TripAdvisor ranked Shoreline Sightseeing as the #1 Most Booked Tour in America!See Shoreline Sightseeing and all Chicago has to offer by arranging your trip with our Chicago trip itinerary builder app.
CHICAGO, Ill. - In 1939, Uncle Jim Martin launched Shoreline Sightseeing (originally "Shoreline Marine Company"), offering Lake Michigan tours from the Shedd Aquarium for 25 cents per person.
In 1949 Jim sold the speedboats and purchased the company’s first large touring vessel, the Blue Dog. In 1950 Jim sold Shoreline Marine to his brother George Martin, who would run the company for more than 25 years.
In the coming decades, Shoreline and its passengers were witness to Chicago’s phenomenal growth. Shoreline was also growing to meet rising customer demand. The company added Shoreline to its fleet and in 1960, commissioned the Marlyn, the first of the company’s well-known red, white and blue tour boats.
In 1978, Martin sold Shoreline Marine Company to his nephew Charles Collopy. Charles’ sons, Chip and Matt, soon joined him in the business eventually becoming Shoreline's owners in 2002. In 1996, Shoreline added a fleet of water taxis and in 1999, Shoreline began its Architecture River Tours from Navy Pier, later adding a Michigan Avenue dock.
Keeping up with Chicago's growth, Shoreline added Voyageur to its fleet in 2006, Riverview in 2013 and Cityview in 2014. Shoreline also gradually updated its fleet of water taxis to feature larger, 80+ passenger taxis.
Currently Shoreline's fleet is the city's largest with 11 major touring vessels and eight water taxis. In its 75 years of operation, Shoreline has carried generations of Chicagoans as well as passengers from just about every country in the world. Their plan is to keep growing right along with Chicago and to keep offering the finest boat touring services in the city. The owners and crew hope you will join them soon on a Shoreline tour or cruise.
Shoreline Sightseeing Reviews
We took the “architecture” cruise from the Navy Pier up the river and back (approx $40 per adult) but well worth it. We struck lucky with the weather considering it’s March, but this guided tour is..... more »
We were able to find a time slot on the long weekend in August when the city was super busy, which is accredited to Shoreline's variety of time slots offered. Our tour guide was alright, gave us the..... more »
I absolutely loved this tour! I believe my tour guide was Rachel? I remember it was a female with a playwriting degree. She was extremely knowledgeable, funny, and charismatic. I learned a lot of really cool tidbits about the city of Chicago. I highly recommend this tour if you're looking for something to do on a nice day and want to learn more from a local tour guide who clearly enjoys their work!
We went on the architectural boat tour, and it was so interesting and fun! Jim was a great tour guide, he made it very fun and was very informative!
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