Chicago's First Lady

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Chicago’s First Lady (CFL), the official cruiseline of the Chicago Architecture Foundation, provides passengers with tours of the Chicago River.[1] In operation since 1993, the cruiseline gives more and 1,600 tours annually to the general public with commentary provided by more than 100 volunteer docents during its May–November season.[2]

Chicago’s First Lady owns and operates four luxury yachts: Chicago’s First Lady, Chicago’s Little Lady, Chicago’s Fair Lady and Lady Grebe. All are available for private charter cruising each evening.[3] The 1920s-style cruising yachts featuring open-air upper deck viewing as well as air-conditioned main deck salons with seating.[4] Docents provide fact-filled and anecdotal commentary during the tours, giving insight into Chicago’s architecture history.[5]

Architecture tours[edit]

The Chicago’s First Lady Cruises highlight more than 53 historic and architecturally significant sites, including 333 W. Wacker, the Wrigley Building, the Tribune Tower, Willis Tower and Trump Tower.[6] The cruise is one of the only architecture cruises to include significant buildings, sites and developments along the North Branch of the Chicago River, including Goose Island, Kinzie Park development and the clustered glass River Cottages by architect Harry Weese.[4] Through its partnership with the Chicago Architecture Foundation, CFL has specially trained all of its docents with help from the organization.[1]

Wedding events and private parties[edit]

Chicago’s First Lady offers private parties and dinner cruises as well as the backdrop for wedding ceremonies, receptions and rehearsal dinners.[7] The cruiseline also provides a gathering place for after-work happy hours at 5:30 p.m. Thursdays, June–September.[6]


  1. ^ a b "Chicago's First Lady", Group Tour Magazine, May 20, 2009
  2. ^ "Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise a Great Daytrip", Lake County Examiner, April 7, 2009
  3. ^ "Spring 2009", USA Travel Magazine, Spring 2009 issue, Retrieved 08-22-09
  4. ^ a b "Chicago Architecture Cruises", USA Today, April 9, 2008
  5. ^ "Chicago Architecture Foundation", MLive, April 1, 2009
  6. ^ a b "New Happy Hour Option on the River", NBC Chicago, June 2, 2009
  7. ^ "Ship Shape for Summer", Chicago Sun-Times, July 13, 2007