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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
6:45am Departure
6:45am Departure: 4 hour tour
From US$94.00
10:45am Departure
10:45am 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.

Write a ReviewReviews (61)

1 - 5 of 52 reviews

Reviewed 6 days ago via mobile
Don't even consider another company for private tour.

Our captain, john, and in water guide, Jodi, were the very best. Spend the extra and go for a private or semi-private tour. You get manatees to yourself until you are content. We also got a private tour of the bay area, which was a...More

Thank NMMountainGal
RiverVentures, Manager at River Ventures Manatee Tour Center, responded to this reviewResponded 5 days ago

Thank you so much for taking the time to inform the world about your adventure!! Having customer feedback like this makes it so much easier for first time visitors to book with confidence!! If you had an awesome adventure, chances are we will make their...More

Reviewed 1 week ago
Great Experience!

My wife and I were staying in Ft. Lauderdale and made the 4+ hour trip to Crystal River very early in the morning. We signed up for the VIP package and were not disappointed. The crew (J.D. was our guide) was tremendous! Even though we...More

Thank michaelg999969
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile
Great Manatee Swim

Captain John and the swimming guide Tom were excellent. They got us into a group of Manatees and we swam with and touched them so very closely. We were inches away when they floated up to breathe. We were instructed how not to alert the...More

Thank BoerneBob
Reviewed 15 April 2018 via mobile
Highly recommend - hugely enjoyed

This was an absolute highlight of our trip. A brilliant morning and a wonderful experience. Well organised, a great team who absolutely know what they are doing and go out of their way to ensure you have an amazing manatee experience.

2  Thank MrsVie
Reviewed 15 April 2018
Fun for the whole family

We booked this VIP manatee tour for the first day of our vacation so we'd have the best chance of seeing a manatee on this trip. Although we knew that early April was not the best time to go, as most manatees have left for...More

1  Thank Debra C
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.
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