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

Small Group VIP Manatee Pontoon Tour

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COVID-19 update: See the added health and safety measures this experience is taking.Read more
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$102.78
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2 adults
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Travel safe during COVID-19
What you can expect during this experience
  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
Updated 06/21/20 Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.
Updated 06/21/20 Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.
Overview
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. 
Highlights
  • 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.
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Important Information
Departure Point
498 SE Kings Bay Dr, Crystal River, FL 34429, USA
Duration
4h
Return Details
Returns to original departure point
Inclusions
  • 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
Exclusions
  • Gratuities
  • Food and beverages (unless otherwise specified)
  • Photo DVD (available to purchase)
  • Towel and swimsuit
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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
  • Children Under 3 years old are not allowed on this tour. Please call for other options.
  • Most travelers can participate
  • Post COVID-19 Policy- We are mindful to thoroughly clean water vehicles between visitors.
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 6 travelers
Cancellation Policy
For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
298Reviews
8Q&A
Traveler rating
  • 285
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Popular mentions
John wrote a review Yesterday
Hellam, Pennsylvania2 contributions
This was an amazing attraction. We could not have had a better experience. Captain MIke and our guide JJ were great. They were very helpful and provided us with the chance to not only swim with these incredible animals but shared their knowledge of not only the animals but how
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Date of experience: October 2020
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BenoitDesign wrote a review Oct 22
10 contributions
LOVED IT!!!! My hubby and I honeymooned 10 years ago in Crystal River and swam with the manatees! so for our 10th Anniversary we wanted to do it again! We did not use the same company as 10 years ago. WOW! This trip was altogether better!! All the staff were knowledgeable,
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Date of experience: October 2020
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Colleen S wrote a review Oct 20
1 contribution
Our tour was with Mike and Shellie. They were great tour guides and very knowledgeable. We had a ton of fun and got to see manatees even though it’s not high season. Definitely recommended
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Date of experience: October 2020
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Tom W wrote a review Oct 17
2 contributions
What a great adventure! Matt and Emerson did a great job finding the manatees for us to snorkel with and they made sure our adventure was memorable! After getting out of the water, they even called back to the shop to have hot chocolate delivered to the boat since we were all
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Date of experience: October 2020
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Melanie Reaves wrote a review Oct 15
1 contribution
Heidi and Gavin were absolutely amazing! We enjoyed this trip so much! They showed up for us on a short term appointment and made the experience the most enjoyable of our trip! So open, and so full of fun and facts about the manatee and the environment around us. Thank you both
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Date of experience: October 2020
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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
Novatka79
00
Great Time with my Kids
Captain Mike & JJ were great during the tour. They were both determined to help us find manatees on our trip and th
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trinac_6791
00
Wonderful experience!
My husband went on a cruise with Mike and Shellie. They were both very friendly and informative! We got to see seve
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E474RMjenniferk
00
Ohio girls dream come true
The knowledge and education that was shared with guests!! Captains knew right where to take you!! I have been reluc
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teresanoeltran
00
Most incredible guides for a family experience.
This was the best experience we could have had in Florida! I went with my 8 year old son, and my aunt. Captain Wade
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randypS9518QN
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Family Fun Day 5hr Tour
We booked and went on the 5hr family fun day. My family consisted of my wife, our three kids ages of 12, 7 and 6,
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Rockek_1
00
Fantastic experience!
We had an awesome time. We were seeing manatee as soon as we left the dock. Once we got into the water we were seei
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AGaugler5
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Great Family Fun
Such a wonderful experience from start to finish! Captain Irish Dave and Emerson did an amazing job at locating man
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Holli1212
00
Amazing, Awesome!
We saw a mom and nursing baby, a group of three manatees playing around, and a few others throughout our adventure.
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JeffOHein
00
Swimmimg with manatees
This was an absolute awesome experience with an outstanding boat captain, Wade, and tour/water guide, Ross. They we
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T3734WFtomm
00
Heidi and Mike you guys Rock
Heidi and Mike did a fantastic job. She is so good at getting close to the manatees and teaching us along the way.
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aboveandbeyondsr
00
Awesome Experience!!
We came across Manatees within 5 minutes of leaving the dock. Crystal and John got us right in the water and swimmi
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Steve P
00
Awesome Adventure
Loved our tour with Trish and Wade. Trish is super knowledgeable about Manatees and Wade did a great job as Capt g
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srspkreps
00
Awesome experience!!!
I was worried about going in October thinking there wouldn’t be a lot of manatee. I took my daughter for her 20th b
Read more
cindymM3439ON
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Had such a blast that we will be back next winter!
We had such a great time! Captain Mike and guide Heidi were super awesome! I just loved Heidi’s bubbly personality.
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DonicaCas
00
Family Fun Day Package
We did the “Family fun day” 5 hour tour in Crystal River with Captain Irish Dave and our guide Matt. I can not expr
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
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Frequently Asked Questions about Small Group VIP Manatee Pontoon Tour