Frequently Asked Questions:
Do we need to book an advance reservation for our individual friends or family?
No. Reservations are not necessary, though you are welcome to purchase tickets in advance online. We also encourage advance purchase online or dockside if you desire to cruise a very specific date and time and want to guarantee your seats aboard. 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 in advance online or at the box office in the morning day-of, as they are very popular. Canine Cruise tickets are on sale in advance online and walk-ups are welcome day-of on Saturdays and Sundays (ticket office opens at 9:00 AM).
What methods of payment do you accept?
For both online and dock ticket purchases we accept Visa and MasterCard. 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. 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, Howells and Hood, Chipotle, Corner Bakery, Subway, Starbucks, O’Brien’s Riverwalk Cafe, Harry Carays on Kinzie St. and more.
What do you see on the cruise?
This guided city tour highlights Chicago's skyline with an friendly commentary on architectural, historical, and maritime points of interest. Our local 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 as 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?
The safety of our guests and crew is our number one priority. After more than 80 years providing memorable cruises of the Chicago River and Lake Michigan for millions of guests, we are proud to say we have a perfect safety record.
All of our vessels are regulated, licensed and inspected by the United States Coast Guard (USCG) every year, and have undergone stability testing to ensure our guests are safe on their waterway experience. Our captains and deckhands go through an extensive training and drilling program that goes above and beyond the standards set by the USCG. Because we are committed to continuing education, we provide extra training every day to our crew.
If you have any questions on our safety training protocols or additional concerns, please contact our
Company Security Office Captain Tom Hacker at email@example.com.
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!
Do you sell anything on board the boats?
Beverages - including water, soda, wine and beer - are available for purchase onboard the boat. No food is sold onboard, so you are welcome to bring snacks or brown-bag meal with you to enjoy during your cruise.
What about children and babies?
Children under 5 are always welcome at no charge. Folded strollers may be brought on board. Children’s rates available for kids 5-15 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?
Laz Parking Garage at 233 N. Michigan (Illinois Center). The parking garage entrance is the first driveway east of Michigan Ave, on the north side of E. South Water Street. This garage is a 1.5 block walk from our dock. Make a self parking reservation online.
Discount rates available for Mercury customers: $14 for 1-3 hours or $15 for 3-4 hours of parking. Simply have your parking ticket stamped at the Mercury Box Office to recieve the discount.
LAZ Parking Services Garage
233 N. Michigan Avenue
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.