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Private Chicago Boat Tours & Charters

Tours & Boats' large white passenger vessel moored at the dock on a lovely sunny day

Chicago is a leading city in many ways. Situated on Lake Michigan in Illinois, the city has undeniably influenced architecture worldwide. It is a city of architectural firsts and extremes. From some of the earliest skyscrapers in America and the historic Wrigley Building to the Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower), many of Chicago’s most impressive sights line the Chicago River, which flows right through the heart of the city.

It also claims the title of the birthplace of gospel music, improv comedy, and one of the pioneering cities to openly include LGBTQ streetscapes (the rainbow pylons in Boystown). Walking around the center of Chicago, you’ll begin to realise why more and more people are choosing to live here. It’s friendly, clean, vibrant, and fun. The people are nice, the city is beautiful, the food is great—it’s humble and welcomes everyone from all walks of life.

New York is the largest US city followed by Los Angeles despite Chicago having been dubbed the “Second City”. The name arose from when the great fire of 1871 completely destroyed the city and was subsequently rebuilt on the same location, almost entirely from scratch. The city, as it stands today, attracts visitors from all over the world and there are so many wonderful things to see and do.

So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the best way to see these modern marvels is right from the water with a private boat charter! Gain a unique perspective on the past, present, and future of Chicago on Tours & Boats’ 90-minute Architecture Boat Tour, which includes in-depth commentary on all of the must-see buildings along the Chicago River. If private tours are more your thing, you can’t miss the opportunity to enjoy a private dinner cruise on Lake Michigan. Absorbing the 360° views as you cruise by the buildings in the Chicago River is one thing, but seeing the skyline light up as day turns to night is a truly magical experience!

With that being said, and regardless of whether you’re a first-time visitor, a seasoned veteran visitor, or even a local, one of the best ways to enjoy Chicago is by boat. Throughout this post, we’ll discuss some of the events we recommend booking for and all the goodies we can include in your experience as well. We hope you find it useful:


What type of event could you have aboard our boat? Picture it, navigating down some of the 156 miles of Chicago River floating by the iconic skyscrapers and historical highlights coupled with the expansive views of the city between the buildings—bliss. We have a number of great ideas to get you started but this isn’t the limit—the world is your oyster! So look no further for your private boat charter Chicago. Our vessel can comfortably hold up to 150 guests and has two viewing decks, a dance floor, and a full-service bar so you and your guests can enjoy all day (or night) as we cruise down the Chicago River.

When? You choose. Brunch cruise when the warm summer sun shines on the morning river? Can do. A beautiful sunset cruise while winding down the Chicago River with a freshly-made cocktail in hand? Consider it done.

  • Charter our boat for yours or your family member’s birthday.
  • Maybe it’s your job to plan the corporate event in Chicago and chartering a boat is a unique location to host your function!
  • Big family, planning a reunion, and struggling to find a location? We’re here for you.
  • Large school groups? More than welcome. Convention tours? We can create the perfect day out.
  • Something special for the anniversary? Who would forget a private cruise down the Chicago River onto Lake Michigan!

Looking at unique wedding venues in Chicago? Why not have your wedding or the reception on our boat? Our highly experienced management team will take care of every detail so you can rest assured that you and your guests will have an unforgettable time.


What is the 4th of July without fireworks? And what better way to enjoy them than a front-row seat from the water to watch the night sky light up with fireworks in front of a backdrop of the famous Chicago skyline.

Another unmissable yearly event happens in March and involves the Irish. You guessed it, St Patrick’s Day! Every March 17th, Chicago and its people let loose. The bars are bustling, the music is blaring with Irish folk music, and even the river is dyed green for the famous Irish holiday!

Memorial Day, falling on the last Monday of May, is a proud event celebrated throughout Chicago. Hire our boat and see the Memorial Day fireworks from the comfort of the Chicago River. And don’t forget Labor Day which falls on the first Monday every September. Chicago organises various events to celebrate this famed day from live jazz concerts, outdoor cinemas, and food trucks. You can also book your private event on our boat and sip a delicious cocktail while seeing all of Chicago’s highlights from the water. Book early to avoid disappointment!


You will be in excellent hands as our events management team and highly certified, professional skipper and crew will ensure your event goes without hiccup. We will take care of everything; from arranging the catering, organizing and booking the onboard entertainment, and having the bar stocked with all the goodies that you and your guests desire. Our team will be at your service from the moment you make contact with us to the second you step off the boat, ensuring you have a safe and memorable experience.


Our premier party boat, the Summer of George, is a 100-foot vessel and she’s docked at the River City Marina. She was specifically designed as a ‘party boat’ and is the perfect place to host any large event. There are two viewing decks (an upper open-air deck and a lower enclosed main deck) so you enjoy the unforgettable 360° views of the Chicago skyscrapers and skyline. We also have a large dancefloor perfect for dancing those nights away alongside a large bar area that can be stocked for any occasion. The interior was constructed with a beautiful mahogany finish and it can be tailored and decorated as per your requirements, just ask upon booking.

By taking one of our private boat charters in Chicago, you really get to experience this magnificent city from a unique perspective. But why charter a boat in Chicago you ask? Simple. It’s the perfect way for you and your group to see this rich and diverse city while our team takes care of every last detail. See more about our private cruises here.

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