Frequently Asked Questions:
Do we need to book an advance reservation for our individual friends or family?
No. Reservations are not necessary. We choose to offer our guests the greatest flexibility to plan a day or evening of fun. Tickets are on sale each morning. If you wish to ride with us on a particular departure time, ask our ticket agents to kindly sell you an advance ticket for later in the day or evening, otherwise stroll over to our dock when you are ready to cruise. On beautiful sunny days we offer additional non-scheduled tours, so there are an abundance of great seats available almost any time of the day or evening. We do advise you to buy your Fireworks Cruise tickets early in the day, as they are very popular. Canine Cruise tickets are on sale at 8:30am Sundays. All tickets are available for advance purchase online.
What methods of payment do you accept?
For both online and dock ticket purchases we accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, China UnionPay, JCB and BCcard. Cash is accepted for ticket purchases at the dock.
Do you serve Food and Drinks on the boat?
Beverages - including water, soda, wine and beer - are available for purchase onboard prior to departure. Please note, no outside alcoholic beverages allowed. No food is sold on the boat, though you are welcome to bring your own snacks or brown-bag meal aboard. Our neighborhood offers convenience to Billy Goat Tavern, Potbelly's, Houlihan's, Chipotle, Corner Bakery, Subway, Starbucks, O’Brien’s Riverwalk Cafe and more.
What do you see on the cruise?
This guided city tour highlights Chicago's skyline with an extensive commentary on architectural, historical, and maritime points of interest. Our guides will show you all of Chicago’s downtown skyscrapers and describe many fascinating details about each building or landmark. Click here to view our tour map!
Does the cruise go through the Chicago River Lock?
YES. All of our tours pass through the Chicago River Lock System. Our guide/narrator gives a full explaination about the operation of the lock. Feel the boat rise as you enter Lake Michigan and lower and you return to the River.
Do tours still depart when raining?
Yes. Our cruises depart rain or shine. We have open and covered seating on board. Check with a Mercury Ticket Representative during uncertain weather conditions at 312.332.1366. May and September are our slower months, please give us a call for our scheduled times at 312-332-1368.
Are there restrooms on the boat?
Yes, of course! There are Men and Woman "Heads" located on board and one lined with newspapers for your dog on Sunday’s Canine Cruise.
Are the boats safe?
Definitely. Our vessels are inspected and certified by the United States Coast Guard, the State of Illinois and the City of Chicago each year. Also, our crew is licensed by the USCG and undergoes an extensive training program. We carry 100% Adult and 100% Child life preservers, but you will only need them in the unlikely event of an emergency.
May I bring my luggage aboard?
No. Luggage is not allowed aboard the Mercury vessels. Please leave your luggage at your hotel or check your luggage in at a hotel near the dock (be sure to confirm in advance the ability for the hotel to accomodate you). Also, please be aware that all bags are checked prior to boarding.
May I bring a stroller aboard?
Yes, strollers may be brought aboard and will be folded and stored in the salon for the duration of the cruise. They are not allowed on the deck. Please note, children must be removed from strollers prior to boarding.
What if I have a group of 20 or more?
We would love to offer a group discount to you if you would like to reserve in advance. Please give us a call, we will answer the phone! Please call 312-332-1368 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
When do you start boarding?
Boarding begins 30 - 15 minutes prior to scheduled departure time. Choose any seat - all offer a great view!
What if the Canine Cruise is sold out when I arrive?
If you arrive by 8:30 – 9:00am on the Sunday of your choice, you will be guaranteed a ticket. For groups of 20 or more, call us in advance: 312-332-1368.
Do you sell anything on board the boats?
We sell beverages - including water, soda, wine and beer - available for purchase prior to departure. No food is sold onboard, so you are welcome to bring a picnic basket or fast food with you to enjoy during your cruise.
What about children and babies?
Children under 3 are always welcome at no charge. Folded strollers may be brought on board. Children’s rates available for kids 3-12 years old.
Are there any elevators down to the river?
At this time the Riverwalk does not offer any elevators. For those who need ADA ramps, you may access the Riverwalk via the ADA ramp at State Street and Wacker Drive within the Vietnam Memorial Park. Or if you are able to walk, there is a ramp adjacent to Wacker Drive and Wabash Ave. Then simply follow the Riverwalk to the East under the Michigan Avenue Bridge. Our Ticket Office is marked with a blue awning. Our stairway offers handrails, and shade from the sun. For guests needing special vehicle drop-off assistance Click here for Mobility Assistance directions.
Are the vessels accessible by wheelchair?
For safety reasons, motorized scooters and electric wheelchairs cannot be accommodated aboard the ship. Guests who are able to transfer may use the company's manual wheelchair, based upon availability. Under Federal law and due to special marine safety construction guidelines, USCG-regulated small vessels are not subject to land-based architectural configuration requirements. Although we do our best to accommodate passengers with limited mobility consistent with our vessel capabilities, staffing and the docking space which is publicly owned and controlled, we can do a better job with advance notice.
Where is the closest parking?
Systems Parking at 111 E. Wacker Dr. Just one driveway east of Michigan Avenue, next to the Fannie May candy store. Then look for our blue awning across the street marking the entrance to Riverside Gardens and Chicago’s Riverwalk at the southeast corner of the Michigan Avenue Bridge.
Systems Parking Illinois Center Garage
111 E. Wacker Dr.
Chicago IL 60601
What else is there to see in your area?
Is it true your boat was featured in the 2006 film "The Break Up"?
Yes! It is true. We have worked on many film projects including "The Break Up" staring Vince Vaughn. Be sure to check it out! Our boat is in additional scenes within the DVD extras. Our Canine Cruise was also featured in a Chicago episode for HGTV's #1 show House Hunters.