Spirit of Chicago FAQs
Before you cruise, let us answer some important questions for you!
2012 Spirit Sweepstakes Rules and Regulations (pdf)
Accessibility. Is the Spirit Wheelchair Accessible?
Yes. The Spirit has a deck and restrooms that can accommodate most standard-sized wheelchairs. Our crew is happy to aide passengers that need assistance. Please call 866.273.2469 to discuss any accessibility concerns and ensure that you are seated on an accessible deck.
Attire. What is the dress code on the Spirit of Chicago?
Dinner Cruises - For men, appropriate attire includes slacks and a polo or button down shirt. For women, nice slacks, Capri pants or a sundress is recommended. Although allowed, we strongly discourage collarless t-shirts, jeans, shorts or sneakers.
All Other Cruises - These cruises are more relaxed and casual attire is fine.
Boarding. What is "Boarding Time" and "Cruising Time?"
"Boarding Time" is the earliest you and your guests may board the ship. You are free to board any time after that up until the "Cruise Time." The ship will leave port at the "Cruise Time." We recommend allowing plenty of time for parking and getting to the ship. The ship leaves promptly at the listed “Cruise Time” and passengers will not be able to board once the ship sets sail.
Cancellations. What is your cancellation policy?
Although your purchase is a final and non-refundable, we will be happy to reschedule for another available date of your choosing up to a year from the date of your original reservation. You will be assessed a $25 per ticket re-booking fee and are responsible for any price difference if you happen to choose a cruise with a different price.
Children. Are there any age requirements?
Children are welcome on almost all our cruises. Children under 3 are complimentary and a 40% discount is offered for children between the ages of 3 and 12 on select Brunch, Lunch and Sunday Dinner Cruises. Discounts may not be offered on select specialty cruises. On late-night cruises, passengers must be 21 years or older with valid ID.
Coast Guard Regulations. Is the vessel Coast Guard certified?
Yes. The Spirit of Chicago is Coast Guard certified and maintained regularly to adhere to strict safety regulations.
Cruise Route. Where does the Spirit of Chicago go?
The ship departs from the South Side of Navy Pier. While sailing routes may vary, the Spirit of Chicago cruises as far south as McCormick Place and as far north as Montrose Harbor along the Chicago skyline. See our cruise route.
Dancing. What kind of dance music do you play?
Our lunch and dinner cruises feature a full range of popular dance tunes spun by some of the city’s hottest DJs. Selections may include Rock, Blues, Line Dances, Motown, Oldies, Salsa, Hip Hop, Country, and current chart-toppers from every musical genre.
Directions. How do I get to the ship?
The Spirit of Chicago is conveniently located at Navy Pier just off Lake Shore Drive. Ample parking with shuttle service to Navy Pier is available just off Illinois St. and Grand Ave. Downloadable directions and a parking map are available. Click here.
Drinks. What do drinks cost?
Mixed drinks start at $9.00 for standard brand liquors, $10.50 for premium drinks. All beer is sold by the bottle, with domestic beers starting at $5.00 and imported for starting at $6.00. Wine begins at $6.00 per glass. Soft drinks and juice are $4.00 each. These prices do not include tax and fees.
Entertainment. What type of entertainment is offered?
Sit back and relax on one of our climate-controlled decks. Dine on the bountiful buffet. Experience the view as our interactive emcee spins popular favorites and dance hits.
Gift Certificates. How can I purchase gift certificates?
Spirit Gift Certificates are available from $50 to $400 and may be purchased online or by calling 866.273.2469. Printed gift certificates come with an elegant presentation holder. Spirit Cruises will continue to honor any previously issued Gift Certificates that contained a listed expiration date.
Purchase gift certificates
Groups. What size group can Spirit of Chicago accommodate?
The Spirit of Chicago can host up to 600 guests. Parties of 20 or more should visit our group website or contact our group sales department at 866.835.7245 for reservations. Groups of 1-19 can call 866.273.2469 or use our Reservations System to Book your Cruise Online!
Menu. What type of food is served?
Our cruises feature all-you-can-eat lunch and dinner buffets with delicious choices prepared on board by our executive chefs and their galley staffs. With advance notice, we can accommodate requests for kosher meals, and we can arrange special meals for guests with allergies. Other specialty menus are available for deck or full-ship charters.
Packages. Do you offer packages to make my cruise extra-special?
Yes. We offer several enhancements and packages that can be added on to your lunch or dinner cruise package. You can choose from a private table for two, balloons, roses, bar packages and more.
Parking. Is parking available close to the ship?
The Spirit of Chicago is conveniently located at Navy Pier just off Lake Shore Drive. Ample parking is available at Navy Pier. Alternative parking is available at 460 E. Illinois and 403 E. Grand (one block from Navy Pier). Free Navy Pier Trolley Service runs continuously from parking lot to Navy Pier along Illinois & Grand. Find out more.
Payment. What type of payment do you accept?
Payment is required in full at the time of the reservation. We accept major credit cards: VISA, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. We also accept traveler's checks, money orders, and certified checks. Please send checks or money orders to the address below:
River East Plaza
401 E. Illinois Street
Chicago, IL 60611
Phones. Will my cell phone work on the cruise?
We typically cruise up to one mile off the shoreline where most cell phones still get service. For the comfort of all guests, we ask that cell phone use be limited to the observation deck.
Prices do not include taxes or fees. Prices and schedules are subject to change. Some more popular cruises and dates may be priced higher. Below prices exclude specialty, holiday and premium cruise dates.
Call 866.273.2469 or use our Reservations System to Book your Cruise Online!
Refund Policy. What is your refund policy?
We regret there are no refunds or exchanges. All sales are final. We cruise rain or shine all year long. In the rare event the Coast Guard prohibits cruising because of weather, we will contact you to make other arrangements. Although your purchase is a final and non-refundable, we will be happy to reschedule for another available date of your choosing up to a year from the date of your original reservation. You will be assessed a $20 per ticket re-booking fee and are responsible for any price difference if you happen to choose a cruise with a different price.
Reservations. How can I make reservations for a cruise?
While parties of 19 or fewer are often able to walk up and purchase tickets at our dockside kiosk on the day of a cruise, reservations are highly recommended. You can purchase tickets online via our reservations systems or by phone.
• Call 866.273.2469 or use our Reservations System to Book your Cruise Online!
Groups of 20 or more call:
• Monday - Friday between 8:30am - 5:30pm
Seasickness. Will I get seasick?
It's unlikely. The Spirit of Chicago is one of the largest and most stable cruise ships on the Chicago waterfront. On rare occasions when the water is very rough, our Captain will sail the vessel within the breakwater area.
Seating. How is seating arranged on board?
The Spirit of Chicago offers both cruise style seating and private seating options. When you purchase our standard ticket, you may be seated with other guests at the same table. Many guests enjoy this and find they spend much of the cruise dancing or outside on the observation deck. If you prefer a private table, you will have the opportunity to purchase this upgrade at the time of making your reservation.
Ship Information. Can you tell me a little about the ship?
The Spirit of Chicago is spaciously designed with three climate-controlled interior decks, outdoor strolling decks at the bow and stern, and the largest outdoor patio deck in Chicago topside. It is handicap accessible and Coast Guard approved for up to 600 passengers. Amenities include full service bars, two dance floors (or staging areas), spacious bathrooms, flexible seating arrangements and huge, panoramic windows.
Smoking. What is your smoking policy?
All interior areas of our ship are non-smoking areas. Passengers who smoke may do so on the outdoor observation decks.
Congratulations to our Summer Sweepstakes Winner!
Congratulations to Michael P. the winner of Spirit's Dinner Party for Ten Summer Sweepstakes. He will experience a fun and festive dinner cruise featuring an engaging assortment of bountiful buffets, live entertainment, DJ music for dancing and spectacular views.
Tickets. Where can I pick up the cruise tickets?
Your tickets will be at the Spirit of Chicago Ticket Booth, located next to the ship. For your convenience you can pick up your tickets 30 minutes prior to boarding.
Weather. Do you sail in inclement weather?
Spirit of Chicago will cruise in most weather conditions all-year round. Each enclosed deck is climate controlled and the weather will not affect your cruise. In the case of severe weather conditions or upon the direction of the U.S. Coast Guard, the ship will remain dockside for the length of the event.
Wedding Events. How much does a wedding event on the Spirit cost?
It depends on the event (engagement party, shower, bridal luncheon, rehearsal dinner, wedding and reception, post-wedding luncheon, etc.), the number of guests, the time of year and the package you choose. Our expert wedding planners will be happy to give you a cost proposal and arrange a site inspection. Find out more online or call 866.835.7245.