MetroDucks Tours All ages. These amphibious transports go on land and
water—originally they were designed to bring troops and supplies ashore during
World War II. You'll start with a one-hour land tour of the Loop, Michigan
Avenue, Grant Park, and the Museum Campus. Next, your duck rolls into the
water—kids love the change from car to boat—and transports you on a 30-
minute tour of Chicago from the lake.
Departing from the Rock 'n' Roll McDonald's at 600 N. Clark St. (at Ohio St.). & 800/298-1506. www.
metroducks.com. Tickets $20 adults, $18 seniors and active military personnel, $10 children 12 and under, $1
children 3 and under. Tours daily 10am-4pm.
Mystic Blue Cruises All ages. A more casual alternative to fancy dinner
cruises, this is promoted as a “fun” ship (that means DJs at night, although you'll
also be treated to some live entertainment no matter when you sail). Daily lunch
and dinner excursions are available, as well as midnight voyages on weekends.
The same company offers more formal (and expensive) cruises aboard the
Odyssey (see next review), and motorboat rides on the 70-passenger Seadog (see
below), if you really want to feel the water in your face.
Departing from Navy Pier. & 877/299-7783. www.mysticbluecruises.com. Lunch cruises $28-32, dinner
$58-61, midday cruise $22, moonlight cruise $26. Cruises run year-round.
Odyssey Cruises All ages. The most upscale dinner cruise on the lake offers
daily lunch and dinner cruises during the warm months, plus brunch on week-
ends and moonlight cruises. All ages are welcome, but at $130 for dinner per
person (and kids pay full price for dinner), I'd make this a special occasion and
hire a babysitter. At lunch and brunch, however, kids are charged only half the
regular price, making it feasible, especially for older kids.
Departing from Navy Pier. & 888/636-7737. www.odysseycruises.com. Lunch cruises $54, dinner $130,
brunch $63. Cruises run year-round but scale back in frequency during the colder months.
Seadog Ventures All ages. Got a speed demon in your family? The Speed-
boat Lake Tour on the Seadog departs from Navy Pier for a heart-pumping 30-
minute tour. The turbo-charged engines roar and music cranks as you speed
along the shores of Lake Michigan up to the Museum Campus and back along
the Magnificent Mile. You'll love every minute of the fresh lake air blowing in
your face. Hang on!
Departing from Navy Pier. & 888/636-7737. www.seadogcruises.com. Tickets $10-$16. Cruises run daily
from May 1-Sept. 30.
Shoreline Sightseeing All ages. Shoreline schedules 30-minute lake cruises
called Skyline Boat Tours, every half-hour from its three dock locations: the
Shedd Aquarium, Navy Pier, and Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park. It's a
great way to get a quick primer about famous landmarks and a panoramic view
of the city skyline in a short time. Shoreline has also gotten in on the popular-
ity of architecture tours by offering its own version, narrated by an architectural
guide (with higher prices than their regular tours). A water taxi also runs every
half-hour from Navy Pier to both the Sears Tower and the Shedd Aquarium.
One-way tickets for the water taxi are $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, and $3 for
children under 12; all-day passes cost $12 for adults and $6 for children.
Departing from Navy Pier, Shedd Aquarium, and Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park. & 312/222-9328.
www.shorelinesightseeing.com. Tickets $10 adults, $9 seniors, $5 children under 12. Cruises run daily from
May 1-Sept. 30.
The Spirit of Chicago Ages 12 & up. This luxury yacht offers a variety of
wining and dining harbor cruises, from a lunch buffet to the Moonlight Dance