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Self Drive: Swim with Manatees on the Crystal River

Crystal River, United States
Self Drive: Swim with Manatees on the Crystal River
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Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance. Learn more
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Safety measures
icon2 hours 30 minutes  (approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English
Good for avoiding crowds


Get up close to Florida’s gentle manatees on this 2-hour tour on Crystal River! Perfect for kids and adults, this educational program offers a presentation on the West Indian manatee and the rare chance to swim with these docile sea creatures. Enjoy some unforgettable moments with your friends, family and some irresistible marine mammals.
  • 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 and snorkel provided
Saved to wishlist!
Swim with manatees
Cruise on Crystal River
Mask and Snorkel
Local taxes
Mandatory Wetsuit rental (US15.00+ tax)
Transportation to Manatee Swim
36 NE 4th St , 36 NE 4th St, Crystal River, FL 34429, USA

Manatee Tour and Dive shop - Please check in at the Dive Shop 45 minutes prior to tour time.

This activity will end right where it started.
Your unforgettable marine experience begins with a self-drive from Orlando to Crystal River, renowned for its abundant West Indian manatee population. Upon arrival, your small group will enjoy an interactive presentation by expert naturalists focusing on this unique creature — often called a ‘sea cow’ and the 'gentle giant of the sea' — including its physiology, environment and endangered status.

Afterwards, relax and take in the views, or jump into the scenic river (mask and snorkel provided) to get acquainted with the playful marine mammals. You’ll have the chance to get up-close contact in the company of fellow animal enthusiasts and certified dive instructors.

When your swim is over, towel off, snap some souvenir photos and make your way back to Orlando.

Note: Manatee season is from October to March.
  • Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Minimum age is 3 years
  • We recommend that you bring:
  • Towels
  • Bathing suit
  • Suntan lotion
  • Insect repellant
  • Underwater Camera / video camera / film
  • Stroller accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Infants must sit on laps
  • Post COVID-19 Safety Updates - We politely request that you refrain from taking this tour should you start displaying any of the symptoms associated with COVID-19, or if you are at a high risk of contracting the disease. Face masks are recommended but not mandatory, so please bring your own if you wish to wear one.
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 12 travelers
  • OPERATED BY City Sightseeing Orlando
You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What is the policy on sanitization during Self Drive: Swim with Manatees on the Crystal River?
A:The policies on sanitization are:

  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
See all safety measures taken by Self Drive: Swim with Manatees on the Crystal River.
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during Self Drive: Swim with Manatees on the Crystal River?
A:The policies on staff health & safety are:

  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Regular temperature checks for staff
See all safety measures taken by Self Drive: Swim with Manatees on the Crystal River.

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15 Reviews
1 star

Reviews by Viator travelers

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Showing 1-10 of 15 reviews
Manatee swim
, Jun 2022
Had a great time! This is probably the only time I will ever get to do this in my lifetime. I am so glad I have been able to give my son this experience! Tour guides super fun and made the trip!
icon Response from Host , Jun 2022
Thank you for booking your once in a life time trip with us. I am so glad to hear you had great experience!
Would like to try again maybe an early morning group before the water gets murky
, Feb 2022
Unfortunately the water where the manatees were was so murky that you coudn't see more than 2 feet in front of you. It was a waste. I wish we went on a different day. Also everyone started crowidning around the manatee and screaming like they were terrified.
icon Response from Host , Feb 2022
This time a year is the busy manatee season, and usually the water conditions in the springs are good and clear. Sorry to hear you had other swimmers around not following recommendations to stay calm. I personally like to go on the morning swims, as usually less people are in the water. We hope you give it another try sometime soon.
Amazing trip!!
, Jan 2022
Tanya was such a great tour guide! We had so much fun, I had the coolest interaction with a manatee and I can’t wait to go again!
icon Response from Host , Jan 2022
We are glad to hear you had a great experience! Thank you for booking with us.
Sick children and no later availability to accommodate the party of 12
, Apr 2021
Unfortunately only 3 of us were able to arrive on time. One party of 6 had two car sick kids in the car and had to keep stopping. The Manatee dive was unable to accommodate a boat for the 12 of us at 10 am so we were out of luck for the trip.
icon Response from Host , Apr 2021
Thank you so much for letting us know and we are truly sorry you had sick children in route. We would agree that it has been very difficult to reschedule during this peak time and limited capacity as we have had sold out experiences because of this. If the space was available I know they would have made every attempt they could to fit you in. We are very much looking forward to when we can all resume normal operations so we can accommodate all that want to travel safely.
A must do!
, Mar 2021
This was something my daughter and girlfriend had always wanted to do. Was a great experience. We saw a lot on manatees. The water was cold but the tour people said the colder the better. The boat driver and guide were fantastic!
icon Response from Host , Apr 2021
Manatees are amazing! So glad to say we helped make dreams come true!
Alex and Matt,were awesome sauce.
, Mar 2021
Alex and Matt were absolutely amazing my kids and I had a blast. Kids asked could we stay another day so we could swim again with the Mandatees. The guys were so knowledgeable ,you asked a question they knew the answer. Definitely a great time tons of awesome pictures were taken if us as well.
icon Response from Host , Mar 2021
I love manatees! glad you had a good day!
Absolutely awesome experience that...
Craig C
, Aug 2016
Absolutely awesome experience that we'd love to repeat. Captain and crew were so knowledgeable and passionate about these gorgeous creatures and added bonus of swing over the springs. Big wow. relaxed but really professional. Wonderful.
First of all you float with the...
, Sep 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.
1 traveler found this review helpful
Our tour guides were very nice and...
Reesa O
, Aug 2014
Our tour guides were very nice and professional...the manatees weren't plentiful, but we got lucky and were able to swim with 2 manatees which was very cool!
The folks at the boat launch were...
Kevin S
, Mar 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.
The water was very murky and hard to...
, May 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.
Den Tipp zum Tauchen mit den...
Rico D
, May 2014
Den Tipp zum Tauchen mit den Seekühen hatten wir von unserem Reisebüro erhalten. Und es hat sich gelohnt. Mit einem kleinen Boot fährt man wenige Minuten zu einer Mischung aus Hafen und Bucht. Wenn der and quot;Kapitän and quot; Seekühe ausfindig gemacht hat geht es dann ins Wasser zum Schnorcheln. Das Wasser ist zum größten Teil niedrig und Erwachsene können gut darin stehen. Ist aber auch für Kinder geeignet. Jeder erhält eine and quot;Schwimmnudel and quot; und man hält sich immer in der Nähe des Bootes auf. Es war für uns ein absolutes Highlight während unserer Rundreise. Das Schwimmen mit den Seekühen würde ich jederzeit wieder buchen. Ach ja. Gebucht hatten wir in Deutschland, muss man aber nicht. In Deutschland wurden mir nur 2 Termine angeboten liegt aber am Veranstalter. Vor Ort wird jeden Tag geschnorchelt. Wer also unabhängig sein möchte kann das durchaus Vorort erledigen.

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