Five Ways to Get on a Boat Memorial Day Weekend in Chicago

The official, OFFICIAL start of summer in Chicago is here! Memorial Day Weekend marks the start of the best season in Chicago. It’s festival season; it’s rooftop bar season; and, it’s boat season.

If you want to be out on the water this weekend to kick your summer off right, check out these Lake Michigan and Chicago River boat tours and rentals.

Odyssey Cruises' Luxury Dining Cruises

Dinner Cruise on Lake Michigan

Take a three-hour tour on Lake Michigan with a three-course dinner and a champagne cocktail. There’s something for everyone, whether you’re looking for fine dining, entertainment or simply relaxing and watching the beautiful scenery. Departing from festive Navy Pier, the recently renovated luxury vessel known as the Odyssey sails along the lakefront, with its fabulous views of Chicago’s mighty skyline, while you enjoy a three-course meal prepared fresh on board, plus an included champagne cocktail on dinner cruises.


Mercury 3-D Fireworks Cruise

Chicago Architecture Fireworks Cruise

Take a dramatic, 90-minute night-time cruise and get a glittering view of Chicago’s iconic skyscrapers. Your evening ends with an up-close view of Navy Pier’s spectacular fireworks display from either Lake Michigan or the mouth of the Chicago River.

  • Departs from NE corner of Michigan Ave (DuSable) Bridge
  • How much: $42.56 – Get tickets


Seadog Chicago Speed Boat Tour

The Need for Speed

Feel the wind whipping through your hair and the spray of water on your face as your speed across Lake Mihigan. It’s a quick 30-minute cruise that will leave you ready to take on the rest of the day’s activities.

  • Departs from: Navy Pier, 600 E Grand Ave
  • How much: $32.14 – Get tickets


Navy Pier Fireworks Paddle on the Chicago River - photo courtesy of TravelZoo

Fish-Eye View

Watch the fireworks from the Chicago River with a Wateriders Kayak tour. Travel + Leisure says it’s “a truly one-of-a-kind sightseeing experience.”

  • Departs from: Eastbank Club on the Riverwalk, 500 N Kingsbury
  • How much: $49 – Get tickets


Seabreeze Sailboat Charter on Lake Michigan

Charter a Private Sailboat

For the ultimate Lake Michigan boating experience charter a private sailboat. You and up to five friends can sail for two hours on a USCG Auxiliary-approved vessel. It’s BYOB food and drink and they’ve got the coolers all ready for you. If it’s just two of you, you can join four other people and make some friends.

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