The best way
to see Chicago

Since 1939, Shoreline Sightseeing has been showcasing the city of Chicago.

Spectacular sights and stories

From shoreline to skyline, there’s no better way to see Chicago’s world-famous architecture than from a Shoreline Sightseeing boat. Our fleet of 11 touring vessels and 6 water taxis is the largest in the city, and our many tours offer amazing views of the city’s famous landmarks with incredible stories told by our guides to match. Choose the tour that suits your schedule, then sit back, relax, and enjoy Chicago!

Tour guides

Hear the history

Our expert tour guides are fun, friendly people who truly love showing off the city of Chicago. Each Shoreline guide goes through an extensive training process to learn all about Chicago’s famous landmarks, but even before they join us, many know the architecture and history of the city inside and out. They make every Shoreline tour fun, exciting, and informative, the ideal guides for your tour around the city!

Tour guide on boat giving tour

“Jim and the whole crew were absolutely amazing! The tour was informational and entertaining.”

Tourist on boat taking photo

“I’ve been to Chicago a few times, but this tour offered a new perspective. A great way to kick off a trip to Chicago and Antonio was amazing!”


More boats, more tours

Uncle Jim Martin wouldn’t believe how much our fleet has grown since he started Shoreline way back in 1939. Today, we operate 11 major touring vessels and 6 water taxis, making our fleet the largest in Chicago. 

We’re proud of our boats, many of which we custom-built to offer the best sightseeing experiences for our guests. Give us a wave when you see our red, white, and blue boats on the Chicago River and Lake Michigan!

Shoreline Sightseeing boat on river
Shoreline Sightseeing water taxi
Shoreline’s Water Taxis

Commuting made fun

Shoreline’s water taxis are the fast and fun way to get to Chicago’s top attractions. Beloved by commuters and visitors alike, our water taxis aren’t tours, but they are a great way to get around town.

Our water taxi service begins in May and runs through September, with additional service throughout the spring and fall for special events.

Our story

The Shoreline story


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.


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


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


Shoreline comissions 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.


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


Shoreline adds water taxis

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


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


A new generation takes over
Charles’ sons, Chip and Matt, become owners of Shoreline Sightseeing.


Shoreline grows to Chicago’s largest fleet
Shoreline now has Chicago’s largest fleet, with 11 major touring vessels and 7 water taxis.


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