted author Patrick McBriarty explore and celebrate Chicago's diverse and world-renowned bridges. Utilized by tens of thousands of people every day, Chicago's bridges are often an overlooked engineering and architectural marvel. Long noted as the birth of the skyscraper, Chicago is also the birthplace of the Bascule and Trunnion Bridge and home to more moveable bridges than anywhere in North America. McBriarty will guide us through the history of the bridges, the architecture and the engineering that surrounds these mechanical marvels.

Specialty Cruises

Wine & Cheese Cruise (Adult: $60.50 - 2 hours) - Start your weekend early, relax with a glass of wine and take in the evening views of the Chicago skyline! Enjoy sweet and savory wine and cheese pairings from Pastoral while cruising Lake Michigan and the Chicago River.

Beer & BBQ Cruise (Adult: $53.75 - 2 hours) - Gather your friends and share this exciting Chicago favorite! Sample a variety of local beers from Goose Island Brewery paired with authentic barbecue bites from Sweet Baby Ray’s. Enjoy these Chicago favorites while cruising Lake Michigan and the Chicago River. Cheers to the weekend!

4th of July Fireworks Cruise (Adult: $53.75 - 2 hours) - Wendella’s 4th of July Fireworks Cruise 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. This is a unique way to celebrate the 4th of July and experience Chicago! This kid-friendly cruise is offered on the 4th of July and includes a brief narrated tour.

Venetian night Frieworks Cruise (Adult: $35.50 - 2 hours) - >Wendella’s Venetian Night Fireworks Cruise departs from our Trump 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 a date night, a fun night out with friends, or an exciting night with the family! This tour includes a brief narrated tour.

Magnificent Mile Holiday Cruise (Adult: $35 - 2 hours) - 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. Fireworks will be at 7. We DO NOT see the parade. Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages are available for purchase and Wendella will provide complimentary hot apple cider, hot cocoa, and cookies!

St. Patrick's Day Cruise (Adult: $35.50 - 2 hours) - 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.

Friends’ Festive Summer Cruise (Adult: 2-for $125 or $75 each - 2 hours; June 22nd 6-8p.m.) - This year, in addition to a unique Chicago River itinerary heading south to Bubbly Creek, delectable small bites and open bar, our cruise will feature exciting pop up events celebrating life on and along the river. On the cruise we will be celebrating the McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum’s 10th anniversary and as such the theme is The Chicago River: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. Wendella Sightseeing Company is a Presenting Sponsor and is proud to support Friends of the Chicago River’s Bridgehouse Museum. Tickets can be purchased here.

Safety & Security

Our Safety & Security procedures

Parking & Directions

Directions to our docks as well as parking locations.

ADA & Accessibility

Information on ADA & Accessibility.

Questions

FAQs and Wendella contact information.