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All reviews captain wade a great experience manatee tour office staff captain laura wet suits these gentle giants baby manatee vip tour hot chocolate swim with manatees the entire staff semi private tour once in a lifetime early tour off season winter months
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Reviewed yesterday via mobile

Experience of a lifetime! Sheena and Captain Stark were knowledgeable and friendly. They even rescued my camera out of the water when i dropped it. Saw about 10 manatees including a baby who came up to me for a tickle! 5*

Thank Adam H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 2 days ago

Our crew was informed, knowledgeable & friendly, had a great time!
LOVED being near the manatees! Highly recommend River Ventures.

Thank Gayle A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 3 days ago via mobile

We had the most amazing time at the Manatee tour today!
Unfortunately our first booked kayaktour got canceled because there weren’t enough participants, but we got a free upgrade to the VIP tour which was even better.
Our guide Heidi and Captain John S. were just amazing and made everyone feel prepared and as friends.

We got a little introduction and security booking before we took off on our ponton boat (with free hot and cold beverages and snacks) and after maybe 10 minutes saw our first Manatee! A rather small male one (small only according to Heidi) who was munching all the sea grass on the bottom of the lake (maybe 3-4 foot deep there). We got around 30-40 minutes to spend with him and after the first “fear” or, let’s call it respect towards this huge animal we had an amazing time observing him!

We took off to another spot after a while and got to observe a female with her calf (which was around 5-6 foot long already!!) in almost crystal clear water, which was absolutely astonishing. The overall flora and fauna there is amazing. We got to see so many fish around there, too!

Because we got there before the Springs were closed for the Manatees, we were able to visit the 3-Sister Springs, too. Incredibly clear water there, you could literally see the fresh springwater come out of the holes in the ground!

The 4 hour tour was over rather quick and we got back to the bus and the center, where we changed back and left after an really amazing day. Thank you so much River Ventures! Your approach of respectful observing these animals was the perfect way to engage those incredible animals!

Thank Florian M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 3 days ago via mobile

We were so looking forward to this excursion. Tanner was at the helm and Heidi was our guide. Due to some inclement weather rolling in, the manatees were a bit difficult to spot, but Tanner was able to find a few for us and the experience was fantastic. These gentle giants were friendly, curious and swimming with them is awe inspiring.

We had a young boy 5 years old on our tour and Heidi kept him entertained and had him floating with her on her back whenever we went into the water.

We learned quite a bit about manatees as well as the local eco system.

Highly recommend the smaller VIP tour. The intimacy allows for more interaction with the guides.

Thank 883erinc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 4 days ago via mobile

Wade,JJ, and Jose were awesome and we had a fun adventure swimming with the manatees and snorkeling in the springs! My adult children and my friend made awesome memories here. We will be back next year! Thank you!

Aragon group
Fernandina Beach and Gainesville FL

Thank angelaaragon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 4 days ago

We were very lucky to walk in and book four spaces on the tour for that day (if this is on you list of things to do then please book in advance as we could have so easily been very disappointed). It's been on my list of things to do for a long time now, but I never though that I'd actually get in the water and see a manatee face to face.
Captain Broderick and Phil made the trip memorable for all of us and made sure that my mum felt included even though she didn't get in the water.
From the moment the tour started with the introductory talk we were put at ease. Don't be put off by the thought of getting into a wetsuit, they had suits to fit any shape and size ( I could have easily dissuaded myself by thinking about this too much, but would have missed out on an unforgettable experience)
Phil was amazing, looking after us in the water as my husband and I had never been snorkelling before - keeping his cool and calming us down when we got a bit panicky!
We were lucky enough to see several manatees and be in the water and very close a couple of times. The last twenty minutes or in the water was the icing on the cake as we were in very close proximity to one of these beautiful creatures.
I would highly recommend this experience to anyone, we were made to feel welcome from start to finish and I would definitely repeat the experience if we ever returned to Florida. I feel blessed to have had a truly magical experience.

Thank Seaside30075665049
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 4 days ago via mobile

This was a great experience! Snorkeling and Swimming with the Manatees. Thank you to Crystal our guide and Mike our captain for your experience, knowledge and patience making a good trip a great trip!!! This is absolutely the trip of a lifetime and I would highly recommend to anyone family or single looking to experience wild Manatees in their own habitat. Moderately priced and fun for all. Don’t miss our these guys are the best around. Thank you River Ventures!!! Definitely something I would do again if the opportunity arose.

Thank Jet53096823324
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 4 days ago

I booked with River Ventures again...just went on November 11th.

Capt Phil and tour guide Gavin were in charge. They were very professional, knowledgeable, and pretty jovial for 6:15am!

They got our group in the water with manatees in no time. This was my second time floating around with manatees and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I was nearby on Saturday for a dragon boat race at Lake Hernando...figured I would make a weekend out of it and River Ventures' manatee swim at sunrise on Sunday morning was the perfect add-on.

I bought some postcards and other fun manatee items at the gift shop. A really small thing that made my day: they put all my items into paper bags with a handwritten "thank you" on it...as well as a manatee stamp. A tiny detail for sure...but it made me smile.

Thank Erik L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 5 days ago

My daughter and I agree that we will be booking tours with River Ventures every time we come to Florida! This was our second tour with River Ventures and it was better than the first - which was pretty awesome! Captain Tanner and our guide, Tom, were informative and funny. For the 6 person tour, we were paired with a grandmother and active child. Tom was patient and kept him occupied so everyone could enjoy the experience.
We saw manatees from the moments we arrived at King's Spring and couldn't have asked for better interactions. We reluctantly left to see Three Sister's Spring. The water was crystal clear but much fewer manatees.
Next year, we intended to stay our entire vacation in the area and try other tours offered by River Ventures.
Thank you, Tanner, Tom, and River Ventures for an amazing experience and incredible memories!

Thank Theresa L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RiverVentures, Manager at River Ventures Manatee Tour Center, responded to this reviewResponded 5 days ago

What awesome compliments!! We can not thank you enough! Tom and Tanner are devoted to our visitors' experience....even if it means entertaining a young child! And it sounds like the perfect tour.....not many people get to visit both King and three sisters during one adventure; you had a great day. We truly LOVE our repeat offenders....so when you want to book more adventure, call us so we can ensure that you get get a discount to show our appreciation for coming to see us again! We can't wait to have you back! Peace, Love and Manatees to your whole family...until the next time

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 5 days ago via mobile

We just got done swimming with the manatees and this is a must do experience. River Ventures was incredible, everyone was friendly and professional. Our guides Gavin and Phil couldn't have done a better job. My wife and 6 year old son had so much fun, and while my 3 year old stayed on the boat with me and had a bit of a melt down, Phil was incredibly patient with him.

They have coffee and hot chocolate, too! I absolutely recommend River Ventures!

Thank Jeff P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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