We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The Tripadvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

River Ventures Manatee Tour Center

Features Animals
Crystal River, FL, USA
More
About River Ventures Manatee Tour Center
River Ventures is a full service Tour center located in beautiful Crystal River, Florida. We offer many tour options to share all that the Nature Coast has to show you and we emphasize education about these Eco-systems!We have a passion for what we do, and it shows! Our Endangered Encounter manatee tours are our specialty, but we have so much more to offer! Air boat tours,VIP customized packages,Stand Up Paddle Boards, Scallop charters, sunset cruises, private charters, guided paddle tours on multiple rivers....we have much more to offer than you would expect!Spend the day or spend the week and River Ventures will introduce you to 'More than Manatee'!! Tours to snorkel with the manatees in their natural habitat are conducted daily, year round (reservations in advance are highly suggested). Our highly experienced in-water guides will escort you into the refuge to find the endangered manatee for viewing and up close encounters. River Ventures offers daily group trips of up to 12, and also offers private trips for both large and small groups including VIP and houseboat tours.
Closed Now
Hours Today: 6:00 AM - 5:00 PM
See all hours
Travelers talk about
Tours and Tickets by River Ventures Manatee Tour Center

Crystal River Manatee Swim in Kings Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Get in the water with Florida's endangered manatees on this snorkeling tour to the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, with several time options to suit your schedule. With your guide's careful supervision, you'll safely swim and snorkel around these slow-moving giants and learn about their biology and behavior, as well as the conservation efforts that protect them. Pack light, as your wet suit, snorkel gear, and mask are provided.
Read more
3 hours
from $74.16

Small Group VIP Manatee Pontoon Tour

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. 
Read more
4 hours
from $102.78

Private Manatee Tour

Get to know central Florida’s endangered manatees on this private, 3-hour tour and boat cruise. Swim and snorkel with these gentle giants at the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, located in King’s Bay in the town of Crystal River — well known as the home of the manatee. Photos above and below the water will be taken throughout the tour and can be purchased later, if desired. Use of a mask, snorkel gear and wet suit, plus fees and beverages are included.
Read more
3 hours
from $602.64
4,545Reviews120Q&A
Traveler rating
  • 4,260
  • 203
  • 44
  • 26
  • 12
Traveler type
Time of year
Language
  • More
Selected filters
  • Filter
  • English
Popular mentions
BenoitDesign wrote a review Oct 22
10 contributions1 helpful vote
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, friendly, helpful and had great attitudes for 645am! For a novice snorkeler, I was apprehensive upon entering the water. JJ immediately gently intervened, reassuring me so my husband's manatee experience wasn't jeopardized. JJ and his first mate (sorry his name escapes me) were a great team and were very knowledgeable not only about manatees but other area activities and dining. GREAT PICTURES!!!! Skip your own underwater camera! JJ made sure our trip was captured in MANY fantastic hi-res photos and video. We also got to experience an underwater spring which allowed us to see a stingray, grouper and other fish. Because we were able to take our time and not be rushed, it made for a better experience. Our time slot was 645am so we did not get breakfast so it was wonderful that lite snacks and beverages were on hand. Overall: Definitely great value! A great experience and worth going again and again!
Read more
Date of experience: October 2020
Helpful
Share
Katrina C wrote a review Oct 22
5 contributions1 helpful vote
My husband went on a cruise with Mike and Shellie. They were both very friendly and informative! We got to see several manatees up close as well as several different types of fish. Would recommend this trip and we would definitely visit again!
Read more
Date of experience: October 2020
Helpful
Share
Jennifer K wrote a review Oct 21
1 contribution
The knowledge and education that was shared with guests!! Captains knew right where to take you!! I have been reluctant to go for this tour on all of my trips to Tampa. My first concern was for the animals. The kind employees of River Ventures educate you on what’s allowed, safe and appropriate when it comes to approaching the manatees. I love that the company contributes to growing grass for the manatees to feed on. My other concern was the wet suits. They have so many sizes available for guests to utilize. All the way up to a 6x!! There’s a size for almost every single person! This tour made my vacation this time! I can’t wait to come back again! Thank you for making this experience possible ❤️
Read more
Date of experience: October 2020
Helpful
Share
Teresa T wrote a review Oct 21
1 contribution
This was the best experience we could have had in Florida! I went with my 8 year old son, and my aunt. Captain Wade and Safari Heidi were incredible and made sure we had the best time. They were knowledgeable with the current Manatee trends happening in the area and you could tell that their true passion is being with this kind of wildlife and doing their best to keep the Manatees safe while bringing their awareness to tourists. Wade circled the water to find the most clear spots to ensure we had clarity when observing the animals. Heidi had us call her Grandma Heidi and at first, I was stressed in the water because I've never been this close to a 3000 pound animal before and sometimes it was hard because I had to adjust with a child. Heidi took my child under her wing to help him adjust also to make sure I still had a great experience. I couldn't be more grateful. I tipped them, but I feel like I should still mail them a gift basket, that's how great they were! Thanks Heidi and Wade!!
Read more
Date of experience: October 2020
Helpful
Share
Randy P wrote a review Oct 21
Grand Forks, North Dakota1 contribution
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, my mother in law and myself. It was a nice, relaxing enjoyable, educational experience that my kids talked about for days and said was the best part of our vacation. We had Captain Emerson and Guide Matt take us to many parts of King's Bay to find some Manatees. They were very knowledgeable about the bay, the Manatees, all the different animals that we saw and the entire surrounding area. After spending time with the Manatees they asked us what we wanted to do. This was nice since we could set the pace for the different ages of our kids. They had kayaking, tubing, island hoping or just relaxing on a boat ride. We chose to just relax and enjoy a tour of Crystal River and stopping at shell island and going a little bit out into the Gulf. Guide Matt took wonderful pictures of our adventure so we opted to get the photo downloads at the end as well. I would strongly recommend going on the family day package. In fact my kids are asking when we can go back and do it again.
Read more
Date of experience: October 2020
Helpful
Share
Previous