Chicago Fire Boat Tour - Atlas Obscura

Chicago, Illinois

Chicago Fire Boat Tour

Climb aboard one of Chicago's most valuable pieces of firefighting equipment as you learn about its rich, 80-year history.

Learn about Chicago's rich firefighting history atop the boat that protected the city and its surrounding buildings for nearly a half-century.

Join Atlas Obscura for a breezy ride on the Fred A. Busse, a Chicago Fire Boat and floating piece of the city's rich history. Built in 1937, the vessel served the Chicago Fire Department for many years, aiding firefighters in emergencies along the Chicago River with its deck water gun that could pump 10,000 gallons a minute. Now retired from service, the Fred A. Busse cruises around Chicago and even contains a mini museum onboard.

On this tour, you'll set sail from DuSable Harbor, through the locks and down the Chicago river, as a docent explains the history of the ship and discusses the significant fires it (and other Chicago Fire Boats) fought over the years. Your ticket also includes one beer, glass of wine, or soft drink.


  • Field Agent Matt Holmes will meet you at the entrance to DuSable Harbor.
  • This event will run rain or shine, unless there is severe weather.
  • This event is family friendly; all ages welcome!
  • The ticket is non-refundable, but you can transfer your purchase by following this Eventbrite tutorial.


Email Matt Holmes at

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Advance ticket sales only. All ticket sales are final. No refunds or exchanges.