2hr Morning Ecotour – Private

What to expect

On the two hour ecotour, we will not be swimming. No wetsuite is required. This is a private boat ride for up to 6 guests in your party. You will be asked to sign a liability waiver. Your charter fee covers the whole boat and the captain. No others will be sharing the ride with you. Gratuity is not included.

Please do not arrive early. We run our tours close together and our captains take breaks between charters for food and shade, so we may not be on site until charter start time. Tours are recommended for all ages 2 and up.  Children 17 and under must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Departs: 10 am

Ages: 2-95

Total Cost: $300.00

This is a private tour. $45 is due on reservation. The remaining balance is due three days prior to your tour. Our system will email you a charter confirmation request with a payment link when the final balance becomes due. Please refer to our cancellation and weather policies. Your tour includes:

  • 3mm Wetsuits
  • Mask and Snorkel
  • Water Cooler
  • Life Jackets

Private Tours vs. Shared Tours

When you book a private tour you are reserving the boat and captain just for your group and the price listed is for the whole boat for the whole time. In a shared tour, you book only as many tickets as you need and the captain will sell other tickets to other groups.


searching availabilty

Frequently Asked Questions

Where are you located?

Pete’s Pier Bait & Tackle

1 SW 1st Pl, Crystal River, FL 34429

How Do I Book My Tour?

  1. Buy tickets: click an available ‘green’ date on the calendar, hit the red ‘book now’ button, complete checkout.
  2. Watch the Manatee Manners Video
  3. Complete the wetsuit sizing form. (we will send you a link via email after your tour is reserved)
  4. You are all set. We will see. you at Pete’s Pier for your tour

What’s the Difference Between a Shared and a Private Tour?

If you decide to take a group tour, you will be booked with others. This is the best route for those looking for the most cost effective way to take a tour with us! 

When you book a private tour, you’ll have the boat to yourself.

Do you offer group tours?

Yes. Group sizes vary up to 6 people based upon the tour you select.

Do you offer private swim tours?

Yes, we offer both half and full-day private tours.

Do you provide snorkeling gear & wetsuits?

Yes, masks, snorkels and wetsuits are provided at no additional cost to you, but you can bring your own if you prefer. 

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service prefers that we don’t use fins around the manatees, so we don’t allow those on our tours. Most of our time on our tours is spent floating at the surface. Because we are not actually swimming, and never need to swim faster than a manatee, there’s really no need for fins.

What if I’ve never snorkeled before? 

For most people, it only takes a few minutes to become accustomed to snorkeling. Your Captain will be glad to assist you. 

What sizes are your wetsuits?

Our Wetsuits are available in sizes ranging from Toddler to 3X. Not to worry, we have one that will fit you, but please make sure you indicate which sizes you need when you make your reservations.

Do I Have to Wear a Wetsuit?

Yes, wetsuits are required for our manatee snorkel tours. The best way to interact with manatees is by floating at the surface. And wetsuits provide buoyancy making it easy for you to float on the surface!

How long will we actually be in the water?

Manatee tours last approximately 3 hours from when you arrive to when we’re back at the dock. Most times, we try to actually have you in the water approximately an hour to an hour and a half. The actual amount of time spent in the water will vary depending upon the tour you select, the weather, tides that day, and what kind of mood the manatees are in that day. 

Sometimes Manatees like to interact with us a lot and other times they’re not really interested. When that happens we usually pack up the boat and head elsewhere to search for other Manatees. Own behavior can affect how much time the manatees are willing to spend with us.

If we’re respectful of the manatees, they are much more tolerant of us!

What is your cancellation policy?

Due to limited seating, we ask that you please make any cancellations at least 5 days prior to your scheduled tour. This will ensure that we can rebook your seat. Guests who process cancellations at least 5 days prior to their scheduled tour will receive a full reimbursement. 

Guests who cancel with less than a 5 day notice can reschedule at no additional cost or can opt for a gift certificate to reschedule at a more convenient time up to one full year from your scheduled tour date. 

Unfortunately, we have had a number of people reserve spots and then not show up, so we now require a credit card to hold your reservation. We pre-charge for the cost of your tour. This cancellation policy allows us time to fill any vacant seats and also helps us keep our prices reasonable. This way we can give you our commitment that when you reserve a tour, we can guarantee you a spot on the boat.

What happens if You Miss Your Tour?

If your group misses a scheduled tour, we will do the best that we can to accommodate you by rescheduling your party. 

In the event that you cannot reschedule, we will be unable to process a refund but will most definitely provide you with a gift certificate to return at a more convenient time up to one full year from your scheduled tour date.

Weather Cancellations

If we have to cancel your tour due to bad weather (high winds over 30mph or lighting in the area), issues with the boat or other circumstances beyond our control, you’ll be provided the opportunity to reschedule or receive a full refund.

We understand that many of you come from far away, so we always do the best we can to work around bad weather conditions. Many times, we’re able to delay our tours to allow for bad weather. However, we will cancel any tours when lighting or high winds (over 30mph) are reported in the area. 

We don’t cancel when it’s raining or foggy or the temperature drops below freezing. These conditions can occur between November and March, however they won’t affect you interacting with the Manatees. 

What is your Weather Policy?

If we have to cancel your tour due to bad weather (high winds over 30mph or lighting in the area), issues with the boat or other circumstances beyond our control, you’ll be provided the opportunity to reschedule or receive a full refund.

How much does a Manatee tour cost?

Costs vary depending upon the tour you select.

Is it Cheaper If I Don’t Go in the Water?

Whether you swim or not, the price per person is still the same on each tour. There are only so many seats that can be sold on each tour, and you occupy one of those seats even if you never get wet.

Do Children Cost the Same as Adults?

Regardless of age or size, the Coast Guard counts every person on the vessel towards the passenger count. Because of that, children are charged the same price as adults.

What times are your tours?

Check out our website for tour times.

How Many People Can Your Boats Accommodate?

Depending upon the tour, our boats can hold groups from 2 up to 6 people on a single boat.

What type of protection from the weather will we have on the boat?

Our boat has a Bimini top that we can raise or lower depending upon the weather. 

How deep is the water?

The average depth of the Homosassa River runs between 3-10 feet. The Crystal River is somewhat deeper. When snorkeling and swimming with the Manatees, we usually find them in fairly shallow water, normally not more than 6 to 8 feet.

What is the Water Visibility Like?

Because we are swimming with manatees in their natural habitat, the visibility varies on every tour. In the colder months the manatees are more likely to congregate in the warmth of the crystal blue springs where the water is crystal clear.

In the warmer months, manatees can usually be found in areas of differing visibility as they are usually traveling in search for food.

Where can we change clothes?

You can change clothes using the restroom at Pete’s Pier. 

Is there a minimum age to participate?

The minimum age to take children on our shared tours is 3 years old. You are welcome to bring children under the age of 3 on our private manatee tours.

What do we need to bring?

You should bring:

  • Swimsuits
  • Towels
  • Water Shoes/Sandals/Flip-Flops
  • A Change of Clothes
  • Cameras
  • Whatever food and drink you’d like (Water and hot chocolate in the winter is provided)

We always tell people to pack like you’re going to the beach!

Are we allowed to take pictures and videos?

Yes, you are welcome to take pictures and film your adventure. Please tag us on social!

Is it legal to swim with Manatees?

Swimming with the manatees is legal only in Citrus County, Florida. However, there are strict guidelines that you must follow. We must always treat the manatees and their home with respect.

Please refer to the “Manatees Manners” video produced by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for details.

Does swimming with the Manatees Hurt Them?

When a guided manatee swim tour is done correctly, it has little or no effect on the behavior of the manatees. 

What are the Rules for Swimming with the Manatees?

Manatees are a federally protected species, and there are rules in place for their protection. We go over all of the rules with you before each tour. 

Can I Touch the Manatees?

Manatees are protected by several laws that make it illegal to intentionally harass or disturb a manatee in the wild. 

Passively observing them is the very best way to interact with Manatees – even in Citrus County – the only place in the whole world where it’s legal to swim with the manatees.

When we are swimming with them, the manatees may occasionally choose to interact – including touching us – and that’s great. But we must remember to never intentionally put our hands on them.

Manatee Fun Charter Terms

While you are underway on one of our vessels, the captain is on board to direct and assist you in every way you need in and out of the water. Listening to his instructions can make sure that you have the most enjoyable and SAFE tour possible. This is a non-alcohol tour other than our awesome sunset tour(see sunset tour for more info) but we can provide cold water on warm/hot days and hot cocoa in the cooler winter months!