Chicago’s First Lady Cruises announces the newest addition to its custom luxury fleet, Chicago’s Emerald Lady, a 250-passenger vessel set to arrive in May 2020. The U.S.-made steel vessel, built by Burger Boat Company, will immediately be placed into the rotation of the world-famous tour—the Chicago Architecture Foundation Center (CAFC) River Cruise aboard Chicago’s First Lady—and will provide an additional 100 seats for the 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. departures of the popular daily tour.
The arrival of Chicago’s Emerald Lady also allows for an expansion of the cruise line’s existing Twilight Cruise, which will now include departures every Summer Saturday at 7:30 p.m. to help serve increased demand resulting from Chicago’s growing tourism. Additional tour times will be available throughout the 2020 cruise season.
“With over 58 million people visiting Chicago last year, it’s important for us to grow with our city to ensure we’re providing the best possible experience for Chicagoland residents and tourists,” said Holly Agra, CEO and President of Chicago’s First Lady Cruises. “Chicago’s Emerald Lady will help us meet the popular demand for the CAFC River Cruise now and will help provide more guests with our luxury private charter experience in the years ahead.”
Chicago’s First Lady Cruises is committed to connecting tourists to Chicago’s rich architectural history and the arrival of Chicago’s Emerald Lady will expand ticket inventory by up to 30 percent. With more departure times, additional job opportunities will be available for Chicagoland residents. The fleet expansion will also provide meeting and convention attendees and business travelers an opportunity to experience the CAFC River Cruise, the #1 ranked tour in Chicago based on TripAdvisor user reviews, after business hours.
Chicago’s Emerald Lady is being designed by naval architect Mark Pudlo, Principle of Seacraft Design in Sturgeon Bay, Wisc. and built by Burger Boat Company—a company that has now worked on three of the cruise line’s vessels, helping support Chicago’s First Lady Cruises’ continued investment in Chicago tourism and in offering an exceptional architectural experience for all guests.
“At Burger, we’re dedicated to bringing our client’s vision to life and creating a memorable experience on the water,” says Jim Ruffolo, president and CEO, Burger Boat Company. “Our high-quality vessel, made here in the U.S. with U.S. steel, complements the commitment of Chicago’s First Lady Cruises to investing in their local community, and we’re proud to work with them and help them inspire more visitors with a world-class experience on the Chicago River.”
Chicago’s Emerald Lady is a sister ship to Chicago’s Classic Lady and Chicago’s Leading Lady, and the seventh vessel to join Chicago’s First Lady Cruises’ fleet of . The new vessel provides comfortable open-air top deck seating, with 360-degree views of Chicago’s skyscrapers, and includes climate controlled interior salons with wide oblong windows, upscale restrooms and full-service bars.
The 90-minute tour aboard the CAFC River Cruise is the most in-depth, authentic architecture river cruise available and is the only one led by Chicago Architecture Center-certified volunteer docents, a result of Chicago’s First Lady Cruises’ exclusive 26-year partnership with the renowned Chicago Architecture Center.
The CAFC River Cruise season will launch in March 2020. Chicago’s Emerald Lady will be available for private charters beginning in 2021.