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Small Group VIP Manatee Pontoon Tour

  • 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 
Small Group VIP Manatee Pontoon Tour
From US$94.00
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  • Overview
  • What to Expect
  • Important Information
  • Reviews
  • Q&A
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Tour options (2)
10:45am Departure
Most Popular
10:45am Departure; 4 hour tour
From US$94.00
6:45am Departure
6:45am Departure: 4 hour tour
From US$94.00
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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. 

What to Expect

Make your own way to a designated meeting point,  where your Coast Guard Certified Master Captain will share the day’s 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.

Reviews (93)
1 - 5 of 84 reviews
Reviewed 6 days ago
Eco trip

Captain Tanner gave us a great tour of Kings Bay. We saw manatees, other wildlife and he knew a lot of the history of the area. He answered all of our questions and shared experiences. We highly recommend this boat trip and Tanner. There was...More

Date of experience: January 2019
Thank Barb O
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile
Manatee swim

Second time here with this group and they didn’t disappoint! Had another amazing experience and wouldn’t do this manatee swim with any other group than River Ventures. The professional, knowledgeable, courteous and friendly staff are awesome! We saw and swam with many manatees and had...More

Thank 922lucettea
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile
A great break from the theme parks!

We were recommended this by a friend and decided to book it on our second weekend, and were very very glad we did. A relatively easy drive from Orlando ( 1.5 hours) and what a lovely way to do something completely different and see another...More

Thank GJRich
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile
Amazing first class experience

From the welcome on entry to the end of the tour this trip excels in making this experience memorable and unforgettable. Excellent value for 4 hrs meeting and swimming with these amazing creatures always reaffirming the need to be respectful of the manatee habitat.

Thank ginnymacp
Reviewed 1 week ago
Amazing Experience- Will be coming back!

This experience was incredible and I highly recommend it! I went on the 6:45am VIP small group tour, there were two other people in my group so we had plenty of room. When I called a few weeks prior and spoke with the team who...More

Date of experience: January 2019
Thank Sarah W
View more reviews
Questions & Answers
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Jodie M
5 April 2018|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from Dave F | Reviewed this property |
They give you three options on the photos, around $27 for the disc, $34 for the USB, and around $40 for the on-line album. They also provide floating aids for everyone in the water, no extra charge.
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