CHICAGO – Seeing the city from the vantage point of the river gives a whole new feel to the experience. The official Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) architecture river cruise season opens May 2, but tickets are available now. The architecture river cruise is offered aboard Chicago's First Lady Cruises cruising yachts, with open-air decks as well as air conditioned interior seating. All CAF cruises depart from the Michigan Avenue Bridge and Wacker Drive, just north of Millennium Park.
CAF-certified volunteer docents provide the entertaining and fact-filled commentary on Chicago’s architecture during the 90-minute tour. “Visitors come from as far away as Asia and South America or as close as the West Loop,” says Jason Neises, CAF VP of Tours. “The experience is always fresh because our docents keep up-to-date with new construction along the river and include all the news in their commentary.”
The cruise highlights 53 historic and architecturally significant sites including: the Trump Tower, Merchandise Mart, 333 W. Wacker, the Wrigley Building, the Tribune Tower, the Sears Tower, River City, and Marina City. The cruise also includes the North Branch of the Chicago River with buildings such as The Montgomery, formerly the world headquarters for Montgomery Ward; the Chicago Tribune printing press plant; Goose Island; Kinzie Park development; Riverbend and the clustered glass River Cottages.
All CAF cruises depart from the lower level and southeast corner of the Michigan Avenue Bridge at Wacker Drive. The 2009 Tour Schedule runs through November 21. CAF sells advance tickets (online or by telephone) through Ticketmaster. Individual tickets are available by phone at (800) 982-2787, or online at www.ticketmaster.com/rivercruise. For special group rates (groups of 20 or more) call (312) 322-1131.
The Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing public interest and education in architecture and design. CAF pursues this mission through architecture tours, exhibitions, panel discussions, and youth and adult education programs. Home to a permanent exhibition: CHICAGO YOU ARE HERE, the foundation is located at 224 S. Michigan Ave. in Chicago. For further information, visit www.architecture.org or call (312) 922-3432.
Chicago's First Lady Cruises:
The fleet of Chicago First Lady Cruises has been the official vessels for the Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise since 1993, operating more than 1,600 tours annually to the general public with commentary provided by more than 100 CAF-certified volunteer docents during its May-November season. Chicago’s First Lady Cruises owns and operates four luxury yachts: Chicago’s First Lady, Chicago’s Little Lady, Chicago’s Fair Lady, and Lady Grebe. All are available for private charter cruising each evening. As stewards of Chicago’s waterways, Chicago’s First Lady is dedicated to helping protect the environment.