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We will let you in on a secret! You can get the high-end experience, with an affordable price tag! Our new heated (during winter), luxury pontoon aims to amp up the manatee sighting and deliver a more personal event! Observe the endangered West Indian Manatee in Crystal River’s idyllic Kings Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Your US Coast Guard licensed captains and guides will take you into the 600 acre spring fed refuge waters for viewing and snorkeling with these slow moving wild giants. All equipment, fees, snacks and beverages are included.
See and swim with manatees if they're spotted
Ride in a luxury pontoon boat that's heated in winter
Fully narrated tour reveals little-known info
A small group ensures personalized attention
What to Expect
Make your own way to a designated meeting point, where your Coast Guard Certified Master Captain will share the itinerary and go over rules for snorkeling with the manatees. Slip on a wetsuit and board a covered pontoon boat (in the winter, it’s fully enclosed and heated).
As you slowly enter into the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, keep an eye out for birds, fish, and other wildlife who call the area home. If manatees are spotted, you can slip into the water with them, staying at a respectful distance all the while.
The best time to see the manatees is in the winter when they cluster in the warmer upstream waters of the reserve. An underwater photographer snaps shots throughout the day, and you can purchase photos or DVDs of your experience once back at the Manatee Center.
498 SE Kings Bay Dr, Crystal River, FL 34429, USA
Returns to original departure point
Use of equipment (mask, snorkel gear and wet suit)
Beverages (bottled water, coffee and hot chocolate)
Introductory/instructional video offered in English, French, German, Japanese, or Spanish
Food and beverages (unless otherwise specified)
Photo DVD (available to purchase)
Towel and swimsuit
Confirmation will be received at time of booking
Adult pricing pricing applies to all travelers
Children must be accompanied by an adult
Wetsuits are available in sizes from toddlers (2 years old and up) to adults up to 5X
It is advised that you have your swimsuit on underneath your clothes for a quicker check-in
Please bring a towel and a plastic bag to hold your belongings
For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
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We chose this trip based on others reviews, thank you, it was the highlight of our trip to Florida.
We arrived and had our briefing, got into the wet suits and down to the dock. Boarded our beautiful new looking boat, just the four of...More
I can not express in words how amazing and enjoyable my mother and I's experience was. From the moment I called to book this trip I was treated so well and the moment we stepped in the door of this facility we were greeted with...More
Small group of 5 on a pontoon boat with Captain Stark and Jose as our guide. Eventhough it is the off season for viewing Manatees, these two men worked hard to find one for us to swim with. Kudos to Jose for being so knowledgeable...More
This tour was brilliant and would definitely recommend it.
Jose our guide was excellent ,friendly and very attentive and our Captain John Stark was great.They made sure we saw lots of manatees even a baby with its mother.
An absolutely amazing experience.
we saw regular tour boats with 10-20 people. the boat is slower and less maneuverable to get into the small tributaroes where some of the manatees hang out. they like quiet places without splashing or loud boat motors. when... More
we saw regular tour boats with 10-20 people. the boat is slower and less maneuverable to get into the small tributaroes where some of the manatees hang out. they like quiet places without splashing or loud boat motors. when they find a manatee the people in large groups they had to take chances getting in, so less time per person with the manatee. and of course a large group of people makes more commotion in the water which scares off the mantees.
VIP tour is a smaller boat, can take 1-6 people comfortably. you can all get in the water together. overall its a small, more personalized service and in my opinion you ar emore likely to find and get closer to more manatees than on a group tour. One driver and one guide who will get in the water with you, assist those who are weak swimmers etc. The lady who worked with us was wonderful and my 3 yr old rode on her back and got to see manatees swim around her.