Tours and Tickets
Private Manatee Snorkeling Tour
5
LIKELY TO SELL OUT*

Private Manatee Snorkeling Tour

By Gulf Coast Expeditions
Recommended by 100% of travelers
100% of reviewers gave this product a bubble rating of 4 or higher.
About

Ages 0-99
Duration: 3h
Start time: Check availability
Mobile ticket
Live guide: English
More


  • Snacks
  • Use of Snorkelling equipment
  • Private tour
  • Professional guide
  • Bottled water
  • Coffee and/or Tea
  • Photo Package
What's not included
  • Gratuities


Start:
  • 406 NE 1st St, Crystal River, FL 34429, USA
    Gulf Coast Expeditions
End:This activity ends back at the meeting point.

    • Not wheelchair accessible
    • Service animals allowed
    If you have questions about accessibility, we’d be happy to help. Just call the number below and reference the product code: 44460P2

    • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
    • Most travelers can participate
    • Children must be accompanied by an adult
    • 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 is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate

    • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

    How much is Private Manatee Snorkeling Tour?
    Private Manatee Snorkeling Tour price starts from $525.00. Discover and book Private Manatee Snorkeling Tour on Tripadvisor
    What is the Private Manatee Snorkeling Tour cancellation policy?
    Private Manatee Snorkeling Tour cancellation policy: For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience. Discover and book Private Manatee Snorkeling Tour on Tripadvisor
    Which company provides Private Manatee Snorkeling Tour?
    Private Manatee Snorkeling Tour is hosted by Gulf Coast Expeditions. Read reviews, discover additonal experiences or contact Gulf Coast Expeditions on Tripadvisor. Discover and book Private Manatee Snorkeling Tour on Tripadvisor
    How much time do I need for Private Manatee Snorkeling Tour?
    On average, this experience will take approximately 3h. Discover and book Private Manatee Snorkeling Tour on Tripadvisor

    If you have questions about this tour or need help making your booking, we’d be happy to help. Just call the number below and reference the product code: 44460P2

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    Itinerary
    • You'll start at
      406 NE 1st St
      406 NE 1st St, Crystal River, FL 34429, USA
      Gulf Coast Expeditions
      See address & details
    • 1
      Crystal River
      Stop: 3 hours
      Upon arrival at the dive shop, guests will be fitted for wetsuits and asked to watch a brief video from US Fish and Wildlife outlining their encounter with the manatees. The captain and guide will then take the group to the boat and embark all passengers and give a short safety brief. Once underway, the guide will further explain how to interact with the manatees once in the water and fit the guests with their masks and snorkels. While transiting to the swim areas, the captain and guide will present information about the area wildlife and what guests can expect to see during your tour. They will also answer questions and take pictures along the way. The guide will stay with the group the entire time, ensuring that the guests get the most out of their experience, all while taking photos and videos of your adventure!
      Read more
    • You'll return to the starting point
    About the operator
    Don’t take it from us – here’s what people have to say about this operator:
    • Gulf Coast Expeditions
      1,122
      Crystal River, Florida
      Joined in April 2014
    • anniedelp
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Unbelievable adventure!
      Captain Ron, Lauren and Orion were fabulous! It was just two of us with them. They got us there a bit earlier than the crowds so we had some quiet time to explore. We saw several manatees; a couple of them kept swimming back and forth below us. They took great pictures for our bucket list memories! A must see with Gulf Coast Expeditions!
      Written February 27, 2024
    • 679reagans
      0 contributions
      3.0 of 5 bubbles
      not exactly what you anticipate
      Good overall. Not the best choice of sites to view. They chose one manatee against a bank for all seven people to view. Too much thrashing and crowding to view without disturbing the poor manatee.
      Written February 26, 2024
    • J8383JMjenniferh
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Swimming with Manatees
      We had the most incredible manatee snorkeling experience with Ron and Matt. It was the BEST!!! I highly recommend this company.
      Written February 25, 2024
    • Krista S
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      An experience of a lifetime/superb customer service
      Excellent experience! Highly recommend! Captain Ron was unable to take me on his charter last minute due to a low head count. He was very professional and called a fellow captain to help me out! I was able to still swim with the manatees on the same day and time as planned. THANK YOU! It was an experience of a lifetime!
      Written February 21, 2024
    • johnhK6005BB
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Swim with the manatees
      Our second excursion experience with Gulf Coast Expeditions and Ron and Lauren were Outstanding!! Knowledgeable and friendly, they provided us a memorable swim with the manatees, complete with photos for our family album. Thanks so much for a wonderful day!!
      Written February 21, 2024
    • Dybmose
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Great experience
      We went on the early morning trip, and we we saw alot of manatees. Our guide and captain helped us relax and ave a great experience. We hereby give our strongest recommendation to go with Gulf Coast Expeditions.
      Written February 12, 2024
    • P355NJmelissah
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Great experience
      Matt and Lauren did a great job❤️ everyone had a great time, such a neat experience being up close with these sweet creatures
      Written February 11, 2024
    • amandamS2948TR
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Manatee tour
      Captain Lauren and Matt were wonderful. They were very knowledgeable and informative on rules and regulations. We went early early morning so we saw many mantees. Having a small group was definitely a plus. Will definitely book with them in the future.
      Written February 6, 2024
    • D2763MFandrews
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Couldn't Have Picked a Better Group to go With
      Captain Ron gave us the trip of a lifetime! It was a real privilege to have such a knowledgeable and friendly tour guide with such a deep respect for the local environment- from the moment we set foot in the shop to the moment we left we were warmly welcomed with fresh coffee and hot chocolate, fast facts about the area and plenty of laughs to last you the week! Captain Ron and his team are exceptionally knowledgeable on manatee matters and clearly care a great deal about the humble sea cow- they even helped in giving us permanent memories by taking professional-quality photographs of our time in the water! I would give these guys a sixth star if I could, and will certainly be visiting again if I'm ever back in the area.
      Written February 5, 2024
    • B9947AXerich
      0 contributions
      1.0 of 5 bubbles
      BEWARE!!!
      TripAdviser screwed the pooch again. My first and last failure was experience. Never again. Everyone in Crystal River at the manatee places say your service sucks. That was my experience. Minus 1 star rating!!
      Written February 3, 2024
    • hunterhZ6368QD
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Great experience with friendly guides!
      Captain Lauren and Justin did a great job with our group. It felt like a very personal experience. They made the process of suiting up, traveling to the boat, cruising out to the springs, and getting in/out of the water all super easy. Justin also did a great job of guiding us in the water, and both shared interesting facts about the manatees. Captain Lauren warned us that the manatees may be hard to find that day because of changing water temperatures, but we ended up seeing dozens of them, including several who swam right up to us. It was a little cold that day, but they also provided great coats and hot chocolate for us to warm up once we got out of the water. Overall, it was a fantastic experience, and I'd highly recommend it!
      Written January 30, 2024
    • Q6667SZwandat
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Girlfriends and Manatees! What more could you ask for?
      We had a group of 4 girlfriends that went on this adventure! We had a BLAST! They captain and first mate were so much fun! The made SURE that we were able to find and swim with some manatees! We were even lucky enough to be able to see a Mother with her baby! After we had our fill of swimming with the manatees the Captain took us to a very cool spring and let us swim and play! We had an awesome experience and highly recommend!
      Written January 25, 2024
    • Sandandee
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Great day of manatees and dolphins.
      Captain Ron and his crew were very knowledgeable and hospitable. Everything went smooth from the time we arrived - we were fitted with wet suits then taken by van to the boat. Captain Ron answered all questions we asked and gave a brief history as we sailed to various spots. If there were no manatees in a sit, he would take us to another place. He stayed on the boat and his son, Connor, guided us to the manatees. He would tell us where to go to see manatees on the move. We saw quite a few manatees, many resting n the sanctuary, but also encountered a few on the move. In fact, I came face to face to one, which was really cool. In this trip, we also saw dolphins. All in all, it was a great day and I would recommend to anyone.
      Written December 31, 2023
    • CARTER001
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      A beautiful day in the paradise
      Derek was an exceptional Manatee guide, known for his deep understanding and passion for these gentle creatures. His extensive knowledge of the local ecosystem and his ability to locate Manatees in their natural habitat made him an invaluable resource for visitors. Derek's charismatic and sincere approach, along with his ability to communicate complex concepts in a relatable manner, made him a standout among guides. His commitment to environmental conservation and protecting the Manatees shone through in his interactions with guests, leaving a lasting impression on all those who had the pleasure of being guided by him. Derek's genuine enthusiasm and dedication to educating and promoting awareness of these magnificent animals truly set him apart as an exceptional Manatee guide. It was a great time I shall recommend to all family members.
      Written December 26, 2023
    • michelesoftballs
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Amazing! Bucket list
      Ron and Conner were amazing ! Highly recommend. Caption took his time and made sure all had close and personal encounters .
      Written December 23, 2023
    See all 1 review
    These reviews are the subjective opinions of Tripadvisor members and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

    Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

    Popular mentions

    5.0
    5.0 of 5 bubbles57 reviews
    Excellent
    56
    Very good
    1
    Average
    0
    Poor
    0
    Terrible
    0

    Cynthia H
    3 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Apr 2022 • Friends
    Captain Ed and Leah were great! They know the waters and the area. Weren’t in the boat for more than 8 min or so and were able to get in water with a mother and juvenile manatee. Mom left but the juvenile stayed for a long time and interacted with my sister and me! We floated and he/she approached and nudged us, and was so curious! Amazing experience! The we were able to swim and see another mom and younger manatee, watching the little one with his little flipper’s trying to keep up with mom as she went up for air and then back down again, so amazing and cute! The absolute best was being able to see, from a distance, as to not intrude on their space, a mom with a one week old manatee, so small and white, amazing! After swimming with quite a few manatees Leah took us up stream to experience the area where the fresh water springs that supply all the fresh water to the bay that are home to the manatees. Beautiful spot, crystal clear water, so beautiful to be in that spot! Captain Ed and Leah took great care of us and made sure we were safe and comfortable! Both my sister and I highly recommend Gulf Coast Expeditions, I’ve already given their name to several friends that are headed to Florida in the near future.
    Written April 30, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Andrea W
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Mar 2022 • Family
    There were only 3 of us on our private manatee snorkeling adventure, so Lauren was able to really give us special treatment. She was AMAZING to say the very least. She had such an enthusiastic personality and the baby manatee we saw absolutely adored her, so he stuck around and was VERY curious! She got amazing photos and a couple adorable videos. She had a great memory and remembered each of our names and was sure to call us over one by one, so we could all experience face to face moments with these precious creatures. We were there at the tail end of winter and knew we wouldn't see hundreds of manatees. Lauren told us, "you practice patience and we'll practice persistence" and boy did they! Captain Mike knew the area well and had eagle eyes to spot the floaty potatoes. He also gave a great lunch recommendation (Waterfront Social). I chose this company above the dozens of others in the area because they are small and veteran owned. No big corporate conglomerate shuttling 20-30 people out at a time here. Do yourself a favor, and book this adventure. You won't regret it!
    Written April 1, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Jodi M
    2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Jul 2021 • Family
    I don’t know if I can explain in just 100 words how amazing this experience was for our family. They’re just the best, easy going tour guides and what was so amazing is how they truly wanted to give us the best experience. Ron and Lauren really made this the most memorable experience. We felt like we were hanging out with friends and they let us savor every moment. I hope that this will not be a once in a lifetime experience. I hope we can see them again and create new memories. I’m grateful for Gulf Coast Expeditions for giving us this magical experience and we highly recommend the private encounter. I was able to see manatees in their habitat without the worry of taking pictures. Lauren was our guide and photographer. And she knew how special this was for all of us. Our pics and video are so awesome. Thank you both so much. We miss you already!
    Written July 14, 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Laura L
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Jul 2023
    Bucket List. Check!

    Not only were Captain Ron and Lauren an absolute dream team when it came to ensuring we had the best experience, their unrefuted care for the gentle giants we visited and dedication to their conservation was top of the list. It's one thing to jump in the water, find a manatee, and swim around for a bit. It is a whole other level when a guest can see the care for these incredible animals shine through in the staff working the tour. Lauren knows the resident manatees in Crystal River. Captain Ron knows where they hang out. They work as a team along with other tour operations to make sure that the river provides what these animals need. It was awesome!!!

    There are plenty of tour operations on the river but I do not think one will find another who truly are committed to these gentle giants like Gulf Coast Expeditions.

    If spending time with manatees in the wild is on your bucket list, call Captain Ron and tell him "Matilda recommended him!"
    Written July 11, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    margaret H
    3 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Nov 2021
    My family came down for a visit from NY and we booked a private manatee snorkeling tour with Gulf Coast Expeditions and it was wonderful. Lauren and Captain Ron were very informative the whole time on the tour. We found the manatees almost right away on Kings bay. Lauren explained the process of getting into the water with the animals and if was amazing. Captain Ron took all around the bay and even gave us hot cocoa and coffee. My father in law who is 89 loved to watch the kids swim with the manatees. This is a once in a life time experience. I would recommend this tour to any of my visitors that come down again.
    Written November 4, 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    GrandTour746765
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Jun 2022 • Family
    There are so many things we loved that I wish I could write more. Captain Ed, Captain Ron, and Mermaid Kim provided one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had. They are personable, kind, and so knowledgeable. I feel like we have made new friends who have welcomed us into their amazing world and work with manatees. We were particularly impressed with Kim’s love of these amazing creatures and her enthusiasm in sharing that with us to provide an absolutely unforgettable experience. Captain Ron and Captain Ed were so kind in working with our schedule and also made us feel so welcome. Highly recommend them. Way beyond our expectations!
    Written June 9, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Danadanes
    Charleston, SC11 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    We had a great time this morning. Ron and Lauren found several manatees - Lauren was a great guide in the water and made sure the kids had safe, close encounters with these gentle creatures. Both Ron and Lauren were wonderful with our apprehensive 10 year old and 2!! Teens with autism. We also hit 3 sisters springs - crowded but worth it. Would highly recommend this outing.
    Written April 10, 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Anna B
    23 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    This trip was amazing! Ron and Lauren took us on a 40 minute boat ride into the Gulf to pick Scallops. They are so nice and explained to us everything we needed to know about the experience of scallop picking amd removing scallops from the shell! They also picked scallops for us and cleaned them before we left to go home!

    This was our first time ever doing this kind of activity, but it was so worth the trip! They had everything for us: snorkels, flippers, and nets. The water was warm and we had so much fun driving for scallops!!! It felt as though I was a mermaid collecting treasure from the bottom of the ocean! We saw several different kinds of fish including flounders, puffer fish, dolphins and crabs!

    I would recommend this to anyone that wants a fun experience with great and friendly people in the Gulf! We can't wait to come back next year!
    Written July 2, 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Madison W
    Happy Valley, OR4 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    WHAT AN AMAZING EXPERIENCE! We saw many manatees up close and personal in the wild!Captain Andrew was an amazing boat driver and Lauren was an amazing snorkeling guide!
    I was traveling with my parents and my brother who is autistic and nonverbal, but loves water and animals. Everyone was so understanding, kind and gentle with him. Lauren spent extra time with him to help him enjoy his time! My whole family is beyond grateful for every person at Gulf Coat expeditions! Thank you Lauren and Andrew❤️
    Written September 6, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Pennys1221
    Philadelphia, PA30 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Dec 2020 • Family
    This intergenerational group thoroughly enjoyed our time with Ron and Lauren. Despite a frigid morning (Dec 26, 2020), our family (age range from 15 mos to 64 yrs) had an excellent time. This is a small boat co. so the service is very personalized. Lauren took great care to be sure our 5 yr old grand daughter enjoyed her time with the manatees. They are very respectful of the manatees and other tour operators. Both Ron and Lauren took time to get to know us and shared their knowledge of the manatees and the area. The pictures and memories we left with are priceless.
    Written December 26, 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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    *Likely to sell out: Based on Viator’s booking data and information from the provider from the past 30 days, it seems likely this experience will sell out through Viator, a Tripadvisor company.

    Private Manatee Snorkeling Tour provided by Gulf Coast Expeditions

    Product Overview: Private Manatee Snorkeling Tour

    Prices From

    $525

    Number of Reviews

    57

    Number of Photos

    42

    Duration

    180 minutes