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Crystal River Cruises & boat tours

Our most recommended Crystal River Cruises & boat tours

Crystal River: Pontoon Boat Cruise and Swim with Manatees

1. Crystal River: Pontoon Boat Cruise and Swim with Manatees

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.

Homosassa: Gulf of Mexico Airboat Ride and Dolphin Watching

2. 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.

Orlando: Manatee Encounter, Snorkeling, and Airboat Ride

3. Orlando: Manatee Encounter, Snorkeling, and Airboat Ride

Snorkel thorugh marine life in the Crystal Rive on this day trip from Orlando. Ride in a comfortable and airconditioned bus to Homosassa Springs State Park for a guided visit. Find out about manatees and go for an airboat ride on the Withlacoochee River. In the morning, head out to the beautiful Crystal River area to start your snorkeling adventure. Explore the river and admire unique wildlife in its natural habitat. Learn about the magnificent manatee and have the opportunity to see them up close. Next is a guided visit to the Homosassa Springs State Park. Discover local wildlife, including the endangered Florida panther, black bears, red wolves, bobcats, alligators, and more. Learn about the park’s manatee rehabilitation program and stop at an underwater observatory built over the mouth of a spring. Enjoy a packed lunch before heading to the Withlacoochee River, to end your day with an exciting airboat ride. Ride through this area which is another natural haven, where you can see more local wildlife. Feel the thrill of skimming over the water with an exhilarating trip in a flat-bottomed boat.

Orlando: Manatees Swim, Snorkel and Boat Day Tour

4. Orlando: Manatees Swim, Snorkel and Boat Day Tour

Swim and snorkel with one of the sea's most gentle creatures, the endangered Florida manatee, and take an exhilarating airboat ride. Head to the picturesque Crystal River – home to the endangered “gentle giant of the sea,” the Florida manatee – where you can choose to snorkel or swim. Have a chance to interact with these beautiful creatures if you’re lucky. Have some lunch, and then enjoy a fully-narrated airboat ride. Learn more about this southern state's wildlife from the knowledgeable tour guide.

Homestead: Guided Manatee Snorkeling Tour in Kings Bay

5. Homestead: Guided Manatee Snorkeling Tour in Kings Bay

Discover the joy of swimming with the Florida manatee, a subspecies of the West Indian manatee on this guided riverboat tour. Choose from a tour option with or without a tasty breakfast. Enjoy drinks like coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and bottled water on your day trip.  Be picked up from your accommodation in Homestead and relax on the transfer to the riverboat. Hop on board and cruise out to where the manatees are most active. Listen to a tutorial on passive observation and how to get the best experience during the tour. Use the changing facilities to put on the included wetsuit, mask, and snorkel. Get into the water for some face-to-face interaction with manatees. Have help from your guides to ensure you have the best chance of interacting with these gentle giants. Take home some memories with help from you in-water guide who be taking videos and pictures of your manatee experience, which are available for purchase once you return to the dive shop.

Other Sightseeing Options in Crystal River

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What people are saying about Crystal River

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 24 reviews

This was amazing!! First time to Florida on our honeymoon and we just showed up with our tickets and paid for parking and they took care of the rest! We had Luiz as a guide and he was knowledgeable and funny and made the trip great! Our manatee instructors were Gina and Andrew and they were fabulous! We saw lots of manatees (at least 10) and got to swim with them! The only suggestion I have is to bring some $5’s, $10’s, $20’s for tips! And a warm change of clothes if it’s chilly! Our trip was about 8.5 hours total (8am-4:30pm) but time varies I think! Would definitely do it again!!!

I had a greasy experience and was able to get up and close with the Manatees. That said, you don’t “swim” with them. You actually float and let them come to you!!! The quieter and still you are the better!

This was such an incredible experience! Trish and Wade was our team today and they were informative, friendly and professional! We will definitely be back again!

The whole team was super nice. Learned a lot about the animals. It was a great experience, thanks again :)

Our guide was great the ride was fun and very informative.