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Small Group VIP Manatee Pontoon Tour

  • 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 
Small Group VIP Manatee Pontoon Tour
From US$94.00
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  • Overview
  • What to Expect
  • Important Information
  • Reviews
  • Q&A
Select Date and Travellers
10:45am DepartureMost Popular
10:45am Departure; 4 hour tour
From US$94.00
6:45am Departure
6:45am Departure: 4 hour tour
From US$94.00

On this quintessential Florida adventure, you'll observe the endangered West Indian Manatee in Florida’s Kings Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Cruise the Crystal River in a luxury pontoon boat that is fully enclosed and heated during winter (the best time to see the manatees). This small-group experience is designed to view the animals without disturbing them. Plus, if manatees are spotted, you'll slip on your fins and snorkel and swim alongside them. 

What to Expect

Make your own way to a designated meeting point,  where your Coast Guard Certified Master Captain will share the day’s 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.

Reviews (105)
1 - 5 of 96 reviews
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile
A great trip

Our captain Tanner and guide Dave were great! They gave us a lot of info during the boat tour. We took a semi-private tour with 6 people on board. I really appreciated the respect they have for the manatees! Would absolutaly recommend this tour!

Thank Jujuke
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile
A dream come true!

I’ve always wanted to swim with manatees but had never snorkeled or worn a wet suit before (they had ALL sizes available). My boyfriend and I booked the small group VIP pontoon tour (we were a group of 6) and Jose was our guide! He...More

Thank patrickandanna
Reviewed 1 week ago
Our awesome Manatee experience!

3/6/19 Our visit was a mother/daughter trip. This was also a bucket list item for me (Mom). Everyone was super friendly and helpful upon arrival. We were blessed to have Laura as our boat captain and Sheena as our guide. They provided the most awesome...More

Date of experience: March 2019
Thank Relax34925
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Troy and JJ were the best! Courteous, fun, informational and entertaining. They were always on the lookout for the best opportunity to get up close and personal with the manatees. And they succeeded! It was a thoroughly enjoyable day. We highly recommend these two guys...More

Date of experience: March 2019
Thank Melissa B
Reviewed 2 weeks ago
Captain Mike and Guide Jose were awesome. They were both very knowledgeable about the manatees and the area.

What an awesome day! Not only did a baby manatee lock eyes with me (we were snorkeling), but he/she nearly kissed me! And to make it even better, Jose got it all on camera! We decided to spend a little more for the VIP tour...More

Date of experience: February 2019
Thank Lynn C
View more reviews
Questions & Answers
Ask a question
10 March 2019|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from Susan M | Reviewed this property |
There were four of us.
Jodie M
5 April 2018|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from Dave F | Reviewed this property |
They give you three options on the photos, around $27 for the disc, $34 for the USB, and around $40 for the on-line album. They also provide floating aids for everyone in the water, no extra charge.
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