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Swimming with Manatees - Tour from Orlando

Activity Schedule

  • When does it run?

    Tuesday & Saturday

  • Duration

    Approx. 11 hours

  • Start time

    Maingate Lakeside Resort Kissimmee: 6:45am

    Walt Disney Disney Swan Resort: 6:35am
    CrossRoads Plaza – Lake Buena Vista outside the Goodings: 6:20am
    Universal Royal Pacific Resort – PACIFICA Ballroom: 6am
    Avanti Palms International Drive: 6:05am
    ICON PARK International Drive Rear of the Wheel: 6:10am

  • Meeting Point

    Client should make their way to the meeting point locations in the following areas:

    Maingate Lakeside Resort Kissimmee: 6:45am

    Walt Disney Disney Swan Resort: 6:35am
    CrossRoads Plaza – Lake Buena Vista outside the Goodings: 6:20am
    Universal Royal Pacific Resort – PACIFICA Ballroom: 6am
    Avanti Palms International Drive: 6:05am
    ICON PARK International Drive Rear of the Wheel: 6:10am

  • Ending Point

    The tour ends at the starting point.

Key Highlights

  • Hotel pick up and drop off and transport in an air conditioned vehicle
  • See elusive and highly endangered birds and animals at the Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park
  • Enjoy the unique experience of swimming with the gentle manatees
  • Breakfast and Lunch are both included in the tour
  • Tour is led by an English speaking guide

Overview

The Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge is one of the best places to enjoy close contact with the endangered West Indian manatees. This 40-acre sanctuary is a protected manatee habitat and is home to approximately only 2600 of these gentle vegetarian mammals under threat from development, pollution, and motorboats.

Here you can choose to snorkel and swim in the crystal clear water, or just sit back, relax, and enjoy the natural surroundings on the boat tour. Manatees, also known Sea Cows, are gentle giants and when snorkeling they will often come to greet you or even roll over to be tickled.

Nearby is the Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park - one of Florida’s best kept secrets. At this 185 acre sanctuary, you will have the chance to view many of Florida’s endangered animals such as the state panther and also visit an underwater viewing chamber for the manatees.

Itinerary

  • You will be picked up from the designated meeting points or from your hotel in Orlando and taken in an air-conditioned coach to the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge. You will be provided with a breakfast bag and you cane enjoy its contents during the journey – bread and butter, muffin, turnover pastry, piece of fruit and orange juice. Arrive at the Crystal River, home to the highly endangered manatees. These gentle, slow-moving mammals are completely defenseless and spend much of their time feeding and resting. Enjoy a leisurely boat ride on the Crystal River. Those who desire a more intimate encounter with these manatees can enter the narrow corridor at King Spring sanctuary to swim and snorkel with them. Mask, snorkel and fins will be provided to you on the boat. Be careful not to create too much noise as it is forbidden. The tour will break for lunch. Proceed towards the Homosassa Springs State Park, famous for its endangered animal and bird species. The natural spring in the middle of the park attracts thousands of fresh ad salt water fish here every year, a phenomenon not seen anywhere else. At the end of the tour you will be dropped back at the starting point.

Inclusions

  • Transportation in an air-conditioned coach
  • English-speaking professional driver/guide
  • Mask, snorkel, and fins
  • Boat ride on Crystal River
  • Entrance fee to Homosassa State Park
  • Breakfast bag and lunch

Exclusions

  • Hotel pick-up and drop-off
  • Wetsuit (available to hire on the day if required)

Please note

Please call the activity operator at least 24 hours prior to start of the tour for reconfirming departure details.

Headset translators can be ordered in advance or upon arrival (additional charges apply) in order to translate the facility tour, these are recommended for non-English speaking guests.

If the guest wants the hotel pick up, they need to pay $10 per person to a maximum of $25 per family per tour to their driver on the day of their tour. They may pay cash or credit.

For pick-ups in Downtown Orlando additional surcharges may apply.

There are no pickups in Altamonte Springs, Maitland, Winter Park or the UCF Area.

Meals are tentative and subject to change.

List of addresses:

Maingate Lakeside Resort –(outside lobby) 7769 West Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy., Kissimmee, FL 34747-1727

Walt Disney World SWAN Resort –(outside lobby) 1200 Epcot Resorts Blvd, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830

CrossRoads Plaza – (outside Goodings Supermarket)– 12521 StateRoad 525, Orlando, FL

Universal Royal Pacific Resort –(outside the PACIFICA Ballroom lobby) – 6300 Hollywood Way, Orlando, FL 32819

Avanti Palms Resort – (outside lobby) - 6515 International Drive, Orlando FL 32819

ICON Park Orlando - (Please wait at the Base of wheel facing Universal Blvd) – 8375 International Drive, Orlando FL 32819

Melia Hotel Celebration – (outside lobby) 225 Celebration Place, Kissimmee, FL 34747

We ask that guest please be allow a 10 minute grace time and if they don’t see the tour vehicle to call our office -407-522-5911.

Additional info

The confirmation voucher includes the local activity operator’s contact details and local telephone numbers at the destination. They will happily answer any logistical questions you may have.Translations in seven different languages available on request.Though the adult manatees can be as large as 13 feet and weigh more than 3,000 pounds, they are completely defenseless and are gentle mammals. The boat ride to spot the manatees is approx 90 minutes; however, it depends on the time taken to find the manatees.Wetsuits are available for an extra cost

Customer Reviews

  • 4
    Swimming with Manatees - Tour from Orlando
    10/19/2013 Mr M J Brookes, United Kingdom
  • 4
    Swimming with Manatees - Tour from Orlando
    10/19/2013 Mr M J Brookes, United Kingdom

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