We are OPEN for When You are Ready to Visit

As we look to open our business to tours, we have put new procedures in place to minimize the risk to both you and our staff. Staff are all trained in safety procedures and are professionals. We ask that they self-screen daily and let us know as soon as possible if they run a fever…
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COVID-19 – How we are keeping you safe

The Management of Crystal River Watersports is encouraging employees and guests to maintain vigilance for health and safety. [well] UPDATED MAY 5TH, 2020: Out of an abundance of caution, we are not opening for tours immediately. While we are anxious to get back on the water and to see how our manatee co-workers are doing,…
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Types of the Crystal River manatee tours

Florida manatee tours provide unique experiences in discovering the world of manatees and the wildlife of Crystal River. Specialized packages offer 2-4 nights of exhilarating adventure. Choose from several packages such as the Enjoy Crystal River, Explore Crystal River, or Visit Crystal River. Take any manatee boat tour for a personal manatee encounter. Group Package…
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How to Choose a Manatee Tour in Florida?

Having a swim with manatees in Florida is not something you do every day. In fact, a lot of people don’t know what a manatee is unless its pointed out. These large, placid mammals move gracefully through the waters while subtly engaging with swimmers nearby. Getting the best out of this unique experience comes with…
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Crystal River Vacation Guide – TOP 5 Things to Do

Crystal River is an idyllic location that guarantees a fun-filled holiday where you can swim with the Crystal River manatees, take a romantic dining river cruise, snorkel, or go shopping. Situated on the west coast of Florida, offering the best climate, you have the opportunity to enjoy a memorable holiday with your family. The Perfect…
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Beginner Dive Mistakes: How to Avoid Them?

To enjoy the best scuba diving in Florida as a novice diver, check out our invaluable advice to help you avoid common mistakes during your first open water dive. Get Scuba Training The first step to scuba diving is training, so do a search for “scuba diving courses near me” and sign up for formal…
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Scallops Scuba Diving in Florida

Situated in western Florida, Crystal River scalloping is one of the most popular summertime activities. The Florida Bay Scallop is a bivalve mollusk that has an external two-part hinged shell. The scallops live in seagrass beds and shallow water and predominantly found in specific locations on Florida’s west coast and areas near Crystal River. Visiting…
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Best Time To Swim With Manatees in Florida

In the past, the best time to swim with manatees in Florida was specifically in winter. However, today it’s increasingly common to swim with these mammals throughout the year. Manatees are docile marine mammals that are harmless and graceful. Sharing an underwater experience with these creatures is a profound experience. A threatened species, manatees are…
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How To Get Scuba Diving Certification

Obtaining a Scuba Diving Certification in Florida or any place in fact where diving is a popular recreational activity, is an exhilarating experience. Anyone over the age of ten in good health and who can swim qualifies to enroll in a diving course. It’s a breathtaking pursuit, but you also learn lifesaving techniques and how…
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Hurricane Irma Update from Crystal River

Crystal River Watersports and the surrounding community were spared much of the wrath of Hurricane Irma. There were localized power outages that ranged from hours to a week. We only lost power for a few hours and were ready to host guests within a couple of days of the hurricane. The hotels, restaurants and other businesses were also open within a few days and ready to host your trips to explore Florida’s Nature Coast.

While on our tours, guests see a variety of birds. Bob Messersmith, President of the Citrus County Audubon Society, said “Most birds just hunker down and wait for the storm to pass. They get on the lee side of a tree, grab hold of a branch and just wait out the wind and rain.” Many adults and juveniles will ride out the storm and survive. Risks are to flightless birds and nests with eggs. Luckily the storm had dropped to tropical strength and the eye had largely dissipated before reaching Crystal River. We are hopeful that the damage to the birds was minimal and that the existing population is resilient and will quickly rebound.

The stars of Crystal River are the manatees. Robert Bonde, PhD Research Biologist – Sirenia Project stated that it is his “impression that manatees do fairly well during hurricane events. We have not seen any substantial mortality associated with hurricanes.” One paper does suggest that adult survival decreases after storm events. This could be do to either death, relocation from traditional locations or becoming a victim of drift due to offshore currents. Irma likely did not cause any of these problems.

Historically, some manatees have found themselves stranded after flooding events when they have gotten into areas without natural access. The only reported case after Irma were manatees that made their way into a local golf course pond. A partial embankment collapse allowed the manatees to exit the pond at high tides. They were monitored and seen entering and leaving the pond regularly for a few days to enjoy the vegetation in the pond.


Dr. Bonde also stated, “He has observed manatees during windy storms and often they do not seek out calmer water where our terrestrial logic would warrant. In some instances they stay on the windy side of a land mass, when reason would expect them to go around to the sheltered side when available. Maybe in those situations, they may have better access to drifting vegetation that tends to build up along the stormy side.”

Crystal River Watersports is ready to welcome you to Observe and Preserve Nature Above, In and Under Water. Give us a call to explore all that Florida’s Nature Coast has to offer.