More tour boats, taxis and guides

From Architecture river tours that show the highlights and history of Chicago’s greatest buildings to tours on Lake Michigan that give you a whole new perspective on the Chicago skyline, Shoreline Sightseeing covers the waterfront. During the summer, you can enjoy evening Fireworks Tours on both the river and lake. With the city’s largest fleet of boats and water taxis – and a team of exceptional guides – Shoreline is ready to turn your tour into a memory you’ll carry with you for years. Check our maps for directions to the three different locations you can grab a Shoreline cruise – Michigan Avenue Bridge, Navy Pier’s Polk Bros Park, and the Lake tours from Navy Pier.

Our history

Shoreline Sightseeing has roots deep in Chicago history. Now in our third generation, we have grown as the city has grown.

1939: Shoreline Sightseeing launches onto Lake Michigan

Uncle Jim Martin changes the name of “Shoreline Marine Company” and launches “Shoreline Sightseeing.” Its twenty-five cent tours left from the Shedd Aquarium out onto Lake Michigan.

1949: Uncle Jim buys the Blue Dog

Uncle Jim sells his speedboats and buys the company’s first large touring vessel: the Blue Dog.

1950: George Martin joins Shoreline

Uncle Jim’s brother George Martin joins the business and runs Shoreline Sightseeing for the next 25 years.

1960: Shoreline commissions the Marlyn

To meet growing demand, Shoreline commissions the Marlyn, the first tour boat to display the well-known red, white and blue of its fleet.

1978: Charles Collopy takes the wheel

George’s nephew, Charles Collopy, takes over the business.

1996: Shoreline adds water taxis

Shoreline adds a fleet of water taxis to help guests visit Chicago’s most famous landmarks.

1999: The Architecture Tour debuts

Shoreline’s popular Architecture Tour debuts, leaving from Navy Pier.

2002: A new generation takes over

Charles’ sons, Chip and Matt, become owners of Shoreline Sightseeing.

2014: Shoreline grows to Chicago's largest fleet

Shoreline now has Chicago’s largest fleet, with 11 major touring vessels and eight water taxis.

2016: Shoreline adds the Michigan Ave. dock

Shoreline adds the Michigan Avenue dock to support even more Architecture Tours.


Shoreline has the city’s largest fleet with 11 major touring vessels and eight water taxis. For over 80 years, Shoreline has shown the beauty and majesty of Chicago to generations of families – from countries around the world. Our plan is to keep growing as Chicago grows and show off the best of this city with pride.