Chicago's First Lady Cruises

Like Mount Rushmore and its presidents, Chicago has a handful of signature attractions that seem to stand out (read: Cloud Gate, Wrigley Field and Willis Tower). Also like Mount Rushmore, there's one name that we always forget (sorry Teddy Roosevelt) and that's the Chicago River.

Our city's unique in that a waterway carves right through the downtown area. While architects in other cities compete for real estate on crowded shorelines, Chicago has a winding alternative with unlimited potential. In a lot of ways, The Chicago River is our city's most striking asset and, like Teddy Roosevelt, we shouldn't take it for granted.

In the spirit of making the most out of our 156-mile long creek, The Chicago Architecture Foundation and Chicago's First Lady Cruises are announcing a pair of brand new weekend offerings: the "Capture Chicago Photography Cruise" (beginning June 1) and the "Friday Night Twilight Cruise" (beginning June 7).

"Capture Chicago Photography" Cruise at 9am Saturdays & Sundays, Starts June 1

This cruise provides Paparazzi aspirants with an uninterrupted view of Chicago's famous architecture in the morning light, which is ideal for photographers. With select stopping points throughout the cruise and open air seating on Chicago's First Lady fleet of luxury vessels, you'll have everything you need to fortify your Instagram following. #nofilter. The scheduled stops are at the mouth of the river, the junction where the three branches meet, and at the southern end of the downtown main branch. CFL and CAF have done a few photography-specific, private tours in the past, and this is the first year they're offering the concept to the general public.

City of Chicago Skyline

"Friday Twilight Cruise" at 7:30pm, Starts Friday, June 7

The Chicago River at Night
This cruise invites passengers to begin their weekend early by relaxing with friends and sipping their favorite cocktails. The onboard bar also has a locally brewed beer option on tap, Revolution Brewing, so visitors can get an authentic Chicago experience while enjoying the remarkable architecture in a softer early evening light.

And the "Regular" Cruise Ain't Too Bad Either

Named in 2012 as the "#1 Thing to Do In Chicago" by U.S. News and World Report, the Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise aboard Chicago's First Lady Cruises is widely considered a principal must-do when visiting Chicago.

The tour highlights more than 50 historic and architecturally significant sites and the journey is led by CAF-certified docents, many of which have received hundreds of hours of training. The season continues through Sunday, November 17 and tickets are available at For more information about Chicago's First Lady Cruises, click here. For more information about the Chicago Architecture Foundation and their many tour offerings (both on and off shore), click here.

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