Looking to explore the stunning architecture and breathtaking skyline of Chicago in a whole new way? There is no better way to do so than by booking an adventure river boat trip on the Chicago River. Whether you are planning a romantic getaway or a family excursion, this experience will leave you with lifetime memories of your trip to the Windy City.
In case you are planning a trip to Chicago city on a river boat trip, the blog is here to help you plan. Here are some tips for planning your perfect adventure, from what to wear and bring, what tours to look out for, and where to get them:
1. Determine What Type of Tour You Want To Take
First things first, figure out what kind of tour you would like: architectural boat tour, nighttime cruise tour, or themed tours such as pizza cruises or jazz and cocktail cruises. There is a range of tours available that cater to different interests. The most popular one has got to be the “Chicago Architecture Foundation Center River Cruise aboard Chicago’s First Lady Cruises.” It’s an excellent informational guide detailing all the hidden gems that comprise Chicago’s illustrious architecture. Apart from this, there are different boat trips on the Chicago River available that you can choose from.
2. Book In Advance
To avoid disappointment on the day itself, ensure that you book in advance as seats are limited, especially during peak seasons such as summer when everyone wants to be outside enjoying the sun. In summer, there is an immense craze for Chicago River boat trips, so book in advance.
3. Research Deals & Discounts
Savvy travelers always check out deals and discounts before they book any activities during their travels – don’t forget! Research potential discounts online or ask around once you’re there.
4. Be Mindful Of Packaged Tours
Some packaged tours can seem expensive at face value, but many include extra perks such as private transportation from your hotel door front, among others, which makes it more convenient overall compared to if done independently.
5. Opt For A Smaller Boat Tour Operator
Smaller operators offer personalized experiences with knowledgeable guides who will answer every question you have about whatever topic piques your interest, plus more time taking in views up close without jostling for position with other, larger tour groups. Furthermore, if you rent a small boat, ensure it has a rod holder. Why is that? Click here to learn about it.
6. Dress For Comfort
Wear comfortable clothing that is appropriate for the weather, as it might get chilly on the boat during nighttime cruises. You wouldn’t want to be shivering instead of enjoying your trip. Dress in a way that you can layer and keep yourself warm if needed.
7. Bring Sun Protection
Be sure to bring sunglasses, hats, and sunscreen for daytime trips as things could get sunny along the way – plus, proper protection against UV radiation is always a necessity!
8. Take A Camera With You
Do not forget your camera or phone – mobile devices these days have cameras with high-resolution capability, so take advantage of this technology when taking pictures on Instagram or Facebook while out on the water.
9. Arrive Early
Arriving at least 30 minutes earlier before departure time gives you ample time to locate the meeting spot, get your tickets, and prepare for boarding smoothly without any worries.
10. Expect Different Views
No two boats will take exactly the same route, so expect diverse views as each tour operator has their own preferred spots to showcase from unique angles that will leave you amazed and awed by Chicago’s skyline. Always remember there’s always something new to discover, no matter how familiar one might be with certain neighborhoods or buildings.
11. Don’t Worry About Food & Drinks
Many tours have food and drinks available on board or come equipped with mini-bars that serve alcoholic beverages like beer or cocktails, soda pops, etc. Because let’s face it, who doesn’t love good food? But don’t worry about packing extra snacks since gourmet food trucks are a feature near many of the docks locations where these boats depart from.
12. Be Polite & Respectful To Other Tourists And Guides
Lastly, make sure you are respectful towards other tourists sharing your experience, especially during crowded seasons when boats can fill up quickly. It’s important to be mindful of personal space and not get in their way or block anyone. Remember, guides and crew are an essential part of your experience, so treat them with respect at all times.
These tips will help you plan the perfect Chicago River boat trip that is enjoyable, memorable, and safe for everyone involved. From researching tour types to dressing for comfort, bringing adequate sun protection, and being polite/respectful toward other passengers – these are just some of the most important things worth considering when planning any kind of adventure along one of America’s most famous waterways. By following these guidelines, I’m certain that your time spent on board will be nothing short but unforgettable experiences you’ll cherish for years to come. Happy sailing!
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