Wendella Sightseeing Boats

★★★★☆
  • 400 N Michigan Ave

    Chicago, IL 60611

    Cross street: Departing from Michigan Ave. and Wacker Dr. (on the north side of the river at the Wrigley Building)

    Map & Directions
  • 312-337-1446

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My parents and I decided that taking a boat tour would be a good taste of the city. So we decided on wendella since it is very conviently located to everything. The boat itself was ok but the entire time you would have to strain to hear what the guide was saying. We too were on the bottom of the boat and found it hard to see everything all the time. It was very annoying. I don't want to bash them too much, I appreciate what they are trying to do. Rumor is, they are getting a new boat and maybe that will make the experience better. But the bottom line was that I was pretty dissapointed especially since I have taken a couple other boat tours since then and have had better experiences.

1
★★☆☆☆

My parents and I decided that taking a boat tour would be a good taste of the city. So we decided on wendella since it is very conviently located to everything. The boat itself was ok but the entire time you would have to strain to hear what the guide was saying. We too were on the bottom of the boat and found it hard to see everything all the time. It was very annoying. I don't want to bash them too much, I appreciate what they are trying to do. Rumor is, they are getting a new boat and maybe that will make the experience better. But the bottom line was that I was pretty dissapointed especially since I have taken a couple other boat tours since then and have had better experiences.

Pros: Very convient to get to

Cons: couldn't hear the tour guide

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If you enjoy horrendous customer service, and are looking for a boat tour that will

a) Not show up
b) Post outdated schedules from one week prior
c) Disappoint you
d) Call you a liar

Then, Wendella is the tour for you. In a city where there are so many options to go with (check through the Chicago Museum System) and have an amazing time, we picked the obvious worst one. On a brisk April day, we were scheduled to depart 400 N Michigan for a 7:00pm lake and river tour. We made it to the dock 15 minutes early, yet all offices were boarded up, no boat was in sight, no signs were posted (except for a schedule of times for the tour one week prior), and a man lurked out of the Wendella caged entry to tell us that there was no tour. We waited. . . 40 minutes. Still no boat. About 15 minutes past 7, a Wendella boat drove past the docking station and on to lake Michigan, but did not stop. . . so we waited. Again, no people, no signs, no indication of why the 7:00 boat was not there, etc. Disappointed with the fact that our evening was ruined, we called Wendella. They agreed the boat was cancelled and agreed to call us with information to reschedule. . . We never received that call. Upset, we called back, at that time we were called liars and informed that there would be no exchange or refund. A third call to a so-called "manager", still resulted in no attention or even a call-back. A fourth call led back to the same manager. . . I am still waiting for them to respond to my voicemail.

Poor on all grounds. . . NOT RECOMMENDED.

0
★☆☆☆☆

If you enjoy horrendous customer service, and are looking for a boat tour that will

a) Not show up
b) Post outdated schedules from one week prior
c) Disappoint you
d) Call you a liar

Then, Wendella is the tour for you. In a city where there are so many options to go with (check through the Chicago Museum System) and have an amazing time, we picked the obvious worst one. On a brisk April day, we were scheduled to depart 400 N Michigan for a 7:00pm lake and river tour. We made it to the dock 15 minutes early, yet all offices were boarded up, no boat was in sight, no signs were posted (except for a schedule of times for the tour one week prior), and a man lurked out of the Wendella caged entry to tell us that there was no tour. We waited. . . 40 minutes. Still no boat. About 15 minutes past 7, a Wendella boat drove past the docking station and on to lake Michigan, but did not stop. . . so we waited. Again, no people, no signs, no indication of why the 7:00 boat was not there, etc. Disappointed with the fact that our evening was ruined, we called Wendella. They agreed the boat was cancelled and agreed to call us with information to reschedule. . . We never received that call. Upset, we called back, at that time we were called liars and informed that there would be no exchange or refund. A third call to a so-called "manager", still resulted in no attention or even a call-back. A fourth call led back to the same manager. . . I am still waiting for them to respond to my voicemail.

Poor on all grounds. . . NOT RECOMMENDED.

Pros: At least I won't have to deal with the potential of sinking and them not being capable of reacting appropriately

Cons: Everything.

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This tours are both fun and informative. I loved the architectural discussion and the tour into the lake was amazing. We were there during the fall and it was a little chilly on the lake, but the view was excellent.

4
★★★★☆

This tours are both fun and informative. I loved the architectural discussion and the tour into the lake was amazing. We were there during the fall and it was a little chilly on the lake, but the view was excellent.

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.

We did the cruise as part of a special event for a conference. Our attendees really enjoyed it. We had a great guide that really made the tour both educational and fun. The view of Chicago at dusk is breathtaking. You are missing Chicago if you don't take this tour!

PROS: Beautiful sites
CONS:

4
★★★★☆

We did the cruise as part of a special event for a conference. Our attendees really enjoyed it. We had a great guide that really made the tour both educational and fun. The view of Chicago at dusk is breathtaking. You are missing Chicago if you don't take this tour!

PROS: Beautiful sites
CONS:

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.

Wendella Boats is great. They pick you up on a boat and then you go along the Chicago river while a host tells you about the architectural significance of the various buildings along the shoreline. It takes about an hour and it is very educational. The boats are clean and have an open top deck so you can easily see and take pictures. Definitely recommended on a nice summer day

5
★★★★★

Wendella Boats is great. They pick you up on a boat and then you go along the Chicago river while a host tells you about the architectural significance of the various buildings along the shoreline. It takes about an hour and it is very educational. The boats are clean and have an open top deck so you can easily see and take pictures. Definitely recommended on a nice summer day

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Boarding commenced and the disappointment started. We thought that everybody would be having seats on the upper deck. But we were forced to sit on the bottom deck.
1) The glasses for the windows are tinted and dirty. Forget taking photographs, we couldnt even have a wonderful view of the beautiful evening outside.
2) If a person sits on one side, there is no way he/she can look at a building on the other side. As the our continued and we were being informed of all the great things on the left hand side, we had to look at the water or the boat deck to pass time, because we were on the right side.
4) Right at the point where we come up against sears tower, and we thought that at least we can see one building well, the boat started to turn !!

0
★☆☆☆☆

Boarding commenced and the disappointment started. We thought that everybody would be having seats on the upper deck. But we were forced to sit on the bottom deck.
1) The glasses for the windows are tinted and dirty. Forget taking photographs, we couldnt even have a wonderful view of the beautiful evening outside.
2) If a person sits on one side, there is no way he/she can look at a building on the other side. As the our continued and we were being informed of all the great things on the left hand side, we had to look at the water or the boat deck to pass time, because we were on the right side.
4) Right at the point where we come up against sears tower, and we thought that at least we can see one building well, the boat started to turn !!

Pros: location

Cons: bad boats

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Okay, so a part of my rating was that it was so hot on the boat during my tour that I was one of the only folks not under the awning during the tour. Which sort of defeats the purpose of going on an architectural tour on a river. It didn't help that they were out of water and only had soda and alcohol to drink, either. The tour guide reminded me of one of the leads in the Rocky Horror Picture show, but without all the makeup and net stockings. She did have the scary out of place attitude, however. Some of the tour highlights included the Wrigley Building, Tribune Tower, NBC Tower, Centennial Fountain and Lake Point Tower. We circled the river twice and she kept forgetting some of the buildings. We could tell. It was embarrasing, but the tour wasn't too expensive @ $19 for the 60 minute run (The Chicago River Architecture Tour). There is also a 90-min Combined Lake and River Tour for the same price. It's $19 for adults, $17 for seniors and $10 for children. They also have a tour called Chicago at Sunset, which probably would have been more appropriate given the weather the first days of my trip. It's $21, $19 and $11 for kids.

3
★★★☆☆

Okay, so a part of my rating was that it was so hot on the boat during my tour that I was one of the only folks not under the awning during the tour. Which sort of defeats the purpose of going on an architectural tour on a river. It didn't help that they were out of water and only had soda and alcohol to drink, either. The tour guide reminded me of one of the leads in the Rocky Horror Picture show, but without all the makeup and net stockings. She did have the scary out of place attitude, however. Some of the tour highlights included the Wrigley Building, Tribune Tower, NBC Tower, Centennial Fountain and Lake Point Tower. We circled the river twice and she kept forgetting some of the buildings. We could tell. It was embarrasing, but the tour wasn't too expensive @ $19 for the 60 minute run (The Chicago River Architecture Tour). There is also a 90-min Combined Lake and River Tour for the same price. It's $19 for adults, $17 for seniors and $10 for children. They also have a tour called Chicago at Sunset, which probably would have been more appropriate given the weather the first days of my trip. It's $21, $19 and $11 for kids.

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This is something people must do during the summer months. We recently went on this to see the Chicago Skyline from Lake Michigan at night, it was absolutely beautiful. The fees to take this sightseeing tour was relatively cheap compared to the other sightseeing tours over Lake Michigan. I would highly recommend this for everyone to do over the summer months.

PROS: beautiful views and cheap prices
CONS:

5
★★★★★

This is something people must do during the summer months. We recently went on this to see the Chicago Skyline from Lake Michigan at night, it was absolutely beautiful. The fees to take this sightseeing tour was relatively cheap compared to the other sightseeing tours over Lake Michigan. I would highly recommend this for everyone to do over the summer months.

PROS: beautiful views and cheap prices
CONS:

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Unless you're a true architecture buff, this is probably the Chicago River crusieline for you. Wendella is less expensive than the popular "Architecture" cruise AND it gets you out on Lake Michigan for a truly spectacular view and photo-op of the Chicago skyline.

5
★★★★★

Unless you're a true architecture buff, this is probably the Chicago River crusieline for you. Wendella is less expensive than the popular "Architecture" cruise AND it gets you out on Lake Michigan for a truly spectacular view and photo-op of the Chicago skyline.

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On a beautiful day, this riverboat tour will give you the best Chicago has to offer. I've been on it several times, taking visitors from out-of-town and it is always the highlight of their trip.

5
★★★★★

On a beautiful day, this riverboat tour will give you the best Chicago has to offer. I've been on it several times, taking visitors from out-of-town and it is always the highlight of their trip.

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I've been on the architecture river cruise several times before sailing on Wendella. I thought I'd try something different with my recent visitors,however I highly recommend the arcihitecture tour over Wendella.

First, the departure time was 30 minutes earlier than the time I was given on the website and when I called. So when we arrived we were at the back of the line (i.e. bad seats).

Second, the construction of the boat was not ideal for a summer tour. The views were blocked from half of the seats, causing people to stand near the windows and block the view for others. The windows also cut down on the air circulation at the front of the boat.

Third, going into/out of of the lake took at least 30 minutes, so we weren't able to cruise past the Sears tower. They should factor this time into the schedule!

Very disappointing!!

1
★★☆☆☆

I've been on the architecture river cruise several times before sailing on Wendella. I thought I'd try something different with my recent visitors,however I highly recommend the arcihitecture tour over Wendella.

First, the departure time was 30 minutes earlier than the time I was given on the website and when I called. So when we arrived we were at the back of the line (i.e. bad seats).

Second, the construction of the boat was not ideal for a summer tour. The views were blocked from half of the seats, causing people to stand near the windows and block the view for others. The windows also cut down on the air circulation at the front of the boat.

Third, going into/out of of the lake took at least 30 minutes, so we weren't able to cruise past the Sears tower. They should factor this time into the schedule!

Very disappointing!!

.

On a beautiful day, there is no better way to take in the sites of this wonderful city. I've been on it several times, taking visitors from out-of-town and it is always the highlight of their trip.

2
★★★★★

On a beautiful day, there is no better way to take in the sites of this wonderful city. I've been on it several times, taking visitors from out-of-town and it is always the highlight of their trip.

Editorial from

The Experience
Wendella is the city's oldest boat tour company. The dock is centrally located on the north bank of the Chicago River at the lower level of the Wrigley Building, near the Michigan Avenue Bridge. Narrated tours…

 

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