In the yearly undersea-family reunion, the manatee is the beloved great-uncle, sharing stories of his rowdy days as a professional pachinko player while munching on algae. Pay your respects to everyone’s favorite aquatic patriarch with today’s Groupon from Snorkel with Manatees, located in Crystal River. Choose from the following options:
- For $25, you get a swim-with-the-manatees adventure plus snorkeling-gear rental (a $49 value).
- For $17, you get a 90-minute airboat tour of Citrus County’s backwaters (a $35 value). Riders must be at least 10 years old.
- For $14, you get a dolphin encounter (a $29 value).
Snorkel with Manatees hosts immersive encounters with manatees all year, inviting aqueous adventurers on one-of-a-kind subsea experiences. Strap on the provided snorkeling gear or unveil your homemade aqualung before the seafaring captain transports you and up to five other manatee enthusiasts to the mouth of the Crystal River for three hours of up-close bonding and far-away jousting. During the summer months, approximately 70 manatees can gather, and during the winter months, aquatic attendance can reach 400 slow-motion mammals. Tours begin at 7:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Airboat rides set swampy sightseers skimming across the backwaters of Citrus County, where they can enjoy a wildlife tour that often features cameos from maritime mammals such as dolphins, manatees, and river otters. Watch frogs deftly hop from log to gator away from their digital habitats on freeways, and contemplate the kaleidoscopic grab bag of avian life. This 90-minute tour segues swiftly from saltwater to freshwater, encompassing multiple ecosystems and centuries-old Native American mounds. On the Crystal River dolphin encounter, you’ll snap photographs from a high-speed boat as swift dolphins jump, splash, and solve Rubik’s Cubes in the blink of an eye. According to Snorkel with Manatees, dolphin sightings occur on eight out of every 10 sightseeing trips to the Gulf of Mexico, with occasional sightings of the American bald eagle and wild pigs during the cruise. Tours depart at 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.
Snorkel with Manatees
Snorkel with Manatees' expert divers lead tours on underwater sojourns to discover peaceful manatees and environs beneath the waves. Offering both group and mini manatee tours year-round, the guides monitor each diver to ensure safe practice with the animals. Their Crystal River scallops tour scours the ocean floor for tasty scallops while avoiding crabs auditioning for The Little Mermaid revival, and the Snorkel with Manatees excursions explore the Crystal, Homosassa, and Chassahowitzka Rivers on airboat. They also teach the fundamentals of their craft during discover scuba-diving lessons.