Among the many pleasures of a trip on the Veuve Clicquot champagne boat—and they are numerous—is the voyage’s inception—the moment when the bright orange speedboat pulls up to the steps in front of the riverfront City Winery. That’s when everyone looks at it, wondering whom it has come to fetch. Savor this a moment, then emerge from the crowd and climb aboard.
There you will find an ice tub filled with bottles of Veuve, a skilled captain, gourmet snacks and, for props if you are so inclined, some straw boaters. Depending on the duration you’ve signed up for, you can go out into the lake and open her up or cruise the river a while. It’s posh, refreshing, relaxed either way.
There's a catch, which is that the experience (called, with elegance, “Champagne on the Water”) is offered only to guests at the Ritz-Carlton Chicago—or to those who get the hotel’s Spa, Sip & Sail package, which is bascially the same trip, supplemented by a mani-pedi.
Which is to say that the choice presented to you is a staycation with a side of adventure, or a bit of pampering and some bubbly. Why not take both? $275 per person, limit 6 passengers