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Crystal River Manatee Swim in Kings Bay National Wildlife Refuge provided by River Ventures

Crystal River Manatee Swim in Kings Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Crystal River Manatee Swim in Kings Bay National Wildlife Refuge
5
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£64.64
per adult
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98% of travellers recommend this experience
This number is based on the percentage of all Tripadvisor reviews for this product that have a bubble rating of 4 or higher
Free cancellation
Not sure? You can cancel this booking up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund.
Tour snapshot
Chance to swim with the manatees under the direct supervision of a guide
Duration:
3h
Taking Covid-19 safety measures
Group size:
10
Ticket type:
Mobile
Free cancellation
  • Duration:
    3h
  • Taking Covid-19 safety measures
  • Group size:
    10
  • Ticket type:
    Mobile
  • Free cancellation
About
Get in the water with Florida's endangered manatees on this snorkeling tour to the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, with several time options to suit your schedule. With your guide's careful supervision, you'll safely swim and snorkel around these slow-moving giants and learn about their biology and behavior, as well as the conservation efforts that protect them. Pack light, as your wet suit, snorkel gear, and mask are provided.
Know before you go
  • Duration: 3h
  • Mobile tickets accepted
  • Instant confirmation
Cancellation policy
  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
Available languages
English
Highlights
  • Learn about their biology and behavior, plus efforts to protect them
  • Get expertly fitted for a wet suit, mask, and snorkel
  • Guides take photos of you, so you can stay in the moment
  • Opt to purchase a CD of the high-resolution images
What to expect
Meet your guide and group at the tour office, located in downtown Crystal River. Multiple times are available throughout the day; early morning tours offer the best times to swim with the manatees. Watch a video about the manatees and get an introduction to the rules of swimming safely around these endangered animals. Get fitted with a mask and wet suit to ensure the best possible conditions for your wildlife adventure. Slip into the water and float weightlessly near the large creatures, who are known to swim slowly and forage on the river's bottom for sea grass meals. While you swim, your guides will take photographs of you, both above and below the water, so you’ll have plenty of memories to share but can stay focused and in-the-moment. Back at the office, you can opt to purchase a CD of your high-resolution images.
Know before you go
  • Duration: 3h
  • Mobile tickets accepted
  • Instant confirmation
Available languages
English
Cancellation policy
  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
Highlights
  • Learn about their biology and behavior, plus efforts to protect them
  • Get expertly fitted for a wet suit, mask, and snorkel
  • Guides take photos of you, so you can stay in the moment
  • Opt to purchase a CD of the high-resolution images
What to expect
Meet your guide and group at the tour office, located in downtown Crystal River. Multiple times are available throughout the day; early morning tours offer the best times to swim with the manatees. Watch a video about the manatees and get an introduction to the rules of swimming safely around these endangered animals. Get fitted with a mask and wet suit to ensure the best possible conditions for your wildlife adventure. Slip into the water and float weightlessly near the large creatures, who are known to swim slowly and forage on the river's bottom for sea grass meals. While you swim, your guides will take photographs of you, both above and below the water, so you’ll have plenty of memories to share but can stay focused and in-the-moment. Back at the office, you can opt to purchase a CD of your high-resolution images.
Need help booking?
Call the number below and use the product code: 7336P2
Important information
Inclusions
  • Use of equipment (mask, snorkel gear and wet suit)
  • Beverages (bottled water, coffee and hot chocolate)
  • Professional guide
  • Introductory/instructional video offered in English, French, German, Japanese, or Spanish
Exclusions
  • Gratuities
  • Food and beverages (unless otherwise specified)
  • Photo DVD (available to purchase)
  • Towel and swimsuit
Duration
3h
Departure details
  • 498 SE Kings Bay Dr, Crystal River, FL 34429, USA River Ventures Manatee Tour and Education Center. Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your tour time.
Additional information
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Adult pricing applies to all travelers
  • Children must be accompanied by an adult
  • Wetsuits are available in all 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
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Children under 3 years old are not allowed on this tour. Please call for other options.
  • Most travellers can participate
  • Post COVID-19 Policy- We are mindful to thoroughly clean water vehicles between visitors.
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s cancelled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travellers. If it’s cancelled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 10 travellers
Inclusions
  • Use of equipment (mask, snorkel gear and wet suit)
  • Beverages (bottled water, coffee and hot chocolate)
  • Professional guide
  • Introductory/instructional video offered in English, French, German, Japanese, or Spanish
Exclusions
  • Gratuities
  • Food and beverages (unless otherwise specified)
  • Photo DVD (available to purchase)
  • Towel and swimsuit
Departure details
  • 498 SE Kings Bay Dr, Crystal River, FL 34429, USA River Ventures Manatee Tour and Education Center. Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your tour time.
Duration
3h
Return details
  • Returns to original departure point
Additional information
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Adult pricing applies to all travelers
  • Children must be accompanied by an adult
  • Wetsuits are available in all 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
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Children under 3 years old are not allowed on this tour. Please call for other options.
  • Most travellers can participate
  • Post COVID-19 Policy- We are mindful to thoroughly clean water vehicles between visitors.
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s cancelled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travellers. If it’s cancelled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 10 travellers
Travel safe during COVID-19
What you can expect during your visit
  • Gear/equipment sanitised between use
  • Regularly sanitised high-traffic areas
  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
What you can expect during your visit
  • Gear/equipment sanitised between use
  • Regularly sanitised high-traffic areas
  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Hand sanitiser available to travellers and staff
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitised
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

5.0
1,030 reviews
Excellent
997
Very good
20
Average
8
Poor
2
Terrible
3

Aspen T
5 contributions
Apr 2021 • Friends
My group of 7 friends took the 6:15 am tour on a chilly Saturday morning in April. The staff at the shop were friendly and helpful, even at 6am. Everyone was wearing masks and respecting social distancing while inside the shop. The wet suits they provided were clean and dry and definitely made the early morning chill much more tolerable. The ride to the dock was very quick and the driver was professional and courteous. Trisha, our guide, and Wayde, our captain, were awesome! They definitely knew a lot about the manatees and where to find them. It was obvious they cared deeply for the safety and comfort of the animals while also working to provide us with the best manatee snorkel experience. There were very few other boats and snorkelers around that early in the morning, and the manatees seemed excited to see a new group of humans. They came right up to us, bumping us and rubbing against us to be pet. We saw over 20 manatees and a zillion fish, including a huge school of tarpon. Highly highly recommend this tour, and if you can stomach getting up early, it is well worth it!!
Written 4 April 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Liana A
3 contributions
Aug 2020 • Couples
Our boat captain mike and our tour guide crystal were both fantastic and made our excursion all the more amazing. They were both extremely knowledgeable, helpful, down to earth with a good sense of humor! We got up close and personal with several manatees and it was just incredible. I would highly recommend this experience and would def say to come at 6:15 am when it is less crowded. The only part that left a really bad taste in my mouth was that not a single person working in The building was wearing a mask. I think it’s almost offensive as even if you don’t think Covid is real or whatever your opinion is about the current pandemic, not wearing a mask simply shows you really don’t actually care about the paying clients coming into your facility. I would really recommend to the staff here that you start doing so because it’s a really simple gesture of showing you care about your patrons.
Written 9 August 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you so much for this feedback..and even though we appreciate you giving the experience a 5 star....we also take note of the covid related feedback! We have been considering this factor since we reopened and we have not made masks mandatory for our staff or visitors. As time passes though, we realize that there are not many places you can visit now, even a store, that do not require a facial covering. We feel incredibly privileged when our visitors choose us; and we've been confident that we are taking many steps behind the scenes to keep everyone safe (lower capacities, one group in the building at a time, new disinfecting strategies for gear and for the building, tours spread out, lower private rates, hand sanitizer and face masks on request) but we acknowledge that some of visitors expect more from us. We have had visitors enter the building and immediately get angry that ANYONE is wearing masks (Ive been yelled at twice, very loudly about the flu) and Ive had a couple groups ask for the van to be disinfected as they watch and refuse to enter the building. This is a very unique time in history and this is probably one of the most divisive subjects we will ever have to deal with. Overall we've felt like most people currently traveling are comfortable in Florida even though there is little mandatory as far as protection in our state. Im not sure we can make everyone happy on this front, but we do feel incredibly responsible to our guests....and we are so sorry you did not feel this was reflected in our service. This feedback is causing us to reconsider, we will workshop this with our crew and ownership....and by tomorrow we may have a different policy in place. We honestly DO CARE, but we have been on the fence as to what we will REQUIRE. We have been trying to leave the decision for face coverings up to the individual, but we hear you. We know that to some, this is simply not enough. Thanks again for bringing up the subject, and thank you for looking past this shortcoming and granting us 5 stars! That says the world about Mike, Crystal AND your generosity of spirit!
Written 14 August 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Katie P
3 contributions
Jun 2021 • Family
This was an AWESOME experience. Our guide, Lindsey M was awesome and took such good care of us. My daughter can be strong willed, especially when nervous, and she towed her around for me so I could have some time to really enjoy the manatees and my boys. I cannot stress how much I appreciated that! It also helped my peanut become so much more comfortable with the manatees so we could really enjoy the experience together.

Emerson, our captain, was so safety minded and clearly took his job seriously. They both stayed calm even in a bit of a hairy moment when the weather started to cause some problems. I felt incredibly safe with both Lindsey and Emerson the whole time! They were knowledgeable about all of the marine life and so patient with all our questions. We even finally figured out what the jumping fish at our AirBnB are (mullets - the fish, not the hairstyle)!

I also really appreciated how respectful River Ventures was to the animals. They really stress passive observation and do everything they can not to stress out the manatees. Lindsey also tried to educate a group of private boaters who were being less than respectful. I felt really good knowing my kids were being taught how important it is to be respectful of the wildlife around them. The pics they took were awesome as well, and totally worth the $30 not to have to worry about a waterproof camera case, etc.

All around an AMAZING experience! I would do it again in a heartbeat. My kids (9, 11, 13) and husband (39) all loved it.
Written 23 June 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Tim B
1 contribution
Apr 2022 • Couples
We went on the trip in the spring which is not the main season, however, it didn‘t take us long to find a spot where we could swim with 6 manatees. We were able to float right next to those gentle giants which was fascinating.
The trip was amazing, everybody who is close to Crystal Springs should find some spare time to do this.

Our tour guide Marissa and our captain Irish Dave did a great job entertaining but also teaching us a lot of things about Manatees. It was a little windy a chilly on the boat that day but they took good care of us and offered coffee and hot chocolate.

Highly recommend!
Written 24 April 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Hannah M
9 contributions
Dec 2021
I went on the semi-private first available morning tour and it was the best experience of my life! After a brief lesson on how to safely interact with manatees to keep them and ourselves safe we headed to the boats. Our guides found some manatees almost immediately and they were very curious and swam with us for an hour or more! The guide Liz and captain Pete were very knowledgeable and excited to be giving us this magical experience. I definitely recommend the early morning tour, we were the only ones out there at first and the semi-private tour I took meant only 4 other customers were on the boat with me. Plenty of time and privacy with the manatees! I will never forget the experience and I will definitely be back!
Written 19 December 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Savannah C
Louisville, KY2 contributions
Apr 2022
Captain Kelly and our Guide, Shana Banana were amazing and a great team! If you're looking for a good experience and not just a couple of nice pictures, I would recommend specifically requesting them. They got us so close to the manatees, but made sure we knew how to interact with them respectfully. They were very personable and knowledgeable, answering all of our questions. I really liked their ethos and obvious sense of personal responsibility toward the manatees. They were not afraid to advocate for the animals, which, if you are an animal person like me, is a major plus. Winter will obviously be the best time to see the sea cows, but they were determined and still found a momma and calf for us to hang out with in late April. Great tour for families, individuals, and everyone else.
Written 30 April 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Ben
Indiana2 contributions
Dec 2020
Our family of 5 (teenage aged) did the 8:15 tour on December 30th 2020. From the time we arrived and put on our wetsuits to swimming and getting back was all a top-notch experience!
I highly recommend Captain Wade and guide Trish...they took us to a spot just before the Three Sisters Springs where it was less crowded yet still plenty of manatees. We saw several mothers with calves and other manatees who were very friendly! I'm convinced Trish is a manatee whisperer! She was able to bring the manatees right in and allow us to get up close and personal with them. Both Wade and Trish worked together to tell us when manatees were coming in; they were a great duo! I credit Wade and Trish for our great experience!
An added bonus; the complimentary hot chocolate onboard afterwards was delicious! Just what we needed to warm back up! Trish also took plenty of pictures of the experience that were available to purchase afterwards. The longer you stay in the water, the more pictures of you and the manatees you are going to get! Our family were the first ones in and the last ones out, and therefore we were in most of the pictures.
Everyone in our family loved this experience; especially since I was initially the only one who wanted to go. I highly recommend for anyone who has ever wanted to do this, and even for those who are a little more weary of it! It was one of my favorite things I've ever done. Be sure to go with River Ventures!
One additional observation: if you have younger children, I don't recommend doing this unless they are capable of being very quiet and very still in the water. One of the younger ones in our group (a different family) did not enjoy this experience as much and accidentally frighted a manatee away at one point. Had we not seen as many manatees as we did, this could've been very disappointing.
Written 4 January 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Alison
Cheshire, UK3 contributions
Dave & Kelly made a fantastic team-professional friendly & with a genuine love of the area and all the wildlife. It was a choppy day in the bay so Kelly made sure we were in a small protected bay where we were lucky to find a Mother & her calf to swim with. The trip never felt rushed & we were under no pressure to buy photos although we did as they were reasonably priced as was the whole trip. 10/10 guys-a fantastic experience.
Written 14 May 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Lori H
1 contribution
What an amazing experience for our whole family! Grandma, Mom, Dad, and kids age 6 & 8 all were made to feel comfortable, safe, and included by all the staff but especially our guide Trish and captain Wade. They did a great job letting us know the laws and what to expect in the water. The hot cocoa was a fantastic surprise on our cool November visit and helped our kids warm up quickly so they could get back in the water. We loved seeing all the fish, turtles, crabs, some kind of ray, birds, and of course the manatees.
5 out 5, would do this tour again!
Written 4 November 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Mariam O
2 contributions
Jul 2021 • Family
We had a wonderful time during our 3-hour manatee swimming tour, despite the rain! Our guide was JJ and our captain was Peter and they were both wonderful the whole time. JJ was funny and informative during the pre-lesson and helpful while changing into gear. They were both sociable and cracked jokes to make the experience more enjoyable, and they both seemed very knowledgeable. JJ kept great track of our group while in the water and made sure we were all able to see the manatees and the best parts of them. He helped those who had trouble swimming correctly in the water. JJ also took great pictures so I would recommend the photo package! Overall a great experience, definitely worth the money, and we would go again if we had a chance!
Written 10 July 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Showing results 1-10 of 969
About the operator

Don’t take it from us – here’s what people have to say about this operator.

By: River Ventures
1harleym
1harleym
00
Amazing animal encounter
Did our tour in Mid-May and even though it was considered off-season we were able to see plenty of manatees. Our ca
VacaJack
VacaJack
00
Awesome! Bucket list!!
Sooooo much fun! We were prepared to not see any Manatees or have to look for a long time going in the off season
kimsB747YG
kimsB747YG
00
This is a top notch company, great experience!
What a great team all around! Captain "Miracle" Mike and our guide Shanna were incredible. We encountered a number
keithkW9240ND
keithkW9240ND
00
Fun Fun Fun‼️‼️
The Manatee ‼️We got to get up close to her and swim with her for a couple of hours. Liz and Liz made a great team.
john s
john s
00
A memorable experience in the springs
The staff were very friendly and gave detailed information about what to expect on the tour. The captain Max took u
aprilc616
aprilc616
00
Matt and Ryan ROCK
Ryan and Matt knew exactly where to find the manatees and taught us how to be respectful of these incredible, sweet
raphaelgabel
raphaelgabel
00
Fantastic and excellent Tour with Captain Mike and our Guide Ryan
Thanks to Captain Mike and our Guide Ryan for this breathtaking tour. We had such a good time swimming with the man
marcusagermo
marcusagermo
00
Fantastic experience!
Thanks for a awesome experience, Great memory for life. Especially thanks to guide Marissa and captain Shellie who
kristencocco
kristencocco
00
Highly recommend seeing the manatees with River Ventures!
What a fun and memorable experience! We (a couple in our 30s) came in early-May and knew that this was outside the
E3458NMmarikac
E3458NMmarikac
00
Perfect day of manatees
Today was magical on our swimming with manatee adventure with Shana and Shelly! They were so knowledgeable about th
383lloydf
383lloydf
00
Lifetime memories!
Our trip with River Ventures to swim with the Manatees will rank as one of the highlights of our trip and memories
F747RYmarionk
F747RYmarionk
00
River Ventures ,snorkel with the manatees
I've done it not the first time...but yesterday it was the best tour ever.....were with Captain Troy and Guide Dave
ForestFire4
ForestFire4
00
Just as nice as I hoped
The small group experience was awesome. The crew did a very good job finding and directing us to where we could fin
jamieb155
jamieb155
00
Amazing interactive animal encounter l
There are no words to express how amazing this manatee experience was! Captain JJ and Guide Courtney were incredibl
cynthiasF4442DH
cynthiasF4442DH
00
#1 Captain Troy and Sara are the BEST!!
This was one of our BEST experiences of our lifetime! Captain Troy and Sara exceeded our expectations. Captain Tro
Frequently Asked Questions about Crystal River Manatee Swim in Kings Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Crystal River Manatee Swim in Kings Bay National Wildlife Refuge price starts from £64.81. Discover and book Crystal River Manatee Swim in Kings Bay National Wildlife Refuge on Tripadvisor

Crystal River Manatee Swim in Kings Bay National Wildlife Refuge cancellation policy: For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience. Discover and book Crystal River Manatee Swim in Kings Bay National Wildlife Refuge on Tripadvisor

Crystal River Manatee Swim in Kings Bay National Wildlife Refuge is hosted by River Ventures. Read reviews, discover additonal experiences or contact River Ventures on Tripadvisor. Discover and book Crystal River Manatee Swim in Kings Bay National Wildlife Refuge on Tripadvisor