View Full Version : Best Crystal River manatee swim?

08-16-2007, 14:01
For any of you who have done the manatee snorkel tours at Crystal River, which tour operator do you recommend? I'm looking at Bird's Underwater and Plantation Inn.

08-16-2007, 17:23
Interested in the response as I have wanted to do this but never had the time when I have been done that way.

08-16-2007, 17:46
Birds UW is suppose to be the best from reviews and friends who have done this..I have also seen many reviews of high appraise towards them..

08-17-2007, 10:19
what is the best time period for doing a manatee swim? I think I heard that there is a season to it but I don't know what that is.

08-17-2007, 10:24
what is the best time period for doing a manatee swim? I think I heard that there is a season to it but I don't know what that is.
Liv, it is my understanding that the late fall/winter/early spring months are the best times. Apparently they come in for the warmer waters - at least that's what I've been told. We're going mid-october and they said at Bird's that it should be pretty good, they should be migrating back in by then.

08-17-2007, 10:29
Thanks. I have been thinking about nice spring break options and it sounds like that would still be a possibility. Definitely on the "must do it soon" life list. My students would love to see a picture of me with manatees!

08-17-2007, 10:37
liv, go check out Bird's site:

and every time I've called their dive shop they've been really helpful.

08-19-2007, 14:06
I have gone to Crystal River every year for almost 20 years.
I usually stay at the Port or the Marina formally Port Paridise Marina. It is directly in front of Banana Island where the manatee hang out. The rooms are maginal but have a great view of the sunset. Also the marina will rent you boats so you can go at your own pace. I would not go with a group cause its so easy to go on your own; even first timers. The best place to go however is 3 Sister Springs witch is about a 20 min boat ride.( remember no wakes) Thbis is trip you really should do.

08-19-2007, 14:08
The best time to go is after Christmas , early Jan after the first big chill. Thats when the manatee all come to the Warm Springs

08-19-2007, 14:37
January is probably the best time. When the gulf gets cold they come into the springs which are 73* year round. We have been with American Pro Dive for the Rainbow River dift dive, which is great, but not the manatees. We are booked with a group January 13 to do the manatees and the Rainbow river with Bird's this year.