The Siberian American: Chicago Travel: Wendella Lake Michigan Fireworks Cruise

Monday, June 27, 2016

Chicago Travel: Wendella Lake Michigan Fireworks Cruise

On our last weekend in Chicago, Christopher and I checked off the last item on my one year in Chicago list: a fireworks cruise on Lake Michigan. On Wednesdays and Saturdays from Memorial Day to Labor Day, Chicago sets off fireworks from Navy Pier, and I thought the best way to see them would be from the water. Our cruise was actually on a Friday to coincide with the start of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series.


Our cruise started at 8:30 p.m., just as the sunset was starting to set. Dusk was always my favorite part of the day in the city. The architecture looks absolutely stunning in that light.


As soon as we got on the boat, we headed towards Lake Michigan. The Wendella Fireworks Cruise isn’t heavily narrated, but the guide did explain the history of the Chicago River and the Chicago Harbor Lock, which was interesting (it involved a lawsuit by Missouri because Chicago had reversed its river and started dumping its waste into the Mississippi River!). The whole lock process takes about 10 minutes. I loved watching the water rise to account for the difference in depths between the Chicago River and Lake Michigan.


Once we got through the lock, we had about an hour until the start of the fireworks show, which we spent riding around and enjoying views of the Chicago skyline as the sun set.


The actual fireworks part of the cruise was spectacular. The fireworks are fired from a barge on Lake Michigan, so our boat was able to get insanely close to the action. It’s the closest I’ve ever been to a fireworks display (other than setting them off on our own, of course). While watching fireworks, I have a rule: enjoy them and don’t worry about taking photos. I have spent way too many times in the past trying to get the perfect shot and missing out on the show. Christopher did get some great shots for me to share with y’all, though.


After the fireworks were over, we were able to get through the locks quickly enough that our guide decided to do a mini tour of the architecture on the Chicago River. It was such a fun ending to a great two hours.

If you love fireworks and are in Chicago during the summer, I highly recommend doing a fireworks cruise.


56 comments:

  1. This is my kind of cruise!! I'm totally saving this for when we go to Chicago. I hope it's still going on then!
    Xo, Evelina @ Fortunate House

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  2. This is so awesome! Chicago is such a beautiful city - esp in the Spring and Summer. Glad you had a great year in the Midwest. I really love your graphics - what program do you use?

    Ashley
    acutelifestyle.blogspot.com

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  3. That would be so much fun to see from a cruise! I got to see the fireworks from the pier last year. I can only imagine how awesome it was from the water.

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  4. That looks like such a blast, and I love all of the shots that you got of the city at dusk! Chicago really does have some of the most amazing architecture, and it looks so beautiful at the time of the day!

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  5. What fun!! Beautiful pictures. I would love to do something like this. Who doesn't love watching fireworks??

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  6. oh, how fun! i am the same with fireworks, and things like it - enjoy the moment, you'll miss it trying to get the perfect picture!

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  7. Wow. Your photos are just stunning. I love the skyline and all the architecture. Even in the pictures you can tell its just gorgeous! I've glad you got to check all your things off your list! That's awesome!

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  8. Your photos of the city are unreal!! Just stunning! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

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  9. What an amazing way to end your time in Chicago and see the fireworks at night. Your photos of the river and architecture around it are simply gorgeous.

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  10. Wow, this looks amazing! I quite like the idea of doing something like this in the different cities and now I am definitely sold!! Great photos!!

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  11. What a wonderful experience! I would love to visit there one day.

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  12. This sounds so amazing and your pictures are stunning! What better view of fireworks than from a boat? And that skyline view at night is so gorgeous! <3, Pamela Sequins & Sea Breezes

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  13. Wow, those pictures are breathtaking! I usually think of more greenery landscapes as breathtaking, but wow! The cityscape just looks beautiful! Can't wait to explore Chicago next week.

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  14. Those sunset pictures are glorious! My brother lives in Chicago - I'm putting this on the list of things to do when I visit!

    So I've been a sporadic blogger to say the least - I just went back and caught up on a bunch of your old posts. Texas - I love Texas - so excited for you! And I'm sorry to hear about your health struggles . . . my prayers are with you that it's easily fixed and you recover quickly! Love reading your blog! Take care!

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  15. Wow these pictures are amazing! I know I've said it before but city photography is my favorite. I used to love sitting on my rooftop in Atlanta watching the fireworks.. a boat cruise would be ideal. Totally agree about enjoying the fireworks instead of taking photos though- they're always so much prettier in person.

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  16. I loved the Wendella Architecture cruise. The fireworks would be awesome too.

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  17. That sounds so lovely and amazing!

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  18. Great pictures! We were just in Chicago about 2 weeks ago & went on one of the "sunset" cruises. Except.. it was cold & cloudy so we didn't get to see much of the sunset! If we ever go back, this is something I definitely want to do again!

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