Tours and Tickets

Deluxe Manatee Swim Tour provided by Crystal River Watersports

Deluxe Manatee Swim Tour
5
Book in advance
from
R 1 375,70
per adult
Reserve now & pay later: Save your spot free of charge with flexible booking.
Recommended by 99% of travellers
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
Duration:
150–180 minutes
Taking Covid-19 safety measures
Group size:
24
Wheelchair accessible
Ticket type:
Mobile
Free cancellation
About
Know before you go
  • Duration: 150-180 minutes
  • 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
What to expect
Know before you go
  • Duration: 150-180 minutes
  • 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.
What to expect
Need help booking?
Call the number below and use the product code: 43175P4
Important information
Inclusions
  • Local taxes
  • Bottled water
  • Driver/guide
  • Live commentary on board
  • Local guide
  • Tour escort/host
  • Use of Snorkelling equipment
Exclusions
  • Gratuities
  • Souvenir photos (available to purchase)
Duration
150–180 minutes
Departure details
  • 3940 N Tallahassee Rd, Crystal River, FL 34428, USA Guests should drive to the Marina which is located one street directly BEHIND the Days Inn. (Not the Gift Shop which is located next to the Days Inn.) The Marina is a pink and yellow building with a gravel parking lot on Tallahassee Rd.
Additional information
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Please arrive 30 minutes prior to tour!
  • Wear bathing suits for your arrival
  • Bring Towels & Sunscreen.
  • Bring clothes to put on once done swimming that may get wet, but will keep you comfortable for the return boat ride.
  • Most travellers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 24 travellers
Inclusions
  • Local taxes
  • Bottled water
  • Driver/guide
  • Live commentary on board
  • Local guide
  • Tour escort/host
  • Use of Snorkelling equipment
Exclusions
  • Gratuities
  • Souvenir photos (available to purchase)
Departure details
  • 3940 N Tallahassee Rd, Crystal River, FL 34428, USA Guests should drive to the Marina which is located one street directly BEHIND the Days Inn. (Not the Gift Shop which is located next to the Days Inn.) The Marina is a pink and yellow building with a gravel parking lot on Tallahassee Rd.
Duration
150–180 minutes
Return details
  • Returns to original departure point
Additional information
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Please arrive 30 minutes prior to tour!
  • Wear bathing suits for your arrival
  • Bring Towels & Sunscreen.
  • Bring clothes to put on once done swimming that may get wet, but will keep you comfortable for the return boat ride.
  • Most travellers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 24 travellers
Travel safe during COVID-19
Last updated: 13 Apr 2021
A note from Deluxe Manatee Swim Tour
While we have always maintained a sanitary work environment, we have increased our cleaning efforts to comply with DAN recommendations fully. Divers Alert Network (DAN) – https://www.diversalertnetwork.org/news/dan-encourages-divers-and-dive-operators-to-properly-disinfect-dive-gear
What you can expect during your visit
  • Gear/equipment sanitised between use
What you can expect during your visit
  • Gear/equipment sanitised between use
Itinerary
  • You'll start at
    3940 N Tallahassee Rd
    3940 N Tallahassee Rd, Crystal River, FL 34428, USA
    Guests should drive to the Marina which is located one street directly BEHIND the Days Inn. (Not the Gift Shop which is located next to the Days Inn.) The Marina is a pink and yellow building with a gravel parking lot on Tallahassee Rd.
    See address & details
  • 1
    Crystal River Watersports
    Stop: 30 minutes
    The address is our marina/dive shop and here you will get ready for your boat tour and manatee swim.
    Read more
  • You'll return to the starting point
+
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

5.0
171 reviews
Excellent
162
Very good
8
Average
0
Poor
1
Terrible
0

Krista965
Fredericksburg, VA57 contributions
We spent two days with the folks at Crystal River Watersports and loved every minute!
On 3/14, John was our dive guide to explore Blue Grotto and Devils Den Springs about an hour north. He was very patient as he helped me correct bouyancy issues and then lead us through both springs. We had a Virgil the turtle sighting at Blue Grotto and were swarmed by Brim who ate the turtle food purchased when checking in. We tested our nerve at Devils Den, where John gave us flashlights in order to follow him through the dark and seemingly tiny crevices as we wound up and down through the cave. I would not have attempted this without a guide!
On 3/15, we took the early boat with Captain Jim and Adrienne to snorkel with the manatees near the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge. We were told this is the only place in the US that you are permitted to swim with manatees. We were taught to dog paddle with our arms and not to kick our feet, and when encountering the manatees to “be a starfish” and stay still without initiating contact. The weather had been cold so it was the perfect time to see many of these huge mammals, including moms with babies, in the warmer springs. Although we were not permitted to disturb these beautiful creatures, some were playful and came right up to us. One adult bumped my mask with its nose then rolled over under my arm as if to say, “Please rub my belly!” Many were quietly resting or feeding but several were quite active, swimming back to us and bumping or lifting us repeatedly. They seemed to want to play with us. One followed us back to the boat as if it did not want us to go. Such an awesome time! Adrienne got some great pics too! Thank you to everyone at Crystal River Watersports for these great experiences!
Written 20 March 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Donald C
3 contributions
Saw and swam with many Manatees in the Crystal River/King's Bay. Watersports furnished us with wet suits, mask and snorkle. Preparation included viewing a video of proper etiquette around the Manatees. Captain Vince and "In Water" Person, Wendy guided our booat, the Spring Breeze, to an aggregation of Manatees where we anchored and entered the water. Manatees swam all around and underneath us. Thrilling. Wendy snapped lots of photos that were available for purchase following the tour for a very reasonable price. Watersports has a gift shop for souvenirs. Wendy and Vince continually informed the group about the area and the Manatees. Recommend this tour to everyone.
Written 4 April 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you so much for the amazing review and for choosing us at Crystal River Watersports for your tour. Vince and Wendy are fantastic and we are so happy you enjoyed your time with them. The manatees are always a delight, so calm, peaceful and charming. Wendy describes them as 1500 pound butterflies and that fits. For such huge mammals they are incredibly graceful and gentle. We appreciate you choosing our shop and for taking the time to write as a review- thank you.
Written 30 April 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Socal45
Portland, OR79 contributions
We came at the tail end of the season (and it was hot!) so didn’t get the big crowds of manatees, but we had a fantastic time and got to see and swim with a mom/baby and another couple manatees in multiple locations. We did a private boat, which I highly recommend because it seems like a great deal - and Jim and Dakota were able to take us to some out of the way spots (away from the very large touristy boatloads of folks!). I think everyone was jealous because the boats that went by us kept asking Jim where to find the manatees (clearly, he and Dakota were the experts!) Wonderful experience, and the boat ride itself was gorgeous and let us see a whole different part of Florida. Our guides pointed out bald eagles, osprey nests with babies, turtles, and we swam at the spring with some very large fish too! Thanks for a great day.
Written 29 March 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Cathlene T
4 contributions
We had Coda and Corey as our guides. We could not have been happier with this early morning experience. Both guides were incredibly fun and knowledgable. Coda was fantastic at taking pictures of us in the water with the manatees. I highly recommend this tour - it is truly a spiritual experience to swim with the manatees. Such beautiful and gentle creatures. Will definitely do it again in life!
Written 27 April 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Joshua B
1 contribution
This place was easy to find with the instructions within the app. We showed up and signed the waivers and then they got us into our wetsuits. I suggest you wear your bathing suit only under the wet suit depending on the temperature one the day/water. Bring a towel and maybe some dry clothes for when you get out of the water or get back to the gift shop. Bring some cash for tips. They have cash app and Venmo just in case you don’t have cash.

Everyone here is very nice and really really care about the manatees and it shows.

We watched a little video before we departed on what not to do if you encounter a manatee. Pay attention so you don’t hurt or scare the manatees.

We got on the boat as a group of 6 people. It was nice that they do small groups because it makes it more intimate and less hectic when you encounter a manatee. The boat ride was about 25 minutes to the viewing area. We found three manatees munching and crunching on the sea grass. We put our snorkels on and slowly got in the water to not disturb the sediment which decreases visibility. That’s one thing I would say is very important. Be mindful of swimming too hard or touching the bottom with your feet because it stirs up the bottom sediment which decreases visibility. The manatees will also stir up the sediment when they swim away if they are frightened.

It’s difficult not using your legs to swim. The video tells you to do a gentle breaststroke and not to really use your legs. This is again to not stir up the sediment.

It’s funny though that the manatees don’t make any noise so all of a sudden they will creep up on you or be underneath you and you just have to freeze so you don’t hit them. They tell you to freeze and just float until they move away from you. Sometimes they’ll come hug you or munch on you. Don’t worry, they are so kind and gentle and there prehensile mouth parts don’t have any teeth so you can’t get injured.

This experience was soooo cool. It was kind of nice to be with the three lady ‘tees with no one else around. I think we were in the water for about an hour which was more than enough time. Then we headed back to the visitor center. We bought our photos and some souvenirs and headed out. It was really nice to share this experience with my sister since you LOVES manatees. Actually I love them too.
Written 1 April 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Parks9
Birmingham, UK127 contributions
We booked on the 11am tour, which we were told on the boat is not always the best time for manatees, they also said that many manatees were out at sea. The 7am group had been out for 3 hours and seen only one manatee. So on our trip to the manatee area I was not expecting to have a good time. But our Captain and guide worked well together, the Captain phoned other boats to find the best sites to go to for a chance to swim with the manatees. We swam with 5 in total. We were given plenty of info. Once we had seen the manatees we were taken to a fresh spring hole where the manatees go in the winter, here we swam in really clear water with many fish. All in all a great trip.
Written 20 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Hi, Thank you so much for your wonderful review! We are so happy that you had a enjoyable time on your tour. Although it is rare that we don't see any manatees, we can never guarantee exactly how many we will see and where they will be in Kings Bay. As they are wild animals each tour will different, which is part of the fun. Our guides work hard to learn about not only manatees but also the environment, birds, the local history and other information that our guest may find interesting and amusing. Thank you so much for taking the time to write a review for us.
Written 5 March 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Molly A
8 contributions
The deluxe manatee tour was well worth getting up early! Not only are there fewer people early morning, but the wildlife is active. We saw dolphins, numerous birds, and more manatees than I could count. Captain Jim and guide swimmer Dakota were excellent guides teaching us about the area and wildlife with some humor, prioritizing the safety and security of the manatees, and also providing numerous encounters. They were refreshingly respectful of the manatees in that encounters were on the manatees' terms. You will find many of the manatees are not shy and will come play if you are calm. Keep in mind the boat ride can be chilly to and from the springs in the winter but the water is a lovely 72 degrees when you swim. Bring a towel and a jacket you can wear over your wet swimsuit. I brought a waterproof case for my phone but found that Dakota took way better photos than I could while maneuvering around, and it is worth paying for the photos from them so you can just enjoy your time with the manatees.
Written 18 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Hi Molly, Thank you so much for the wonderful review! We are so happy that you enjoyed your tour. There is always something beautiful and interesting to see on our tour, and it changes every day. Our early morning (7 am) tour is always great because as you mentioned the area's wildlife is most active at that time. While our guests are always welcome to bring their own cameras on the tours, our guides do take pictures that our guests can review, and purchase if they decide they like them. That allows our guests to simply enjoy the experience. The pictures are $30+ tax and come on a manatee shaped thumb drive. Thank you for choosing Crystal River Watersports for your tour!
Written 30 January 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Sandra M
Washington DC, DC9 contributions
Couples
We did the deluxe manatee tour with Captain Jim and Guide Dakota. It was wonderful! They were knowledgeable about the river, wildlife and goings on of the local area, and we enjoyed learning from them. We had a great time being the only ones out on the water on a beautiful Sunday morning, and Jim and Dakota made the trip fun. When we found a manatee, Dakota helped us get close without putting pressure on the animal and let us know when it was time to swim away to give it space. They emphasized the well-being of the manatees throughout the trip, which we really appreciated. Dakota also took great underwater pictures. Thanks Crystal Watersports, Jim and Dakota!
Written 3 October 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

AKJ
1 contribution
Captain Jim and Dakota were great hosts. They were very knowledgable about the area and the wildlife. They provided us a great, up close experience while also being caring and respectful of the manatees and their wellbeing. The manatees touched at least two people in our group, so we were really right there next to them.
Dakota also took pictures of the outing! They put them on a little manatee USB drive that we got to take home with us; it also included some of the "best of" photos from past trips. The cheesy jokes and buddy-humor between Jim and Dakota also made for a lighthearted and enjoyable time. Relaxing, fun, safe, comfortable, beautiful.
Have already recommended these guys to family members who want to come for a visit. Thanks guys!
Written 24 June 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you very much for the very kind review, and for the recommendations! That is the absolute best praise that we receive when we have friends, family members and repeat guests! We will pass along your wonderful comments to both Dakota and Jim ! Dakota loves knowing his cheese/Dad jokes are appreciated. Your party must have been very quiet and calm in the water. The manatees that are curious aren't shy, but it takes a patient, quiet person to get them to be comfortable enough to come up and make friends. When they do, it is a magical experience. We truly appreciate you taking the time to write a review for us.
Written 9 November 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Kimberly D
St. Petersburg, FL5 contributions
Leah and Capt. Cody were a great pair. Leah had so much knowledge of the area culture & wildlife, not just the manatees. Even though the Gulf was warm and manatees were leaving the area early, we managed to find several eating & mating in the shallows. Visibility was poor but there were so many hanging out at the surface, the incredible show made up for getting up close. There were even some gators in the water. We found some in a second area where the visibility was good so one could have both experiences. I'd highly recommend Leah and will use this company when I do this again in the future. We were lucky & had a warm day but if air temperature is cold it helps to bring extra warm clothes and hot drinks.
Written 4 March 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Showing results 1-10 of 166
About the operator

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

By: Crystal River Watersports
zenspiral
zenspiral
00
July Scalloping
I choose a private scalloping tour with my two grandsons (ages 20 and 13). Our crew were Robert and Alyssa. We coul
JoeyM1657
JoeyM1657
00
If we could give them a 10+, we would!!
We rented dive equipment, and they went out of their way to help us after an accident that left equipment in the bo
samis483
samis483
00
Wonderful first time scallop trip
Vince and Anthony were our Captain and guide. Very knowledgeable about the area, kept a close eye on other boaters
mnepi63
mnepi63
00
CR Waterspouts stupendous offerings and well-run business
High kudos to Crystal River Watersports Owner-Operator Mike Engiles, Tour Planner Susan, Divemaster and Guide Adrie
shaunam870
shaunam870
00
Very enjoyable trip!
Slow Jim and Leah were excellent. We saw lots of manatees from the boat and while in the water. The manatees would
andyhR928BH
andyhR928BH
00
Best trip EVER!
Leah & Cody guided us directly to the Manatees , taught us what to and not to do, and experience next level, never
Shortstuff7595
Shortstuff7595
00
Swimming with a Manatee
Was the best experience of my life. I would highly recommend. Captain Jim and Dakota we’re the best!! I will be com
sarahsM7652ER
sarahsM7652ER
00
The best manatee tour!
We had an amazing experience with Mike, Cody, and Alyssa! It was amazing to observe manatees in their natural habit
mrsbaity
mrsbaity
00
Upsetting Encounter with This Company
We booked our tour with Family Adventure Charters. One of the guides of Crystal River Watersports broke etiquette a
AmandaJH113
AmandaJH113
00
Excellent diving and friendly staff!
We did the manatee snorkel, Rainbow River Drift Dive, Blue Grotto, and Devil’s Den. Loved it!!! These were my first
Stesh2017
Stesh2017
00
Very Unique and Unforgettable Experience!
My husband and I chose to book a private scallop tour as well as a manatee tour. We arrived at 9am, watched a safet
L7508LCdorisb
L7508LCdorisb
00
Swimming with the manatees
Amazing. Jim and Heather were the best. Very knowledgeable and easy going, keeping our safety as a priority.
jays103
jays103
00
Dakota is the best.
Dakota was so good to us. He found a lot of scallops for us and was helpful in cleaning them. I am not that good
JJD99
JJD99
00
Memory maker
The Manatee and Rainbow River tour was awesome. The entire team was welcoming and helpful. Heather and Captain John
allycamp
allycamp
00
A great time diving with Crystal River Watersports!
I had a great time with Crystal River Watersports. I went on a Sunday as a solo snorkeler/diver. They helped me set
Frequently Asked Questions about Deluxe Manatee Swim Tour

Deluxe Manatee Swim Tour price starts from R 1 338,50. Discover and book Deluxe Manatee Swim Tour on Tripadvisor

Deluxe Manatee Swim Tour cancellation policy: For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience. Discover and book Deluxe Manatee Swim Tour on Tripadvisor

Deluxe Manatee Swim Tour is hosted by Crystal River Watersports. Read reviews, discover additonal experiences or contact Crystal River Watersports on Tripadvisor. Discover and book Deluxe Manatee Swim Tour on Tripadvisor

On average, this experience will take approximately 2h 30m. Discover and book Deluxe Manatee Swim Tour on Tripadvisor