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Chicago water taxi question

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Jun 28th, 2011, 02:23 PM
  #1
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Chicago water taxi question

We are visiting Chicago in late July and are staying at the Hyatt Regency on the Chicago Riverwalk. I was curious how the Chicago Water Taxi worked. For instance, if we boarded on Michigan Avenue, would it take us all the way the Chinatown? Or do the boats just do small segments of the river and you have to hop off and reboard another one for the remaining distance? Honestly, we probably won't get off at Chinatown, just wanting to do as much length of the river as possible.
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Jun 28th, 2011, 02:25 PM
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One more thing........How long does it take to get to Michigan Ave. to the Chinatown stop via water taxi?
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Jun 28th, 2011, 04:58 PM
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Actually, the Hyatt Regency is across Wacker Drive from the River Walk, but you're close enough. And you wouldn't be boarding from the south side of the Chicago River but on the north. So you have to cross the DuSable Bridge (fka Michigan Avenue Bridge) and then go back down to river level to board by the Wrigley Building.

Please keep in mind that there are two river taxi companies, Shoreline and Wendella, each with different schedules and routes. Shoreline also runs the harbor water taxi, which sails from Navy Pier to the Museum Campus (and vice versa), out on Lake Michigan.

If you are wanting to go to Chinatown, then the company you want is Wendella, as Shoreline only goes as far south as the Willis Tower. You would board at Michigan and then go on the same boat to Chinatown.

Let's say that you decide to take the Shoreline river taxi AND its harbor taxi, then you have to physically disembark at one dock and go to another.

BTW, you won't see much of Chinatown from the dock.

And you're not only going to be paying one price for a round trip by not getting off the boat. You'll have to pay for 2 one-way tickets - one for going to Chinatown and one for coming back. However, you could get an all-day pass - for either company.

You should know that there is no narration on this trip. It's a commuter conveyance. To really learn about what you are seeing, you can take any of many architectural river tours. But I strongly recommend that you consider the Chicago Architecture Foundation's River Cruise. That can be boarded on the River Walk on the south side of the Chicago River, just east of the DuSable Bridge.

Wendella's website gives the approximate travel times for all of their routes, as well as their schedule. Take a look at them.
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Jun 29th, 2011, 08:29 AM
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Thanks ExiledPrincess! We may do the Architecture Foundation Cruise. We have a 4 year old with us and that is why I was also considering just doing the water taxi. We'll see.

Your information helps a lot, especially explaining the Riverwalk area from our hotel.
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Jun 29th, 2011, 11:33 PM
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You're welcome.

Hmmm...I don't know how well a 4-year old will tolerate the CAF River Cruise. 90 minutes long (plus wait time in line, boarding, etc.), if for no other reason.

From your other thread, it appears you are here in late July? Will you be here on July 23? If so, the Chinatown Dragon Boat Race for Literacy will be happening. Please note, though, that they race on the Chicago River at Ping Tom Park, so I'm not sure how the water taxi service is affected (if at all) by this festival.

If that is the time you are coming and you are planning on using the water taxi to Chinatown, I'd drop Wendella an e-mail about this.
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