Tours and Tickets

Small Group VIP Manatee Pontoon Tour provided by River Ventures Manatee Tour Center

Small Group VIP Manatee Pontoon Tour

Likely To Sell Out
Select Date and Travellers
2 adults
Free Cancellation up to 24 hours in advance
Low Price Guarantee
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. 
  • 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 
  • A small group ensures personalized attention
What to Expect
Make your own way to a designated meeting point,  where your Coast Guard Certified Master Captain will share the 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.
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 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
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • Most travellers can participate
  • Children Under 3 years old are not allowed on this tour. Please call for other options.
  • 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 6 travellers
Cancellation Policy
For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
Traveller rating
  • 251
  • 2
  • 2
  • 0
  • 0
Traveller type
Time of year
Popular mentions
freelancer156 wrote a review Mar 2020
5 contributions
Although my wife and I are widely travelled nature lovers, this tour was an absolute highlight for us. We enjoyed it very much and can only recommend it without reservation.
Read more
Date of experience: March 2020
tnewtona wrote a review Mar 2020
Graytown, Ohio1 contribution
Caption Wade and Trish are phenomenal♥️ We headed out early and found a mother and calf early on while we enjoyed the morning silence in the fog. Got to experience dolphins swim right past us to feed and watch a bald eagle pick up a fish! From orientation, to wetsuit
Read more
Date of experience: March 2020
Jeri D wrote a review Mar 2020
1 contribution
Dave and Shellie were our Captain and guide. They were knowledgeable, friendly and very enjoyable. They both told us a lot about the area and the manatees. We got to see about five manatees as it was warm and a lot of them had moved on. It was great seeing them and interacting
Read more
Date of experience: March 2020
Michael M wrote a review Mar 2020
4 contributions
Troy and JJ were awesome! Within 10 minutes we were in the water with a mother and calf. They educated about the manatees and the area. We snorkled in natural springs with crystal clear water. Our expectations were definitely exceeded! Thanks to Troy for excellent navigation and
Read more
Date of experience: March 2020
Cathy Z wrote a review Mar 2020
1 contribution
My daughter and I had an amazing adventure with Troy and Heidi. They provided a wonderful educational outlook on the manatees, fish and birds as well as general information about the area. They both did an amazing job to get us right to where the manatees were while being very
Read more
Date of experience: March 2020
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
Mermaids and Manatees Pontoon Tour
We did the Mermaids to Manatees pontoon tour and they did not disappoint!!!! Gloria was friendly and kind helping
Read more
Loved this!
We absolutely loved this and highly recommend River Ventures . My husband can't swim but loved chilling out on the
Read more
Snorkeling with Manatees!
Drove 2 hours from Clearwater and our Manatee tour did not disappoint! We found manatees early into the trip and mu
Read more
Manatee encounter
We were late in the season but fortunate enough to encounter a couple of manatees. Captain John and our guide Sky
Read more
Manatee swim
Not many manatees around due to warm water but we did find a few. It was fun and a noteworthy experience.
Read more
Great Day
We had a wonderful boat ride and Manatee Tour. As warm as it has been we did see 2 of them. Our captain Jodi Spauld
Read more
Manatee swim private tour with 8
An absolute must do! Captain Wade and Trisha were fabulous, knowledgeable guides. They prepared and helped us get c
Read more
Semi-private manatee tour
This experience was amazing. Capt Mike and our guide Taela were very friendly and professional. Mike was great at s
Read more
Awesome encounter!
Such a privilege to be a visitor in the manatee home! They are amazing creatures! Rhonda and Chip were super! They
Read more
I had such a great time here swimming with the manatees. Emmet and Laura were absolutely lovely and knew exactly wh
Read more
Manatees Galore
A friend and I decided to take this tour for a couple of reasons. One, I still live in the NE and had never seen a
Read more
Best trip
Captain Wade and Guide Trish were the best! They worked hard to find the best places for us and were very patient w
Read more
Amazing Manatee Adventure for the whole family
This was an amazing experience with very knowledgeable and SUPER friendly staff! Wade & Trish were our guides and t
Read more
The best thing I’ve ever done!
We had Captain Wade and Trish and they were awesome!! They explained every little thing and made the experience jus
Read more
Great family experience
Knowing we went near the end of manatee migrating season, the captain ,Gavin, and the guide, Heidi, went out of the
Read more
Key Details
  • Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, River Ventures Manatee Tour Center, and 1 more
  • Duration: 4h
  • 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:+1 855 275 5071