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Sunshine River Tours - Crystal River Manatee Tours
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: We conduct manatee swim encounters in the three sisters,kings and and several other springs in the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge. We also rent pontoon boats and kayaks. We are located on the main spring on the water with plenty of free parking and the best view of Kings Bay.
Level 6 Contributor
95 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Good Time!!”
Reviewed March 9, 2014

My son wanted to swim with the Mantees, so we booked a trip with Captain Mike's Sunshine Tours also known as Crystal River Manatee Tours. We had an awesome time with Capt. Harry. He was very passionate about the Manatees & really had a lot respect for the them & the environment. A video was included first as to how to interact with the manatees without disturbing them.

I don't swim well & have never snorkeled before. Capt. Harry wanted to take the time to help me, but I declined. It was VERY nice of him to offer though. What a great guy!! He also knew where to go & where there wasn't a lot of people. Made our trip nice not to have the Disneyland affect.

My son got the experience he wanted - up close to the Manatees in their natural habitat. He had an awesome time!

Visited March 2014
Thank Omahatraveler17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Northampton, Massachusetts
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Great staff”
Reviewed March 7, 2014

Did my first swim with the manatees and was so glad that I read review and picked Sunshine River tour for it our Captain was Rick and he was great would go back in a heart beat

Visited February 2014
Thank Janie W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Make sure you really do have a reservation!!”
Reviewed March 7, 2014

I followed the instructions for an online reservation in Dec with my cc info, date, etc, and received a confirmation email thanking me for my reservation. I then needed to cancel the April reservation, so I forwarded the confirmation email with a polite request to cancel it. I received a reply telling me I never entered my card, and therefore I had no reservation. I again referred to the confirmation email, and the next reply said that the card had been deinied, wich is not possible. (but if it had been - why not tell the customer that?!) So why did they send a confirmation email? So their story changed, but neither was true. I am so thankful that my gut told me to go with a different company! I would have been so disappointed (and had one very sad kiddo in my hands) if we had shown up for our booked tour, to be told that we were not on it! I see this was a problem with another reviewer recently. Do all you can to confirm your reservation!! Or just go with another company...

Visited February 2014
2 Thank loneflower123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SunshineRiverTours, Owner at Sunshine River Tours - Crystal River Manatee Tours, responded to this review, April 23, 2014
My online bookings are pre-authorized by a portal. Either you are approved or not approved. If you are not approved then you are not listed in the portal at a later date.. When I type a customers name later in the portal then it tells me the situation or non situation. I regret that this certain customer was disapproved,but I have no control over that situation.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Asheville, North Carolina
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great experience!!”
Reviewed March 6, 2014

Booked the earliest morning tour (Plantation Crystal River ) and had a wonderful time. This is great for all ages and all levels of experience. Capt. Ron was very knowledgeable and made sure everyone got a chance to participate at their own comfort level. He knew when to stop (the areas change depending on the temperatures) and gave everyone all the time they needed to enjoy the experience. It can get chilly so bring towels or a change of clothes, but more manatees are in the area when it is a little cooler out. Our trip was in early March when a cool front was moving in and so did the Manatees!!

Visited March 2014
Thank Jean M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orlando, Florida
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“worst exerience ever”
Reviewed February 27, 2014

We (3 of us) had booked a week ahead and arrived early the day of the tour (10AM) to find we had not been added to the booking and there was no room for us. Credit card company affirmed charge. We were added to the 1pm tour and being good sports went sightseeing and came back. Our guide, Capt Mike was ok but the experience was not worth the trip or the money. Very low visibility and very few manatees. Would not recommend this tour to anyone.

Visited February 2014
7 Thank avl0214
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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