In order to assist you in planning a manatee tour, we have compiled a list of our most frequently asked questions. This should help you to learn about us and assist you in making reservations. We have provided directions to both the Nature Coast and to our pickup point.
Swimming with the manatees has been described as a spiritual experience. Additionally we have provided information on things to do in the local area, including accommodations and dining establishments. Our hope is that your visit to Crystal River will be memorable as well as fun.
Costs vary from $40 – $99. We have specials throughout the year. Call for current prices.
We require a 7 day notice on cancellations in order to receive a refund. This will ensure that we can rebook your seat since our policy is to only allow 15 persons per trip.
To ensure comfort for our passengers and the tranquility of the manatees we only schedule up to 15 persons on our 24 passenger tour boat. Our Ultimate Manatee tour is equipped with covered houseboats and accommodates only 6 persons on each tour.
Yes, our associate is a certified PADI instructor.
Yes. We have partners that will accommodate you for diving the King’s Springs in Crystal River.
I have kayaks for rent. Please visit my kayak rental website for more information.
For overnight lodging we recommend The Holiday Inn Express 1-352-563-1111 Book Online crystal-river/crtfl/hoteldetail Note: Holiday Inn Express offers our clients a 15% discount on rooms. In order to receive this discount you must call Holiday Inn Express directly. Call 352-563-1111 and mention “Sunshine River Tours”. For more information and other accommodations please click here.
Here are driving directions to the Nature Coast and Crystal River, Florida. Directions Driving times are: 1.5-2 hours from Orlando, Tampa, Gainesville; 3 hours from Jacksonville; 3 hours from Sarasota; 3.5 hours from Tallahassee; 6 hours from Miami.
There are no age limits, just the ability to swim.
The water temperature in the Crystal River and Homosassa River is a constant 72 degrees year around. This may seem warm but prolonged exposure could result in hypothermia. Therefore we recommend a wetsuit.
Manatee tours last approximately 3-3.5 hours.
Our boat is covered with clear plastic that can be raised or lowered and our boat is solar heated. Since we are only minutes from the springs weather is rarely a concern. However, we will cancel because of lightning activity.
You can change into a wetsuit in our shop. Additionally we have a curtained area on the boat that can be closed off to ensure privacy while changing.
Bathing suit and towel. A sweat suit is recommended for after the swim.
Your captain or mate will assist you in the water. For most it only takes a few minutes to become accustomed to snorkeling.
Manatees can reach up to 2000 lbs or more but are very gentle and curious mammals that love to play. For more facts click on Manatee Facts.
The Homosassa River averages 3-10 feet deep. The Crystal River is somewhat deeper.
Yes, it sometimes seems the manatees are posing for you. See Manatee Photos from one of our guests.
Capt Mike has compiled a list of things to do in our area and most do not require a reservation. Ask him for a copy when you arrive for your tour.
Check our times on tour sites.
Yes, but only for groups of 15 or more or on our Ultimate VIP Tour (minimum 2, maximum 6 guests).
Scalloping season is from July 1-Sept 10. Please visit our scallop page for more information.
Yes, from Orlando and Tampa. Our affiliate Wayne’s Taxi can pick you up at the hotel or airport. Rates are $90 each way to/from Tampa and Orlando. We can accommodate up to 10 passengers.
For reservations call: 352.564.8294