Crystal River Florida
Dates: January 27-29, 2017
Every year, the West Indian Manatee seek asylum from the lower water temperatures during the winter months. They congregate in the warm, spring-fed waters of Crystal River, Florida. They often approach snorkelers and divers closely, presenting great opportunities to observe them in their natural habitat. They also make fantastic subjects for stunning underwater photographs.
Diving and Snorkeling in Crystal River
Diving with the manatee couldn't be easier. The spring basin where they congregate is a four minute boat ride from the dock at our resort. The spring basin is located in King's Bay in the Crystal River and adjoins a roped off manatee sanctuary area. The manatee move frequently from the sanctuary into the warm spring water which wells up from a cavern located underneath the surface.
Just make a step-in entry from the boat, take up a position floating on the surface between the spring and sanctuary, relax while breathing from your snorkel, and wait ... the manatee will swim right up to you! You can not harass or chase manatee but they never got the memo. They will often approach close enough to touch. Your group leader will brief you on manatee behavior and how to interact. On Saturday, we will spend three hours on our manatee excursion before returning to the dock and hotel to relax and soak up some of that famous Florida sunshine.
On Sunday, we will take a short trip by car to the park at Rainbow River. There we will board the boat that will transport us upriver to the head spring and begin our lazy drift back to the takeout area. The water in the Rainbow River is the clearest that we have seen anywhere in the world. The leisurely pace provides the perfect opportunity to observe the interesting flora, fish, and invertebrates that inhabit the river.
We are staying at the Port Hotel and Marina in Crystal River. This "classic" Florida hotel has an interesting history. It was built by Sam Pickard, co-founder of CBS and has hosted stars like Arthur Godfrey, Myrna Loy, Don Knotts, Sam Snead, Arnold Palmer and even Elvis!
The hotel offers an amazing view of Kings Bay and the Crystal River Ale House offers casual waterfront dining. The property is perfect for gatherings and socializing after the dives.
• 1 Day, 3 hour excursion to snorkel with manatee
• 1 Day, 2-3 hour drift snorkel on the Rainbow River
• Rainbow river water taxi fee
• Tank & weight rental (if diving at Rainbow River)
• 2 Nights accomodations
• Room & diving taxes
What's Not Included
• Transportation to Crystal River
• Dive equipment other than tanks & weights
• Rainbow River park fee ($5)
• Other tours, options, expenses not specifically listed
Trip Price & Payments
$299 per person
A deposit of $150 is required to register for the trip. The deposit may be refundable if your place can be filled. Payment in full due January 8, 2017. Deposits and payments are non-refundable after January 8, 2017. Trip insurance is recommended. Diving accident insurance is required (if diving).
Prices are per person, based on double occupancy. Prices are subject to change until the time of booking. You may be responsible for additional taxes, levies, or surcharges imposed by the airlines, transportation providers, or governments after the booking date.