Shoreline Sightseeing

75 Years of Exploring Chicago

1939 - 2014

Join Us for Shoreline's Ultimate
"Throwback Thursday" 75th Anniversary Party
on July 31st

You’re invited to help celebrate Shoreline’s 75th Anniversary! The fun begins when Shoreline throws back prices to $7.50 on its 40-minute Classic Lake Tours departing from Navy Pier between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. In addition, all 75-year-olds and military personnel are invited to ride free on any Shoreline tour or water taxi throughout the day. Afternoon festivities take place near Shoreline's Michigan Avenue dock. Stop by for complimentary Cracker Jacks, old-fashioned lemonade and live swing music!

How It All Began:

A Look Back into Shoreline’s 75-Year History

CHICAGO, Ill. - In 1939, Uncle Jim Martin launched Shoreline Sightseeing (originally "Shoreline Marine Company"), offering Lake Michigan tours from the Shedd Aquarium for 25 cents per person.

In 1949 Jim sold the speedboats and purchased the company’s first large touring vessel, the Blue Dog. In 1950 Jim sold Shoreline Marine to his brother George Martin, who would run the company for more than 25 years.

Growth—for the City and for Shoreline

In the coming decades, Shoreline and its passengers were witness to Chicago’s phenomenal growth. Shoreline was also growing to meet rising customer demand. The company added Shoreline to its fleet and in 1960, commissioned the Marlyn, the first of the company’s well-known red, white and blue tour boats.

In 1978, Martin sold Shoreline Marine Company to his nephew Charles Collopy. Charles’ sons, Chip and Matt, soon joined him in the business eventually becoming Shoreline's owners in 2002. In 1996, Shoreline added a fleet of water taxis and in 1999, Shoreline began its Architecture River Tours from Navy Pier, later adding a Michigan Avenue dock.

Keeping up with Chicago's growth, Shoreline added Voyageur to its fleet in 2006, Riverview in 2013 and Cityview in 2014. Shoreline also gradually updated its fleet of water taxis to feature larger, 80+ passenger taxis.


Currently Shoreline’s fleet is the city’s largest with 11 major touring vessels and eight water taxis. In its 75 years of operation, Shoreline has carried generations of Chicagoans as well as passengers from just about every country in the world. Their plan is to keep growing right along with the city of Chicago, but for today, they are ready for a party and they hope you will join them!

Upcoming Special Events
to Celebrate Summer in Chicago

  • August 8 - Summer Brew Cruise with Lagunitas Brewing Company

    A Friday evening cruise enjoying tasty appetizers, fun music and remarkable views while the team from Lagunitas Brewing Company shares samples of their quality microbrews.

    • ­ Did you know that Lagunitas’ founder and owner Tony Magee grew up in the Arlington Heights suburb of Chicago?
  • August 21 & September 11 – Wine Tasting Cruise with Lynfred Winery

    A Thursday evening Lake Michigan cruise sampling tastings of Chicago’s own Lynfred Winery with light refreshments.

    • ­ Did you know that Lynfred Winery founder Fred E. Koehler started his career in the restaurant business when he managed Richard’s Drive-In on West 95th Street in Chicago?
  • September 26 – Oktoberfest with Paulina Meat Market

    An evening Oktoberfest celebration cruise featuring German fare from Chicago’s famed Paulina Market and festive music and dancing. ­

    • Did you know that Paulina Meat Market was opened in 1949 by Sigmund Lekan and has been a local family-owned business ever since?
  • October 10 - Inaugural Cider Cruise

    A Friday evening autumn cruise sampling hard cider from three world-class producers along with appetizers from Harry Caray’s. ­

    • Did you know that Harry Caray was the radio/television voice of the White Sox from 1971 to 1981, and the voice of the Chicago Cubs from 1982 to 1998, the year he passed away?

Also, please join us every Wednesday and Saturday evenings in the summer for Shoreline’s Fireworks Tour!

Click here for more information and to buy tickets!

Upcoming Schedule

July 29, 2014

Departing from Navy Pier
all day Two Day Water Taxi Pass
all day One Day Water Taxi Pass
8:30 pm Night Architecture Tour
Departing from Michigan Avenue
all day Two Day Water Taxi Pass
all day One Day Water Taxi Pass
8:15 pm Night Architecture Tour
9:15 pm Night Architecture Tour

Upcoming Events


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