The Inside Scoop
FROM THE KNOT EDITORS
The First Look
Anita Dee Yacht Charters offers two outstanding yachts docked in the heart of downtown on the Chicago River off Lake Shore Drive in Chicago, Illinois. This company has carried millions of visitors around the Chicago waterways during its 30-plus years of business, with many of the passengers being celebrities and dignitaries. It offers both of its luxury yachts to couples who want nautical wedding experiences or who just want to host an extraordinary nuptial celebration.
Anita Dee Yacht Charters has the following event spaces available:
Anita Dee I. This 90-foot 127-passenger yacht has a dining deck and an observation deck. The interior dining deck is lined with windows for views of the water as you and your guests party. The dining deck has a ceiling and trim in warm wood and has padded benches, room for a wooden dance floor and space for tables in several configurations. Colors are gray and blue with wood being the primary material in the room. Most wedding colors will work fine in the dining deck. The observation deck has padded seating, two tables and a railing around the entire level, with the main color being white. Both the dining deck and the observation deck have full-service bars.
Anita Dee II. With three levels this yacht is 140-foot long and carries up to 345 passengers. The yacht offers a salon level, a dining deck and an observation deck. The salon deck is on the lowest level of the boat and is decorated in neutral colors with windows to view the water. There's room for 11 cocktail tables, a bar, a baby grand piano and the bridal suite. The next level is the dining deck which also features sand-colored walls, neutral flooring and ample windows. A skylight brightens the room which has space for six banquet tables, a dance floor and a bar. The observation deck has a bar area with seven tables and a forward deck with bench seating.
What You Should Know
Anita Dee Yacht Charters has afternoon, evening and weekend charters available. There are also special fireworks cruises during the city's weekly Wednesday and Saturday fireworks displays from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
If you have a ceremony and reception on the boat the staff is flexible about guest pickup. If some of your guests are unable to make it to your ceremony the Captain can head back to the launch point and pick up the latecomers to enjoy your reception.
Rental fees do not include catering or bar service. Anita Dee Yacht Charters' boats have full service galleys for catering crews and it has a list of catering companies that are familiar with preparing and cooking food on the yachts. You are free to use any licensed and insured caterer on the yacht, but there are restrictions and extra fees for using a caterer not on the approved list.
The Anita Dee I does not have china or flatware, so caterers will need to bring disposables. The Anita Dee II has place settings but all place settings must be washed, dried and put away after your event.
Anita Dee Yacht Charters offers a few special perks to couples who have their wedding ceremonies on the yachts. These extras include:
- No extra fee for a yacht ceremony
- Yacht captain may act as your officiant
- Ceremony may on the dockside or open water
- Free bridal suite before and during event
- Complimentary champagne toast
- Free extra hour for charters five hours or longer
From the Vendor
Make Chicago Yours...Exclusively!
Enjoy the exclusivity of our New Private Docking Location which is perfect for amazing pictures prior to departure! Imagine your special day aboard one of our unique and amazing venues with Chicago's breathtaking skyline as the backdrop. Anita Dee's sales and event coordination team will assist you in planning every detail of your dream event. Enjoy Vow Ceremonies at no additional charge, our private Bridal Suite and a complimentary champagne toast! Our unique venues are also a perfect setting for other events such as bridal showers, rehearsal dinners, post wedding brunches and bachelor or bachelorette parties!
Amenities + Details
Outdoor - Covered
Outdoor - Not Covered
For more details about amenities, please message the Venue.
$$$ – Moderate
Bar + Drinks, Rentals + Equipment, Service Staff
I held my wedding reception on the Anita Dee II on June 27, 2015. My fiance and I looked at many different venues in both Michigan and in Chicago and could not be happier that we chose the Anita Dee II for our reception venue. The Anita Dee Staff are wonderful. We first met the director of Marketing/Business Development back in September to discuss using the yacht as our wedding ceremony and reception venue. Marc was wonderful. He made sure that this venue would be perfect for what I wanted without pressuring me into a contract. I really liked this as many other venues tried to pressure me into signing a contract the day that I toured the venue. Marc held my date and made sure that I had time to make sure this was the perfect location for our venue. Marc was also very responsive to all of my questions and concerns. Marc provided me with a list of preferred vendors to use on the yacht and ALL of the recommendations were great. I liked that I did not have to use these vendors. However, almost all of my vendors were from the preferred vendor list provided by the Anita Dee II. During my wedding planning process, I decided to just have my reception on the yacht and have my wedding in a nearby church as this was important to my family. The Anita Dee staff made this change very easy. As my wedding approached, I was contacted by my event coordinator from the yacht, Colleen. Colleen was AMAZING! She answered all of my questions and allowed me to the yacht numerous times prior to the wedding to go over the details of my wedding. On the day of the wedding she was right there making sure everything was perfect and did EVERYTHING that was asked of her. Whether it was for the yacht to change course or to assist me in the bridal suite, she was right there making sure things were perfect. I would HIGHLY recommend the Anita Dee II for a wedding or any other type of event. The yacht is beautiful and the staff are great!
We were blown away by the customer service of the Anita Dee staff. From Colleen responding so quickly to every email and providing us with whatever we needed to the First Mate clearing the downstairs for the Bride to walk through and updating us on every move the boat was making, everything went perfectly! The whole night was smooth sailing (literally and figuratively) and our guests were stunned by the views of the city. We are still receiving messages about how this wedding was the best wedding they've ever been to. My aunt says it ranked up there with her trip to the Grand Canyon, that's how incredible the views were. The price was one of the most reasonable in Chicago that we found and well worth every penny. We couldn't have picked a better weekend and better company to work with. Unlike so many other weddings where people say it was whirlwind and they can't remember what happened, this night is still fresh in our minds and will be for many years to come.