I'm on a Boat! Where to Watch the Chicago Air & Water Show from a boat

There’s no pespective quite like the view from a boat for the Chicago Air & Water Show. However, unless you’ve got a friend with a boat, or you are the friend with the boat, you’ll have to pay to be on a boat to watch the air and water show. Here are your options:

To help you make a decision we’ve included links to each company’s TripAdvisor reviews.

3rd Coast Cruising: Forget crowds and port-a-potties. Book a private or semi-private sailing cruise and you’ll see the show in the luxury of a sailing yacht. Semi-private rates are $150/person, and if you and your friends want the ship to yourselves it’s $900 for up to six people. Go during Friday’s practice and it’s only $600. More information – TripAdvisor

Chicago Electric Boats: If you just want to be on the water and don’t care if you’ve got a front-row view, you can rent an electric boat. You can bring all of your food and drink, but wine and champagne bottles are the only glass bottles allowed (no beer or spirits bottles!). Prices range from $150/hr for a 10 passenger Duffy to $250/hr for a River Walk Boat. 300 N State St, Marina Level Unit EE, 312-644-6411 chicagoelectricboats.com – TripAdvisor

Mystic Blue: This ship offers three enclosed decks with the largest picture windows of any ship on Navy Pier. More information – TripAdvisor

Odyssey Cruises: For a more upscale cruising experience consider Odyssey Cruises. The recently renovated luxury vessel has a sophisticated rooftop lounge and an elegant interior. More information – TripAdvisor

Seadog: If you feel the need for speed… With Seadog’s turbo-charged engines you’ll race on the lake for a quick 30-minute speedboat tour. More information – TripAdvisor

Shoreline Sightseeing: Their Classic Lake Tour will definitely be classic when there are pilots doing aerobatics over your head. This is a quick 40-minute experience, so you can get a quick taste of the show and then do something else. More information – TripAdvisor

Spirit of Chicago: Sister ship to Mystic Blue, Odyssey, and Seadog, Spirit of Chicago offers buffet-style dining with a menu from Chopped champion Chef Eric LeVine. More information – TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence

For more details on the 2016 Chicago Air & Water Show download our FREE guide! It’s the ultimate resource for the largest free event of its kind, with tips on where to watch, how to get there, and more. (And it’s free!)​







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