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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 (74)
1 - 5 of 66 reviews
Reviewed yesterday via mobile
Amazing tour

We went on this tour on Nov 12 2018 and I have to say it was very educational and fun. Captain John Stark and Phil were great and we got to see a couple of manatees, this was one of the best experience of our...More

Thank 661amayae
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile
Unglaublicher Vormittag!

We had the most amazing time at the Manatee tour today! Unfortunately our first booked kayaktour got canceled because there weren’t enough participants, but we got a free upgrade to the VIP tour which was even better. Our guide Heidi and Captain John S. were...More

Thank Florian M
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile
Wow! Manatees!

We were so looking forward to this excursion. Tanner was at the helm and Heidi was our guide. Due to some inclement weather rolling in, the manatees were a bit difficult to spot, but Tanner was able to find a few for us and the...More

Thank 883erinc
Reviewed 1 week ago
Didn't think it could get any better!

My daughter and I agree that we will be booking tours with River Ventures every time we come to Florida! This was our second tour with River Ventures and it was better than the first - which was pretty awesome! Captain Tanner and our guide,...More

Thank Theresa L
RiverVentures, Manager at River Ventures Manatee Tour Center, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

What awesome compliments!! We can not thank you enough! Tom and Tanner are devoted to our visitors' experience....even if it means entertaining a young child! And it sounds like the perfect tour.....not many people get to visit both King and three sisters during one adventure;...More

Reviewed 5 October 2018
manatee visit

We had an amazing day swimming with the manatees and swimming in the crystal clear springs. We had the vip trip with John.S and Tom. They were so friendly and informative. A great experience.

Thank Bigjoneill
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Questions & Answers
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Jodie M
5 April 2018|
AnswerShow all 2 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.