Take a relaxing escape into nature from Orlando on this fun 2-hour guided snorkel and swim experience in Crystal River. Situated 1.5 hours away from Orlando, this spring-fed river is home to the gentle giant of the sea, the manatee, which you will get to know all about from your Coast Guard–certified guide aboard a pontoon boat. There’s also a good chance you get to swim with the manatees! Expect a fun day of swimming and snorkeling in a beautiful setting suitable for all ages.
For families and groups who have a car and want to get beyond the Disney area, this is a great opportunity to see some the Orlando area's most beautiful natural settings. Upon arriving at the designated snorkel shop, you will be fitted with all the needed gear, which is up to all safety and health standards. From there, you'll get to know your captain, a Coast Guard professional who knows the area, and its inhabitants, well. This will make it that much easier to sit back and relax as you hum along the Crystal River in search of those big, lovable manatees.
Q: Is transportation included in this tour?
A: Transportation is not included on this self-drive experience. You’ll meet at a convenient location, which is a 1.5-hour drive from Orlando. When you book, we will confirm all of that with you.
Q: How do I swim with manatees in Florida?
A: Our City Sightseeing Orlando captains are Coast Guard–trained professionals who know the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge well, and can take you to the best spots for safe, fun swimming and snorkeling.
Q: Is it safe to swim in Crystal River?
A: There are several breathtaking natural springs to explore near Crystal River. Our boat captains will take you to the best spots to swim and snorkel, as well as where to safely interact with the manatees. Your Crystal River boat cruise lasts 2 hours.
Q: Is snorkel gear included when you swim with manatees in Crystal River?
A: Yes, we include a snorkel and mask set for each traveler. Wetsuits are required by the US coast guard for safety. Wetsuits give you buoyancy and assist with a more relaxing snorkel experience. You will pay the dive shop direct when you rent ($10.00).
Q: Is it safe to swim with manatees?
A: Crystal River is the only location in the entire USA that you are legally allowed to interact with manatees in the wild.
Q: Is it guaranteed that you will see manatees in Florida?
A: The manatees in Crystal River are wild animals and, as such, we are unable to guarantee interaction. However, our expert Coast Guard–certified boat captains will do everything they can to make this happen. You will definitely see them from a safe distance at Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park.
Q: What should I wear when I visit Crystal River?
A: We encourage guests to wear their swimming outfit underneath their morning clothes to aid in a quick departure out on to the Crystal River. Afterward, there will be locker rooms where you can dry off and change. Don’t forget your own beach towel, too!
Q: How many manatees are in the Crystal River?
A: Crystal River is lucky to have a group of approximately 80 manatees that stay all year round. During the colder months, an additional 300 more join them! The constant 72-degree (F) temperature of the spring-fed river and abundance of underwater plant life make it the perfect habitat for the manatees.