Swimming Florida Manatee Tours—Frequently Asked Questions
ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT KINGS BAY AND THREE SISTERS MANATEE TOURS
We love the West Indian Manatee and have learned to balance your desire to see the manatees with respect to the animal, the laws, and the local environment. We are the proud sponsors of the Manatee Fund under the guidance of the Friends of the Chassahowitzka Wildlife Refuge. Please visit their website and consider a donation to our local manatees. To learn more about our manatee tours and diving adventures, view our manatee Frequently Asked Questions below or check our manatee fact sheet.
WHAT IS THE “BEST TIME” TO GO ON A TOUR?
Early in the morning before Kings Bay gets crowded as well as during the colder periods between late fall (November and December) and winter (January through March). Weekends tend to get crowded so weekdays tend to be the most opportune time.
WHAT TIME DO YOU ARRIVE FOR MANATEE TOURS?
Tour times vary. call Adventure Center for details. 352-795-5797
Reservations are Required
HOW MANY PEOPLE DO YOU TAKE OUT?
Our USCG certified Tour Boats accommodate 11 to 14 people per vessel. With the use of all our tour boats we can accommodate groups of up to 48 people. Private Tours can also be arranged.
WHAT IS THE DIVE EXPERIENCE LIKE?
The Rainbow River (in Dunnellon which is 20 miles from our location) is a beautiful location and offers a variety and abundance of freshwater gar, bass, brim and turtles. The bottom is sand, lime rock and ribbon grass. It is a drift dive with a relaxing 1.5 to 2 knot current. Its like diving in a freshwater aquarium, also great for the snorkelers of the family.
WHAT AGE IS REQUIRED FOR KIDS?
We do not set a hard age requirement for children. Things that must be considered is that all customers must where a full wet suit, we have child's suits down to a size 6. Also everyone in the water must remain calm and quite at all times when around manatees! Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
HOW COLD IS THE WATER?
The water temperature in the spring-fed rivers ranges from 68–74 degrees. Average air temperature ranges from 40–50 degrees at night and 60–70 degrees in the day during the Manatee Season. Our boats are enclosed for comfortable sightseeing!
HOW CLOSE ARE YOU TO THE MANATEE?
If the Manatee where any closer they would need room keys. Manatee tours take place in Kings Bay which is approximately 2 miles in diameter or 600 acres, and is home to the largest concentration of manatees in the world. THIS IS THE UNDERWATER, INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCE OF A LIFETIME IN CRYSTAL RIVER!
ARE WE SAFE SWIMMING WITH THE MANATEES?
Manatees are curious and playful when you are quiet and let them initiate interaction. We show a "manatee manners for swimmers" video, before you dive, review a final manatee briefing, and get into the water to videotape and supervise your tour to ensure the best opportunity and manatee encounter for all.
Manatees are sensitive to movement and sound, so we do not allow diving into the water, as the bubbles will scare them away. You cannot get underneath these surface dwellers, as it frightens them.
On tour, we are in an average of 10 feet of water, and it is against the law to pursue the manatees in any way. So if they are sleeping or eating on the bottom, they should be left alone.
It is not difficult to snorkel and most people become comfortable with this diving method. We recommend you practice in our on-site pool if you have an opportunity. This will allow you to be more comfortable in the water.
Free manatee literature available upon request.
IS THERE A FEE FOR PARKING?
Because we are leaving for our own private facilities there is no parking fee like some of our other competitors.
DO YOU GO TO THREE SISTER ON YOUR TOURS?
Under normal circumstances we go to three sisters on our tours, however there are days that depending on weather and tidal conditions we may use other locations on Kings Bay.
GOT ANY MORE QUESTIONS?
Call us at 352-795-5797 or 800-632-6262 or email if you have any questions.