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Crystal River
Cruises & boat tours

Cruises & boat tours
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Top activities in Crystal River

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Our most recommended Crystal River Cruises & boat tours

Crystal River: Manatee Snorkel Tour w/ In-Water Photographer

1. Crystal River: Manatee Snorkel Tour w/ In-Water Photographer

Get back to nature and discover the home of the world’s largest population of endangered manatees in the winter on a pontoon boat tour to Three Sisters Springs. Get the chance to interact with the curious, gentle giants in their natural habitat.  Learn all about the animals in a classroom-type setting and get tips for your snorkel tour to make the most of your day. Hear about "passive interaction" that ensures that the animals enjoy the experience just as much as you do. Then, journey to the estuary with a Coast Guard captain aboard a covered pontoon boat. Get your snorkeling gear on, marvel at the wildlife around you, and get up close to the sea cows as they move slowly through the water. Head back to base camp to visit the one-of-a-kind gift shop and purchase unique souvenirs. Get tips on what to do in the Kings Bay area, along with directions from the well-informed staff to other local attractions and restaurants.

Crystal River: Manatee Swim Group Tour

2. Crystal River: Manatee Swim Group Tour

Voted one of the top 10 World’s “Bucket List” Experiences in 2022, swimming with manatees is something you cannot miss while in Florida. Citrus County is revered as the manatee capital of the world, and swimming with manatees in their natural habitat is a privilege. Coming face to face with a thousand pound gentle giant is an experience unlike any other in the world! During your introduction to the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission's "Manatee Manners" video, you'll learn all about manatees and how to behave around them. This ensures that you have a super time snorkeling with these gentle giants while not disturbing any other their natural behaviors. After sliding into wetsuits, your guide will take you on a 5-minute van ride to the dock where you will be greeted by your Master Captain. As you hop aboard a safe, comfortable, and clean US Coast Guard certified vessel, you will to embark on your journey into the Kings Bay refuge waters. Offering information on ecology, history and some silly anecdotes about our area, your crew will offer the best manatee eco-tour in Crystal River, FL. Your captain and guide are very skilled in locating manatees even in the most challenging conditions. When it's time to ease into the water, your guide will give you a snorkel lesson and help get you comfortable in the water. They will be your personal photographer and assistant every step of the way, making your manatee tour safe and memorable. The amount of time you will spend snorkeling in the water with manatees varies greatly as these are wild animals and their behaviour changes by the day and even the hour. If they are not found in the springs areas, you will typically have time to swim into one of the springs after the manatee portion of your tour. At the end of the tour, your guide will bring you back to the shop where you can view their pictures and videos and decide if you'd like to purchase them.

Crystal River: Clear Kayak Manatee Ecotour

3. Crystal River: Clear Kayak Manatee Ecotour

Enjoy the Manatee Capital of the World and experience these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat. Follow your trusty and experienced guide as they introduce you to various wildlife on an eco-friendly tour. Start your day by arriving at the local shop. Check in for your tour and watch a short video (required by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission). Learn about the gentle giants and how to have a safe and respectful interaction with them. Head to the launch pad where you will board your clear kayak to begin your tour. Follow your local guide as he takes you to the best spots to discover the diverse wildlife of the region where you commonly see manatees, turtles, various birds, dolphins, and many species of fish. Journey through some of the most beautiful waterways in Florida and utilize the clear kayaks to give you the best viewing possible without getting wet.

Crystal River: Manatee Viewing Cruise

4. Crystal River: Manatee Viewing Cruise

Hop aboard a US Coast Guard-certified vessel and join your captain for a journey into the tranquil waters of Kings Bay, a refuge for manatees. Discover authentic Florida scenery and gaze at these gentle giants as you navigate in Crystal River, Florida. Allow your captain to help you find manatees during any season of the year. Capture the picturesque scenery and diverse wildlife that call this refuge home, including a variety of bird species, turtles, and the occasional dolphins. While cruising and exploring the region, learn all about the history of Kings Bay, the biology and ecology of manatees, and interesting facts about other creatures that live alongside them.

Crystal River: Kayak Rental

5. Crystal River: Kayak Rental

Explore Crystal River with your own kayak rental, with a variety of rental durations available. Follow the map to King's Bay and search for a variety of native wildlife species as you discover the area at your own pace. Check-in at the shop 30 minutes prior to your reservation time to watch a short video, required by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. From there, head to the launch dock where you will get a short introduction to your equipment and how to paddle your kayak. Start your adventure in the water by getting comfortable with your kayak while paddling through the waterways that lead to King's Bay and the Crystal River. Follow the map toward your preferred location as you look for manatees, dolphins, turtles, fish, birds, and other wildlife. Enjoy nature, the sun, the fresh air, and the calm waters of Crystal River. When arriving at the natural springs, such as the Three Sister Springs, take advantage of the beautiful clear waters to take plenty of wonderful photos.

Crystal River: VIP Manatee Swim w/ In-water Photographer

6. Crystal River: VIP Manatee Swim w/ In-water Photographer

Swim with manatees in the spring-fed King’s Bay Wildlife Refuge in Crystal River, home to the world’s largest population of the endangered creatures during the winter. Encounter these gentle giants in their natural habitat. Benefit from the services of a Coast Guard certified captain and in-water educator and photographer. Learn about the animals in a classroom-type setting and get tips to make the most of your day. Hear about passive interaction to make sure that the animals enjoy the experience just as much as you do! Then, suit up and board a covered pontoon boat to immerse yourself in the manatees' world. Be treated like royalty aboard the boat and see the wildlife refuge in style. Return to the facility at the end of your adventure and visit the one-of-a-kind gift shop! Hear about other local attractions and restaurants, and get answers to any questions you may have before you depart.

Homosassa: Gulf of Mexico Airboat Ride and Dolphin Watching

7. Homosassa: Gulf of Mexico Airboat Ride and Dolphin Watching

Glide through the saltwater marshes and shallow waters of the Homosassa River and Gulf of Mexico aboard a powerful airboat. Look for bottlenose dolphins and other wildlife in their natural habitat to reconnect with nature. Feel the speed beneath you as you twist and turn through the mangroves, canals, and backwaters. Access areas that other boats can't reach and encounter abundant wildlife off the beaten path. Marvel as your US Coast Guard Captain and guide safely pilots the boat at speeds of up to 50 miles per hour. Get an adrenaline rush as you traverse the waterways and soak up the natural beauty on all sides. Every day is different when it comes to the wildlife, but a morning ride is highly recommended if you hope to encounter animals in the wild. The diverse birdlife will truly amaze you, while West Indian manatees can sometimes be seen on a good day.

River Cruise with Manatee Viewing

8. River Cruise with Manatee Viewing

With so much wildlife to enjoy, the Nature Coast beckons you to explore! Our Eco-tour will enlighten the wildlife enthusiast, amateur photographer, birdwatcher and every individual in between! Grab your binoculars and join us for an eco-journey to take in the sparkling springs, the calming river, and the inviting Gulf of Mexico on a certified vessel that is safe and comfortable. You never know what will be discovered on this wildlife odyssey, as this area serves as one of the richest estuaries left on the Gulf of Mexico! Kings Bay is the second largest spring system in Florida, which is fed by dozens of fresh water springs spitting out more than 280 million gallons of fresh water daily! The bay serves as the head waters for the Crystal River and is extremely unique and incredibly important to each animal species that depend on it for survival. We strive to educate and open all hearts to the necessity of protection. Wading birds, waterfowl, black crowned night herons, wood storks, bald eagles, brown and white pelicans, osprey, red-tailed hawks, and of course the endangered manatee are just some of many animals that depend on this ecosystem to sustain themselves! On this Eco-tour, your Captain and Mother Nature will team up to ensure the most unforgettable, awe-inspiring time possible! Enjoy the sparkling springs of Crystal River’s idyllic King’s Bay. Learn about the ecosystem and the animals that depend on the refuge for their survival. If you are lucky we may even encounter manatee, dolphins, eagles, osprey, tarpon or alligator in the best way possible -- their natural habitat.

Crystal River: Springs and Manatees Clear Kayak Tour

9. Crystal River: Springs and Manatees Clear Kayak Tour

You will journey out to some of the clearest water in the world in our ALL clear kayaks with one of our amazing LOCAL guides. You will learn about our ecosystem and possibly spot local wildlife such as manatees, turtles, various birds, dolphins, and many species of fish. Manatee season ends March 31st, but we have resident manatees that live here year round. Manatee sightings are not guaranteed from April 1st - November 14th, but we definitely go to various springs. On non windy days, our tour enters the World Famous Three Sisters Springs. This is the NUMBER one tour in Florida for spring hunters. Don't miss out and reserve your spot today! Begin your tour at the activity provider's gift shop in Crystal River. After check-in, watch a short video required by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Learn about manatees and how to interact safely and respectfully with these gentle giants. Then, go over some brief safety information with your guide before boarding a van or golf cart to head to the launch point. Once there, get your life vests and paddles before boarding your clear 2-seater kayak. Next, follow your guide on a 1-mile paddle to the world-famous Three Sisters Springs, which are only open to kayaks from April 1 to November 14. Along the way, look out for the region's diverse wildlife, including manatees, turtles, birds, dolphins, and many fish species. Once you’ve experienced the springs, paddle back to the launch point. From there, you’ll be picked up and transported back to the gift shop, where you can see and buy a photo package of your tour before departing.

Orlando: Swim with Manatees and Homosassa State Park Visit

10. Orlando: Swim with Manatees and Homosassa State Park Visit

The gentle manatees of the Crystal River await your arrival on this delightful day-long tour where you can swim with these curious creatures. Your day will begin with complimentary pickup from one of the key meeting points in Orlando, Kissimmee, Lake Buena Vista and Disney. You will then be whisked away to the picturesque Crystal River. Crystal River is home to the curious and endangered manatee. Also known as Sea Cows, these creatures are most definitely the gentle giants of the marine world. Here you have the chance to snorkel or swim in the clear blue waters. Manatees are curious creatures and will often come to greet those who choose to snorkel or swim. They may even roll over to be tickled! Those who prefer to stay above water may wish to simply sit back, relax and enjoy the natural surroundings. After lunch at your own expense, you will visit the beautiful Homosassa State Park, one of Florida’s best kept secrets. There, enjoy the chance to see many of Florida’s endangered species, such as the state panther, and watch the manatees again from an underwater viewing chamber. Fun, relaxed and light-hearted, this day-long tour and swim with the manatees is the perfect tour choice for the whole family!

Immersive experiences

Crystal River

Crystal River

Frequently asked questions about Crystal River Cruises & boat tours

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Other Sightseeing Options in Crystal River

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What people are saying about Crystal River

Overall rating

(24 reviews)

The activity was great overall, the experience is professional and fun. The guide was amazing and hospitable, and the boat ride to the location was great as well. Got to see the manatees and swim with them as well, and the guide gave a lot of extra cool information during the trip. Definitely a good trip to make with friends or a loved one.

Outstanding. Perfect weather, knowledgeable and helpful staff. The guide had an excellent presentation and shared extensive information about the area and the site. Was interested to hear about the recovery work in progress and the springs in general.

Crosby (guide) and JJ (captain) were the best! I had looked at a bunch of other companies/experiences prior to purchasing, and the reviews were all spot on. My twin 9 y.o.s had an BLAST! Everyone there was friendly, helpful. Perfect core memory maker!

It was a wonderful life experience that brought me so much joy! Christian was a knowledgeable guide and taught me things about manatees that I did not know. I highly recommend this adventure.

We were the only ones on at 7 am. Super great. Knowledgeable guide, informative. Friendly.