Manatee Tour FAQs
When is the best time to swim with manatees?
Crystal River Manatee season runs from November 15th through March 31st, though the absolute best months are early in the year.
The manatees are up and about early in the morning, so you'll want to get to Three Sisters springs before 8am.
Can I go up to the manatees?
Manatees are very gentle mammals, and are generally not afraid of humans. Crystal River and King's Bay are their natural habitat. So we are to respect them, and swim near them only when they are open to us. You will learn more about how to snorkel with the manatees before you get on the boat, with Captain White's brief information session. This is necessary for all boat captains in Crystal river.
What do I need to bring for my manatee swim?
Be prepared to go in the water with your swimsuit. We provide wetsuits and snorkels. Once you are done with your snorkeling, there will be healthy snacks and drinks for you to enjoy at no cost. FLORIDA IS THE SUNSHINE STATE, SO BRING YOUR SUNSCREEN AND SUNGLASSES!
Will the manatees come up to me?
The manatees do not always come up to humans, but have been known to on occasion. Although we cannot guarantee that they will come up to you, they are more chipper earlier in the day.
How far in advance do I need to book my tour?
We recommend you book your tour at least a week in advance.
Will I really swim with the manatees?
Crystal River is home to 500 manatees during season. You WILL see manatees, and if you are in the water during manatee season and while they are awake, it is very very likely that you will swim with them. Captain White is known for making sure that your personal experience will be amazing and that you will have an interaction with manatees unlike what you've ever imagined.
How long is the boat tour?
Your personal and private manatee tour will last an average of three hours, at your leisure, with no rush, and no one in line behind you.
How many people do you take out on the tour?
All of the tours are private, so it will be only you and your guests. The maximum amount of guests is 6.
Do you take pictures?
Yes, above water! Captain Wayne has recently began dealing with some shoulder/rotator cuff pain which makes underwater photography unavailable. Please give us advance notice if you would like to take home an HD DVD set to music and relive this magical experience. Be the centerpiece in the magical world of King's Bay, the Three sisters, the mystical manatees, and the amazing natural beauty of Crystal River. Captain White will personally be using his artful eye to guarantee the best keepsake of any boat tour in town.
For only $65 you will get incredible images of your once in a lifetime experience, saved on an HD DVD.
Is it still legal to swim with the manatees?
There have been more regulations with manatee swims in recent years, and there are fewer boat tours than there used to be. Only professional Captains are allowed to run guided manatee tours, ensuring the best interest of the manatee is always first. Captain White will go over the detail of what you need to know about your manatee swim before you board the boat.
What happens if I don't know how to snorkel?
Captain White is well versed in snorkeling, and teaching. He will show you how to use the snorkel and help you learn at your own pace, until you are completely comfortable to go further into the water to snorkel with the manatees.
Do you do other boat tours?
You can book a sunset cruise, dolphin cruise (check for availability), or a manatee boat tour where you view and do not get into the water, but cruise on the pontoon through peaceful Crystal River.
How far are you from Orlando?
Orlando is about 1 1/2 hours from Crystal River. It's well worth taking the day to travel to Crystal River for a peaceful experience on Florida's nature coast.
How much does the tour cost?
Each tour is a unique experience, and prices are custom to each party. To book your tour and find out the exact price for your party, call Captain White at 352-613-1982.
Where are you located?
You will find Aquavision Manatee Tours docked behind King's Bay Lodge in Crystal River. 506 NW 1st Ave. Crystal River, FL 34428.