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Chicago Water Taxi: From around Union/Ogilvie to Michigan; Thoughts?

Chicago Water Taxi: From around Union/Ogilvie to Michigan; Thoughts?

Jun 8th, 2011, 08:44 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,167
Chicago Water Taxi: From around Union/Ogilvie to Michigan; Thoughts?

Hi Fodorites,
Anyone ever taken the Chicago Water Taxi from Madison over to Michigan Avenue? I have my brother and his 9-year-old son arriving at Union Station, and I thought it might be nice to hop on the water taxi rather than take the bus. It's a smaller boat... does the river smell? Is it a bumpy, unpleasant ride?
Any thoughts would be appreciated! Many thanks!
ChgoGal is offline  
Jun 8th, 2011, 11:16 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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No worries. It's a pleasant ride. Used to do it frequently.
Marija is offline  
Jun 10th, 2011, 10:43 AM
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The Wendella river taxi (you mention above) boarding is at Madison. Shoreline's is near the Willis Tower and Union Station.

In either case, you need to think about 1) what are they going to do with their luggage, however much they have? - Check both the companies websites - you might even have to e-mail them 2) navigating the stairs to the boarding area with that luggage; and 3) if the work on Wacker is or will be affecting access to those areas.
exiledprincess is offline  
Jun 10th, 2011, 12:01 PM
Join Date: Sep 2006
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It's a great ride, really nice on a hot day. There are a lot of stairs like exiledprincess said, but they are manageable. I think the 9 year old will like it (and it's very inexpensive).
barbrn is offline  
Jun 10th, 2011, 04:03 PM
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The point isn't so much if the relatives can get the luggage up and down those stairs but if the water taxi companies will even allow this. That's why I said that the OP may have to send e-mails to the companies.
exiledprincess is offline  
Jun 11th, 2011, 06:15 AM
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Thanks for the feedback, all. My brother and nephew are only in for the day, so no luggage. And I just learned about the Shoreline water taxi. I may have to call or email them anyway - from the website, I can't tell how frequently their boats run after 10 a.m. My people are coming in on a Friday, 10:30 a.m. train, and if boats run frequently enough, I thought it would be fun for the kid.
But I'm glad to hear the river doesn't smell too bad. I cross over that murky green river everyday, and I've done the CAF tour with no "odor" issues, but I always wondered about being closer to the water in a smaller boat.
Thanks very much!
ChgoGal is offline  
Jun 11th, 2011, 11:55 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
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Well, just call it "fragrant". If they wrinkle their noses at it (although I'm not sure they would), just tell them to man up and do it "the Chicago Way".

Honestly, though, Shoreline goes from Willis Tower to Navy Pier and then if they want to go out on the lake, from the Navy Pier over to the Museum Campus. Whereas Wendella's doesn't go on the lake, but they do go to Chinatown.

Wendella's schedule also coincides with the Metra schedule.
exiledprincess is offline  
Jul 20th, 2011, 01:03 PM
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Just a follow up: We really liked the Shoreline water taxi. We emerged from Union Station (exit by escalator near the McDonalds/Corner Bakery), crossed the bridge (walking east), and right there on the other side of the bridge (there's signage) was the ticket booth ($4 adults, $2 children). We took the steps down to board the taxi, waited about 5 min., (the taxis, at least on summer weekends, seemed to be about 15 min. apart), then took the quick 4-5 minute ride to Michigan Avenue. Steps from river up to Michigan Avenue, so not accessible. (Maybe there's info. on arrangements for disabled travelers on the shoreline website.) The river didn't stink, the ride was very smooth, and the sights of our gorgeous buildings was really lovely. Fun, cheap transport for kids.
ChgoGal is offline  

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