Crystal River Manatee Swim

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Tour Information

Tour Details


Encounter the endangered West Indian Manatee in Crystal Rivers 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 friendly, curious, slow moving gentle giants. All equipment, fees and beverages are included.


  • Close encounter with wildlife
  • Family friendly
  • See native wildlife in their natural environment
  • All necessary equipment included
  • Fully narrated tour
  • Travel by boat and see the sights from the water

Know More about this tour

Called Crystal River for a reason, you will have the chance to swim and snorkel in the warm spring fed waters where many West Indian Manatees call home. Located just 1.5 hours West of Orlando, you'll meet your guide who will take you into the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge which is known as the best locations for viewing and snorkeling with these friendly, curious and slow moving and gentle giants.

After checking in at the tour center you will watch a brief video about the manatees, go over the rules of swimming and how to interact in a manner that is fun for both you and the manatees. You are then fitted for a wetsuit to prepare you for your snorkeling adventure. Your guides will photograph the highlights of your entire manatee swim tour from start to finish, both above and below the water. Upon returning to the tour center, a high-resolution picture CD containing images from your manatee tour will be available for you to purchase if desired.

Please note: early morning departures are the best time to swim with the manatees. For a speedier check-in process, it is advised that you have your swimsuits on under your clothes. Please bring a towel and a plastic bag to hold your belongings.

Inclusions for Crystal River Manatee Swim

  • Use of equipment (mask, snorkel gear and wet suit)
  • Beverages (bottled water, coffee and hot chocolate)
  • Professional guide

Exclusions for Crystal River Manatee Swim

  • Gratuities (optional)
  • Food and beverages (unless otherwise specified)
  • Photo DVD (available to purchase)
  • Towel and swimsuit

Additional Info

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 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

Cancellation Policy
  • If you cancel within 3 calendar days (72 hours) of the scheduled departure time, the cancellation charge will be 100% of the undiscounted tour price.
  • If you cancel between 4 to 7 Calendar days before scheduled tour departure,the cancellation charge will be 50% of the undiscounted tour price.
  • If you cancel at least 8 calendar days in advance of the scheduled departure time, there is no cancellation fee. You will receive Full Refund for the paid amount.
  • Please note that in case of No show, the cancellation charge will be 100% of the listed tour fare.
  • Please note tours booked using discount coupon codes will be non refundable.

Write A Review

74 reviews by the users

  • We had a lot of fun and these guys are very well organized

  • This was a spectacular trip done very professionally. What a wonderful experience!

  • I can not recommend this tour.
    At first we were taken to a sleeping manatee, which we could observe.
    After that we came close to a mother animal with her calf.
    There, however, only the guide swam near to photograph it for a later photo CD.
    Just before I came back to the boat last, I saw another animal in the immediate vicinity.
    But I was pushed by the guide to return to the bottom immediately. The others were also not allowed back into the water.
    Then we were taken to the free snorkeling in a demarcated basin. There we were stopped to bathe a lot of our expensive paid time.
    In the end, we went by the boat along the river to get a turtle and a bird, Manatees was no longer a word.
    The whole excursion was more than disappointing, captain and guide did not even make any preparations to show us perhaps other manatees.
    Therefore also from my side no tip was given.
    On the basis was then offered by the guide made photos on CD or USB stick at the proud price of about 30 .
    The only one who saw a couple of manatees well was probably the guide.
    This tour was a pure rip off, the worst thing I experienced on our 3 week tour in Florida.

  • July is not the best time to look for manatees, but the experience of looking was good. The equipment was good, the staff was very good so everything River Ventures could control more than met our expectations. Our boat captain, Rhonda, did an excellent job, as did our guide. When Rhonda found out we were interested in more snokeling, she made a great recommendation. We did see manatees, but a recent algae bloom made visibility limited. Rhonda took us to Jurassic springs to swim and we even saw a manatee there.
    Good experience.

  • This tour was well organized, staff was very friendly, pleasant, informative. Good equipment, well maintained and clean. Staff worked hard to find us some manatees not too many of them around in the summer, and we had ample time to enjoy observing them. I plan to come back in the winter and use this same company to do this tour again.

  • This experience is amazing! It should be on everyone's bucket list. There were 8 of us from age 9-56 and was enjoyed be all. My son said this was the best part of the whole vacation even better than 'Harry Potter' at the theme park! Captain John and Hunter our guide was amazing!!!

  • We booked the 6:15 a.m. tour. It was an amazing experience from beginning to end. Everything was extremely organized from the moment we arrived. The staff where we geared up were super friendly, and our guides, Mike and Rhonda, were amazing! They got us out on/in the water quickly and long before the crowds came. I have to give a big thank you to Mike for being super patient with me - I had never wore snorkeling gear before and my claustrophobic self was kind of struggling ok, scratch that-there was no kind of-I WAS struggling! with getting used to the idea of wearing it in the water for the first few minutes. We were able to find a mom and baby manatee quite quickly and our small group was able to observe/interact with them for a long time. We then went to another area and saw 3 more manatees, plus we were able to view an underwater spring. We finished off the tour cruising to the other side of the river and were able to view some beautiful birds and their babies, as well as some turtles. It was obvious that both Mike and Rhonda have a great respect for these lovely creatures, and that this experience should be viewed as a privilege - it is not a theme-park type encounter I won't do those - you wait/observe and hope! that the manatees approach you - you don't pursue them. It is a definitely one for the bucket list! :

  • The Manatee swim with Wade and Emerson was great. The staff on land and on the water were so very nice, helpful and knowledgeable. I would definitely recommend them and will be returning for another swim in the cooler months. Due to the season we only saw three manatees a single and a mother and calf but everyone had plenty of time to view them, photograph them and passively interact with them. We also saw Dolphin and tarpon as well as other types of fish birds and aquatic life. The only reason I didnt give it 5 stars was because the water wasnt as clear as I hoped and the number of manatees was less than expected, but that was due to the season and not because the captain couldnt locate more. He drove us directly out to the area where he thought they might be and sure enough we were in the water with these awesome creatures within minutes. I also would have preferred a few less people on the boat, so next time I will do the 6 am trip where there will probably be less people onboard. This is no reflection on the tour facility or staff either but just a suggestion to consider when you plan your trip. Manatees are amazing creatures and the Crystal river Manatee swim was wonderful. cant wait to return.

  • Outstanding!! All the staff were welcoming, fun and helpful. Rob was an awesome tour guide with the manatees!!!!

  • Outstanding, attentive staff. Good instructions with concerns for the customers' good time and the safety of the manatees. My daughter and I had a great morning on the water...thanks

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USD 65.31