Tours and Tickets

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

Reserve Now & Pay Later

Crystal River Manatee Swim in Kings Bay National Wildlife Refuge

COVID-19 update: See the added health and safety measures this experience is taking.Read more
View all photos (502)
Select Date and Travellers
2 adults
Reserve Now & Pay Later
Low Price Guarantee
Travel safe during COVID-19
What you can expect during this experience
  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
  • Hand sanitizer available to travellers and staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
Updated 21/06/20 Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.
Updated 21/06/20 Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.
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.
  • Chance to swim with the manatees under the direct supervision of a guide
  • 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.
Show More
Important Information
Departure Point
498 SE Kings Bay Dr, Crystal River, FL 34429, USA
Return Details
Returns to original departure point
  • 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
  • Gratuities
  • Food and beverages (unless otherwise specified)
  • Photo DVD (available to purchase)
  • Towel and swimsuit
Show More
Additional Info
  • 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 tour/activity will have a maximum of 10 travellers
Cancellation Policy
For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
Traveller rating
  • 590
  • 17
  • 4
  • 2
  • 3
Traveller type
Time of year
Popular mentions
Rachel B wrote a review 20 Sep
Scribner, Nebraska11 contributions1 helpful vote
Was amazing! Wade and Derek were great guides. We saw 3 manatees... swam with mommy and baby. Great experience with my kids that we will never forget. I had my 12, 14 and 22 year old with me. We all fell in love with the Manatees! Highly recommend River Ventures.
Read more
Date of experience: September 2020
Hungler wrote a review 19 Sep
Cincinnati, Ohio1 contribution
I decided to celebrate my 21st birthday by swimming with the manatees at River Ventures. I cannot say enough good things about my experience. The staff was so kind and everyone wished me a happy birthday. They went so far above and beyond to make sure my day was special. Our
Read more
Mariana D wrote a review 17 Sep
1 contribution
what a great experience! Wane and Trish were super quick to identify the manatees on the water. The entire experience was pleasurable, we had great conversations with the staff, and river ventures was efficiently organized in regards to our trip. Also, if you can, request Wane
Read more
Date of experience: September 2020
Ruth B wrote a review 2 Sep
3 contributions1 helpful vote
Being booped by a baby manatee was something that I didn't even know was on my bucketlist until it happened! Captain Wade and guide Trish were phenomenal. They knew the right places to go, were knowledgable, and I really appreciated that they educated us on manatees and how to
Read more
Date of experience: September 2020
mili0204 wrote a review Aug 2020
Key West, Florida22 contributions9 helpful votes
So i will be really honest in this review bc its not all the pictures you see. Our crew was 5 star crew. Matt and Emerson were absolutely amazing and they really tried their best so we can find some manatee. But the problem is that is a summer, and for them its not a season to
Read more
Response from RiverVentures, Manager at Crystal River Manatee Swim in Kings Bay National Wildlife Refuge
Responded 2 weeks ago
Thank you so much for leaving this feedback, and we think it brings up a couple points we should discuss!! First off, summer season is NOT manatee time.....and it's complicated by the crowds of humans that are looking for them, many unguided and uninformed. Since Covid-19, there are more people hitting the water in Crystal River with no information on the rules or proper behavior than EVER IN HISTORY! This is why we implore and encourage our visitors to come so early in the morning. It helps us avoid crowds and seeing sights like this...also we almost always find a few animals quickly at dawn. It's also the reason that we RARELY run tours in the afternoon, and we rent very few paddle craft, we have also decreased the size of groups, lowering capacity across the board....which makes it better for our customers and the animals. We are sorry our efforts were overshadowed by the amount of people on the water...but it's also important that you helped others understand what to expect!! Thank you for this review, and we hope in the future you will return on a cold morning, at dawn....and then you can see the real beauty of what we do!!
Read more
About the operator

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

By: River Ventures Manatee Tour Center
Captain Gavin and Heidi are Awesome!!
Heidi and Captain Gavin made our tour so fun and engaging. We did the 7:15am tour and it was a quiet morning on the
Read more
My wife and I went on a scalloping trip, right at the end of the season on Sept. 19th. We were greeted by a very fr
Read more
Amazing experience!
We were blessed to have Captain Wade and Derek for our guides! We found a Mama and calf and had one of the greatest
Read more
Cindy T
Birthday Kiss From a Baby Manatee
Decided to swim with manatees for my 40th birthday and it was wonderful! Heidi was our guide and she was wonderful
Read more
Social Distance Family Manatee Excursion
River Ventures was great to work with. I emailed them with questions regarding what are group was seeking. We are f
Read more
Swim with manatees
Trisha and Wade were phenomenal guides!Saw multiple manatees in clear water. Safe, knowledgeable and enthusiastic c
Read more
Captain Troy and Marika were absolutely AMAZING! The early morning tour is the BEST choice. Captain Troy could ide
Read more
Scalloping with Captain Troy
Went out for a scalloping charter today with Captain Troy- he made our trip amazing from start to finish, he is top
Read more
Excellent morning
We loved the tour and saw many manatees this morning. Go early and book in advance. Captain Ross and Captain Jon we
Read more
Scalloping tour
From the moment we checked in the service was above and beyond. Once out on the boat Captain Mike and his guide JJ
Read more
WOW!!! WOW!! JUST WOW!! This is my new favorite place in the world. I have never had an experience quite like this
Read more
An experience to remember
Captain Emerson and Matt found us a small group of Manatees to float with up close. They answered all the questions
Read more
The absolute best Adventure my family and I have been on together! Captain Wade and Trish were fantastic ... enthus
Read more
VIP Manatee Tour
What a wonderful experience! Though August is not the ideal time of year to see manatee, we did! From the initial p
Read more
Great Experience!
My husband and I did the 6 hour manatee snorkel and scallop hunt adventure on 8/18/2020 and had an amazing time! Ca
Read more
Key Details
  • Duration: 3h
  • Mobile Ticket Accepted
  • Free Cancellation up to 24 hours in advance
  • Instant Confirmation
  • Languages Offered: English
Why Book on Tripadvisor?
  • Reserve Now & Pay Later
  • Free Cancellation up to 24 hours in advance
  • Low Price Guarantee
  • No Booking Fees
  • Secure Payments
  • 24/7 SupportCall:+44 12 2492 8241
Frequently Asked Questions about Crystal River Manatee Swim in Kings Bay National Wildlife Refuge