Spirit of Chicago Cruise Route
Chicago is Travel & Leisure’s #1 skyline for 2010!
Weather permitting – we will exit out the break wall and head North to North Avenue Beach and then back south to the Planetarium and Burnham Harbor. All the while, offering unmatched views of our world-famous skyline, from the Sears Tower, the John Hancock, to the Shedd Aquarium, Aon Center and more. The ship is able to cruise up to 1 mile off of the shoreline.
Experience Chicago's highlights with a panoramic view.
Your Spirit cruise departs from the historic Navy Pier on Lake Michigan. Your excursion covers the magnificent lakefront with spectacular views of the city's downtown. No trip to Chicago is complete without a view from the deck of our festive ship. And while you're enjoying all the highlights, you can dine, dance and have a great time, too.
Chicago is one of America’s most popular skylines.
Weather permitting – we will exit out the break wall and head north to North Avenue Beach and then back south to the Planetarium and Burnham Harbor. All the while, offering unmatched views of our world-famous skyline, from the Willis Tower, the John Hancock Center, to the Shedd Aquarium, Trump International Hotel and Tower and more. The ship is able to cruise up to one mile off of the shoreline.
This cruise route may change due to weather and cruise direction.
Where are we going today?
The John G. Shedd Aquarium
Opened in 1930, the Shedd remains one of the world’s largest aquariums housing over 5 million gallons of water and 1,500 different species. The Shedd Aquarium is now the most popular cultural destination in Chicago.
The Adler Planetarium
Named after its primary donor, native Chicagoan, Max Adler, and opened in 1930, this was the first modern planetarium built in the western hemisphere.
311 S Wacker
Built in 1990, it is the tallest building known by its street address alone. The crown-like rooftop is illuminated by 1,852 fluorescent lights that are dimmed during migration months to save the lives of birds that may be disorientated by the brightness.
The Willis Tower (Sears Tower)
When completed in 1973, finishing at a height of 1,451 feet, it stood as the tallest building in the world. Currently, the Willis Tower is the tallest building in the western hemisphere and the seventh-tallest freestanding structure in the world. Formerly the Sears Tower, it was renamed the Willis Tower in 2009.
Built in 1972, this bright red building is not only red on the outside. A significant amount of the interior features were done in red as well, including the columns and escalators in the lobby. The red designs are specifically reminiscent of the sun setting over the ocean.
Crain Communications Building
Built in 1984 and formerly known as The Smurfit Stone Building, this building has the look of a standard skyscraper that has been sliced with a samurai sword. The CCB was one of the first smart buildings ever constructed. See if you can spot any messages on the face of the diamond.
One Prudential Plaza
Completed in 1955, it was the tallest building in Chicago with a pinnacle height of 912 feet. Over 1 million people ventured to the rooftop observation deck in its first year of operation.
Two Prudential Plaza
Built in 1990, it is the sixth tallest building in the city and thirteenth tallest building in the United States at 995 feet. CBS Radio occupies 4 consecutive floors in the building. Combined with its sister building, one entire city block is occupied.
Built in 1974, this building was originally adorned in 43,000 Italian Carrera marble slabs that proved to be too thin to stand the Chicago’s’ heavy winds and brutal seasonal changes. They began to crumble and fall, so between 1990 and 1992 the building underwent a complete restoration. The marble was removed and in its place now sits North Carolina speckled granite. The buildings visual similarity to the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center is no coincidence; they were constructed during the same period using nearly identical structural systems.
Trump International Hotel & Tower
Completed in 2009, this extravagant hotel soars 98 stories high and sits along the Chicago River at the juncture of the Loop and North Michigan Avenue.. As of 2012, it is the twelfth-tallest building in the world.
Built in 1916 for the dual purposes of shipping and entertainment, the Navy Pier has worn many hats in its near century. With functions ranging from shipping port to training base to university to public park, the $150 million dollar facelift in 1995 was well deserved. With annual tourist counts reaching nearly 9 million, the 5/8 of a mile long pier is the most popular tourist attraction in the Midwest.
Lake Point Tower
Built in 1968 and designed to resist Chicago’s strong winds, it is the only residential building east of Lake Shore Drive. Intentionally low ceilings allow for a higher than average number of floors. Lake Point Tower ranks 31st in the city in height yet 8th in number of floors at 70. Franklin Center North is nearly 400 feet taller but has 9 less floors.
Water Tower Place
Built in 1975, Water Tower Place almost single handedly shifted the center of the Chicago shopping world from State Street to the Magnificent Mile. With an eight story shopping mall, a Ritz Carlton Hotel and numerous private residences, Water Tower Place is certainly nothing to shake a stick at.
John Hancock Center
Built in 1969, this building stands at 1,127 feet. The unique X braces, each 18 stories high, increase wind support while decreasing the amount of steel needed in the building, saving millions. Rumor has it that the best view of Chicago can be obtained from the ladies washroom at The Signature Room on the 95th floor.
Formed by Ice Age glaciers, it is the only one of the Great Lakes that lies wholly in the U.S. It is approximately 307 miles long, 118 miles wide and 925 feet deep.