We offer a variety of ways to explore the Chicago River in any one of our electric boats. No matter the experience you’re after, we’ve got just the cruise type for you.
Be Your Own Captain
This is the most common way our customers choose to cruise the river. Simply fill one of our electric boats with a fun group of friends or your family and cruise the river all together. One thing you will want to do before arriving at the dock is to choose a representative from your group to act as your cruise captain. All drivers must be 21 or older with a valid drivers license and must stay 100% sober. Guest captained boats must not go into the locks but is free to cruise all over the river. Ask our crew about recommended routes, you’ll be surprised at how much you can see in just a couple of hours!
Hire A Captain
If your group is interested in exploring outside of the river, or if everyone prefers to cruise with a drink in hand, then having a captain is definitely the way to go. Boats with a licensed captain are also permitted to venture through the locks to Lake Michigan, weather permitting. While our boats hold 10 passengers, no more than 6 passengers are allowed onboard with a captain, according to USCG law.
We have a list of amazing accredited captains that whom we have worked with for several years. Captain John, one of our most popular captains, explains to all of his guests that in order to obtain a captains, license there is an extensive process and exam. All captains have a minimum of 360 days on the water so you can be assured that you are in good hands when you hire a captain with us. Captain John also shared one of his favorite trip routes with us, so take note! Start at the locks then head to the Ogden slip. From there, go all the way to the North Channel. While our Captains are not tour guides, John is always happy to point out what is around and explain the history behind it. You can be assured that when you are out with a captain they will time the trip perfectly to give you the full two hours you paid for.
Captains are an additional charge of $60/hour with a two hour minimum. The use of a captain also requires advance notice so be sure to let us know when you book your cruise.
Hire A Tour Guide
Tour guides, or docents, are extremely knowledgable and are available to accompany you on your cruise. They will happily tailor your tour to your interests and full of little tidbits of Chicago River and architecture facts.
No two cruises are the same and the city is full of enough stories and factoids to fill multiple history books. Good thing our tour guides are experts and picking out the information that each group will most appreciate and enjoy. Audrey, one of our expert docents, admits she’s never given the same tour twice. “My favorite part is getting to know exactly what people are expecting from their tour and delivering a tour that completely fits their individual needs. That’s really the benefit of taking a private boat tour.” When taking tour, remember: the amount you see is dependent upon the amount of time you allow. Audrey recommends a minimum of 2-3 hours to see it all.
It’s important to understand that docents are not captains and cannot drive your boat for you. Docents are available for $55/hour with a two hour minimum. If you are interested in adding a tour guide to your cruise, please let us know at the time of booking so that we are able to secure one for you.