3 star rating: Worth doing 4 Reviews

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  • Location: Orlando, Florida
  • Duration:  2 hours (approx.)
If you have your own car, you can save money on this popular activity by driving yourself from Orlando to the Crystal River for a swimming with manatees experience! Swim with Florida’s gentle giants and enjoy a scenic boat cruise on the river.

Highlights

  • Self-drive from Orlando to the Crystal River to swim with manatees
  • Boat cruise with manatee experts
  • Swim with Florida’s gentle giants, one of the world’s largest populations of West Indian manatees
  • Mask, snorkel and wetsuit provided

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Self-Drive Swim with Manatees on the Crystal River

Self Drive Swim with Manatees at Crystal River

Drive yourself from Orlando to the Crystal River, and when you arrive, you'll join a team of manatee experts for a narrated boat cruise on the picturesque river, home to one of the world's largest populations of endangered West Indian manatees. These large, docile aquatic mammals (sometimes called "sea cows") are under threat due to loss of habitat.

You are encouraged to put on the provided mask and snorkel and go for a swim with the manatees while under the guidance of certified dive masters. Manatee season is October to March. Sightings are very common, however as the animals are wild, no guarantee that you’ll see a manatee can be made.

Customer Reviews

4 star rating: Recommended May 2013

Had a Super time !! Would go again ! Thanks

3 star rating: Worth doing March 2014

The folks at the boat launch were very nice. The boat ride was pleasant enough. The manatees were plentiful, but most were gathered in a restricted area behind ropes. The Park Rangers were a bit overzealous for no reason. It's understood that you can't cross the ropes and nobody did. But what is the harm in actually touching the ropes? Give me a break!. The narrow inlet to the Three Sisters Springs became a bit of a bottleneck as it was very narrow and some "divers" had a hard time walking through the current. We were also disappointed that we were charged an extra $10 each for a wetsuit when the website clearly said that it was included in the $49 fee. Actually, I'm not sure that the wetsuit was even necessary. Bummer that law forbids touching these strange, gentle animals, but understandable, I guess.

3 star rating: Worth doing June 2013

The water was very murky and hard to see in. The best part of the tour was coming back to the docks and coming upon three or four dolphins herding and feeding! It was amazing to watch and get pictures and some short videos. Our captain, Charles, was very pleasant and most helpful. Was a good day overall.

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better September 2014

First of all you float with the manatees, not swim. Next I think Viator should now that its seasonal, whether you see them, in our case were told that we could see them from boat, only a blur as the one only manatee that they new where it was was, a fair distance from the boat, and it was a very young one. The tour tried to fill in the time for the tour by taking us to see Turpin fish and a dolphin that had come into the river. This was the first tour I booked, and worked every thing else around the manatees, so we were very disappointed that that was all to see. It was also very hard to find where the tour was, when we drove ourselfs.

From USD $ 49.99

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Tour code: 2855SDMS

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