Frequently Asked Questions

From weather to attire, and dining to drinks. From tip to toe here are a few of the most frequently asked questions about our Chicago fleet.

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Getting Ready

Are any discounts available? +

Any available discounts may be found on our "Offers & Deals" page.

Are there any age requirements for children? +

Children are welcome on most standard lunch and dinner cruises and children under 3 are complimentary. However, we do have certain cruises that are restricted to adults 21+ with photo ID. Our 21+ cruises will note the age restriction on the cruise landing page as well as during the check-out process. Adults boarding 21+ cruises will required to show a photo ID.

Can I make changes to my reservation? +

You may add tickets or upgrades to your cruise through the link in your confirmation email. You are unable to remove tickets or upgrades online, but our customer service center can further assist at 1 (866) 305-2469.

All cruise tickets are non-refundable. However, for parties of 19 guests or fewer you may reschedule your cruise free of charge with at least seven days advance notice. If you must reschedule your cruise less than one week prior to the cruise date, you will incur a rebooking fee. For Lunch and Moonlight Cruises, the fee is $15 per person. For Dinner Cruises, the fee is $25 per person. The balance of your payment will be held on your account and can be applied toward a future cruise within the next year. All Specialty and Holiday Cruises are non-refundable and non-transferable. For parties larger than 20 please consult the terms of your contract.

Can I make changes to my reservation? +

For changes to your order, you must contact our customer service center at (888) 957-2634.

Can I purchase tickets online? +

For parties of 19 guests or less, tickets are available for online purchase. We ask that groups of 20 or more contact us so one of our event coordinators can assist with your event.

Do you sail in inclement weather? +

Absolutely. Our ships are fully enclosed and climate-controlled for your comfort. We sail rain or shine all year long.

How does the charter process work? +

Great question! Check out our "New to Event Planning" page for full details. If you still have questions, don't hesitate to give us a call.

How long is the cruise? +

Our dining cruises range between 2-3 hours. Water taxis, sightseeing cruises and excursions have varying lengths.

I had an issue with my cruise experience? What now? +

Our guests are our number one priority and we strive to provide the ultimate guest experience. In the event that your cruise has not met your expectations, please call your local Hornblower number with specifics of your experience. We'd love the opportunity to make it right.

Is there a group rate? +

We offer group rates for parties of 20 or more on all of our standard cruises. Pricing is subject to change due to availability and cruise date

Is there still availability? +

Our cruise calendar lists all available tickets. If you do not see the desired cruise listed, please call us to ensure availability.

What are your age requirements? +

We ask that any guests under the age of 18 are accompanied by an adult.

What do I need to bring in order to pick up my tickets? +

We ask that guests have photo identification and their cruise order number handy to pick up the tickets. Our ticket booths open one hour prior to cruise boarding time and are conveniently located near our ship's docking location.

What happens if my cruise is cancelled? +

Our cruises take place rain or shine. However, in the rare event that the Coast Guard prohibits cruised due to inclement weather, our staff will contact you directly to make other arrangements.

What happens in inclement weather? +

Our cruises take place rain or shine. However, in the rare event that the Coast Guard prohibits cruises due to inclement weather, our staff will contact you directly to make other arrangements.

What happens in inclement weather? +

If Seadog Cruises cancels your cruise due to inclement weather, you may reschedule your cruise date or receive a refund. 

If we know in advance that your cruise will be cancelled due to weather, you will receive a call from our contact center to reschedule. If you do not receive a call and/or are concerned about your cruise being cancelled because of weather, please call our reservation center at 888-636-7737 for more information on your specific cruise.

What if I lost something on board? +

We're happy to coordinate an inquiry with our boats to locate lost items. Please e-mail [email protected] with the name of vessel, date of event/cruise date, confirmation number, contact information and a description of the item so that our team is best equipped to search. 

What is "boarding time" and "cruising time"? +

"Boarding Time" is the earliest our guests may board the ship, approximately 30 minutes prior to the "Cruise Time.” Tickets are available for guest pick-up one hour prior to your cruise at our dockside kiosk. Our vessels will leave the dock promptly at the start of the cruising time.

What is a marine fee? +

Marine fees include, but are not limited to: fuel surcharges, docking fees, vessel licensing, as well as other costs associated with operating a commercial cruise business

What is an administration fee? +

The administration fee is used to cover direct costs, not representative of a tip or gratuity, for our service staff.

What is the cruise route? +

Our cruise routes are located on the cruise's landing page. To locate the route, on the website navigation, click "dining cruises" and select the page for the cruise type that you booked (dinner, lunch, brunch, or the specific holiday or special event listed).

What is the typical elegant cruise attire? +

Dinner Cruises
Our dinner cruises have a more formal tone, we recommend cocktail wear or "dressy-casua"l attire. Dresses, skirts, collared shirts and dress pants are appropriate for your dinner cruise. While still permitted, we discourage casual jeans, t-shirts, athletic shoes and foam flip-flops.

Daytime Cruises: Lunch, Brunch, Cocktail
For your lunch/brunch/ cocktail cruise, we recommend more "dressy-casual" attire. Sundresses, nice pants or shorts, collared shirts, dressy jeans are all appropriate for your daytime cruise. While permitted, we discourage casual jeans, t-shirts, athletic shoes and foam flip-flops.
As we are cruising on the water, we recommend wearing flat closed-toe shoes (although not enforced)

What is your cancellation policy? +

- Cruise tickets are non-refundable, however, we do allow guests of parties 19 or fewer to reschedule their cruise at no extra charge, provided at least seven days advance notice is given.
-A rebooking fee will be incurred by guests who are unable to provide the minimum of seven days notice. For Lunch and Moonlight Cruises, rebooking fees are $15 per person. For Dinner Cruises, rebooking fees are $25 per person. The cruise will hold the balance of your payment on your account to be applied towards a future cruise booked within the next year.
- All Holiday & Special Event Cruises are non-refundable and non-transferable.
- Should your group be larger than 20 guests, we ask you to refer to your Terms of Contract for specific cancellation policy details.

What is your pet policy? +

Service animals and psychiatric support animals (dogs and mini horses) are permitted onboard, we ask that they are harnessed, leashed or tethered unless these devices interfere with the service animal's ability to work or the individual's disability prevents using these devices. No other pets are permitted on our vessels.

What should I expect when boarding? +

You will be asked to show your ticket upon boarding. In accordance with US Coast Guard Regulation, all passengers and their belongings embarking onto our vessels are subject to search and screening. To expedite the boarding process,  we ask that you do not bring unnecessary bags onboard and please ensure that all gifts are unwrapped or placed in gift bags or for easy screening.

What should I wear on my cruise? +

Dinner Cruises
We recommend casually stylish attire such as nice pants or jeans, polos, button-down shirts, and sundresses or skirts. Although allowed, we strongly discourage t-shirts, casual jeans, shorts, and sneakers.

All Other Cruises
Relaxed and casual attire is acceptable. As we are cruising on the water, we recommend wearing flat closed-toe shoes (although not enforced)
 

Where can I park for cruises departing from Navy Pier? +

Odyssey Lake Michigan, Spirit of Chicago, Mystic Blue, Chicago Elite, & Seadog are docked at Navy Pier. Navy Pier’s two on-site parking garages, West Garage and East Garage offer the closest self-parking.

 

GPS Address: 600 E Grand Avenue • Chicago, IL 60611

Where can I park for Odyssey Chicago River? +

Odyssey Chicago River is docked near NBC Tower at 455 N. Cityfront Plaza Dr, on the north side of the River Esplanade between Columbus Drive and Michigan Avenue.

Due to limited parking, we highly recommend arriving by rideshare or taxi, as parking is limited.

Self-Parking: The preferred parking lot for Odyssey Chicago River is located at 219/225 E. North Water Street on the lower level (outdoor lot). We offer a secured discounted cruise parking rate to our guests. Please note: NBC Parking Garage with a garage door entry, does not have a validated parking rate. Due to unreliable GPS signals on the lower street levels, please review the following parking entry directions. There are two entrances to the preferred parking lot located at 219/225 E. North Water Street (outdoor lot): 

St. Clair Entrance: 

One entrance can be accessed at intersection of lower E. North Water and lower St. Clair. The entry gate is located on the south side of the intersection. Look for the black sign with “NBC Tower Parking” in white text. You will also see black and red signs for Legacy Parking.

E. North Water St. Entrance: 

The Water St. entrance to the uncovered lot can be accessed further east on E. North Water St. The entrance is on the south side of the street.

The Water St. entrance can also be accessed from the intersection of Columbus and Illinois St. From there, take Illinois St. east for , until you reach N McClurg Ct. Make a right on McClurg Ct, and continue south. Take the first right onto E. North Water, and travel west down E. North Water St. into the "underground tunnel". Continue west on E. North Water St. for 2 blocks and the facility entrance will be on the south side (left-hand side) of E. North Water St. The entrance to the lot will have a black sign stating "NBC Tower Parking LEGACY PARKING". 

Where do I pick up my tickets? +

Our ticket booths are located near the ship's docking location. Guests are able to pick up their ticket on hour prior to boarding time, we ask that guests provide photo identification and their order number when picking up tickets.

Where is my confirmation email? +

If you have not received your confirmation e-mail, please check your spam filter. If you still cannot find it call us or e-mail [email protected] 

While on Board

Are food and drink allowed on board? +

Yes, while we do not sell food or beverages on board, but we welcome our guests to bring their own refreshments as long as they are not in glass containers.

Can I smoke on board? +

No, due to city ordinances, smoking is prohibited on all Seadog vessels.

Can I smoke onboard Seadog? +

No, due to city ordinances, smoking is prohibited on all Seadog vessels.

Do you have bars onboard? What ID do I need to bring? +

Full-service cash-bars are available on board for our guest 21+ who possess a valid ID (State Issued Identification (Driver’s License), Military ID, US or Foreign Passport or Passport Card, US Liquor ID). We are unable to accept photocopies. Global entry ID is not a valid form of ID for proof of age.

Is my boat wheelchair accessible? +

The majority of our fleet decks and restrooms are able to accommodate most standard-sized wheelchairs. We ask that for specific accessibility concerns you please call the local Hornblower number and ensure that you are seated on an accessible deck.

Is there WiFi onboard? +

We're pleased to provide onboard WiFi for our guests. 

What entertainment is provided for Odyssey Chicago River Architecture tours? +

Throughout boarding and dining, you'll be treated to a architectural narration highlighting historical components underscored with ambient music between landmarks to transport you into a state of heightened relaxation for your architecture lunch or brunch cruise.

What entertainment is provided for Spirit of Chicago? +

Spirit of Chicago allows you to experience a festive and fun atmosphere at your own pace. Unwind in our comfortable climate-controlled indoor lounge, or take a stroll to our spacious open-air observation deck.

Music - DJ An onboard DJ will spin favorites from various genres and styles throughout the cruise. After your meal, we invite our guests to cut loose and make their way to the dance floor.

Games - There are a variety indoor and outdoor interactive games available onboard. Whether you're looking for a challenging round of super sized jenga, or to unleash your competitive side with a game of foosball or tabletop shuffleboard, there is something for everyone.

What entertainment is provided on Odyssey Chicago River dinner cruises? +

While boarding and dining, you'll enjoy some light music that will whisk you away to a more relaxed state and help you unwind. After dining, our DJ will turn up the tunes, spin some recognizable favorites, and encourage guests to make their way to do the dance floor. If you're not in the mood for dancing, our outdoor decks are a perfect place to relax with some light music and take in Chicago's world-famous skyline.

What ID do I need to bring to order an alcoholic beverage? +

We accept the following forms of ID for alcoholic beverages: State Issued Identification (Driver’s License), Military ID, US or Foreign Passport or Passport Card, US Liquor ID. We are unable to accept photocopies . Global Entry ID is not a valid form of ID for proof of age.

What is your smoking policy? +

We permit smoking on the exterior decks, except for the rooftop lounge, however, smoking is not permitted in the vessel's interior.

What kind of table will we have? How many guests fit at our table? +

While our tables typically accommodate up to 8 people, larger parties will be seated at adjacent tables.

Will I get seasick? +

As our ships cruise on calm bodies of water, seasickness is unlikely due to our stability - most guests can hardly tell we are moving!

Will I have cell service onboard? +

Our cruise routes keep us within one mile from the shore, ensuring that most cellular services are unaffected by cruises. 

Will I have cell service onboard? +

Most cellular services are available on the water as we do not cruise beyond one mile off shore.

Seadog

Are there restrooms on Seadog boats? +

Yes. Restrooms are available on all Seadog boats.

How long is each Seadog tour? +

Each type of Seadog tour offers a different cruise length and experience, each sure to be an unforgettable:

  • 30 Minute Lakefront Speedboat
  • 30- Minute Extreme Thrill Ride
  • 60- Minute Lakefront Fireworks Cruise
  • 75-Minute River and Lake Architectural Tour.
Is Seadog okay for all ages to ride? +

Seadog offers something for everyone! We do not, however, recommend cruising for those with cardiac conditions or orthopedic conditions associated with the neck or back. It’s also not recommended for women in late terms of pregnancy. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult to cruise aboard any Seadog product. Don’t forget, you must be at least 48 inches to board Seadog’s Extreme Thrill Ride!

What is Seadog's pet policy? +

Friendly leashed dogs are welcome aboard Seadog and cruise for FREE (Woof!).

When can we board our Seadog cruise? +

Guests may board 15 minutes prior to the vessel's scheduled departure. To ensure all guests are able to get tickets, we recommend arriving 30 minutes early.

Will I get wet? +

It is unlikely that you will get wet on Seadog’s 30-Minute Lakefront Speedboat Tour, 75-Minute River and Lake Architectural Tour, and a 60-Minute Lakefront Fireworks Cruise. However, Seadog is an open-air speedboat so there’s always a possibility depending on lake and wind conditions.

You will definitely get wet aboard Seadog's 30 minute Extreme Thrill Ride, that's part of the fun! Please be sure to dress accordingly. Ponchos are available for purchase at our ticket booth.

Dining

How do you accommodate for food allergies? +

Our vessels do not permit any outside food, however, for specific dietary requests, please call us to ensure we are able to accommodate your concerns.

While we do our best by trying to offer gluten and allergy free products as well as gluten sensitive menu items, we openly handle several allergens throughout our galleys. While we take precautions to keep ingredients separate, we cannot guarantee a gluten free environment. We do not have separate prep surfaces, cook tops or equipment. Our chefs prepare and cook in common areas with shared equipment, therefore the items may come in contact with other food products.

What drinks are included? +

During your cruise, guests are treated to complimentary hot tea, iced tea and coffee. Adult beverages are also available onboard for purchase for those 21+ with valid ID.

What is on the menu? +

All cruise dining menus are located on that cruise's landing page. On the navigation bar, click on "dining cruises" - and then select the page for the cruise type that you booked (dinner, lunch, brunch, or the specific holiday or special event)

Our chef-curated menus feature freshly prepared and seasonally inspired cuisine. Please note that menu items listed are subject to change. Vegan and vegetarian options are available by request. While we try to accommodate all dietary concerns, if there are any allergies in your party, please inform your server onboard.

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