We have compiled a list of the most common questions
we are asked by our potential customers. If you have a question that is not
answered on this page, you are welcome to call (800)771-2763, or e-mail us at email@example.com.
When do you go out?
We meet at the shop at 6:15 a.m. and late tours, if scheduled, at
11:00 a.m.. The Crystal River and Kings Bay are very popular
on the weekends especially during the summer and can get very crowded
by mid-morning. We try to always be the first out at 6:15am
and have the most success during the early morning tour.
Once the waters get crowded with other tours, and boaters,
encounters are not as frequent. Remember, you do need reservations. Also see our
Where can I stay when I am in Florida?
Bird's Underwater has several Waterfront Vacation
Homes available for rent. Each home is fully furnished and
comes with the exclusive use of an ocean kayak. Or, if you
prefer, you can stay at one of the hotels listed on the Location
Where are you located?
We are located in Crystal River, Florida. If you would like
directions, visit the Location
We are just 2 hours from Sea
World in Orlando. Manatee Tours are the
perfect companion family trip to their famous interactive
encounters with whales, dolphins, and other sea creatures.
How many people do you take out?
In winter we have 5 boats. Each holds between 11 and 14
people. They go out to different locations to avoid crowding.
In summer we try to limit it to 2 boats with no more than 10 on
each, but normally we take out 4-8 people a day in the summer.
How large is Kings Bay?
Kings Bay is 600 acres (2.5 miles in diameter), making it the largest concentration of manatees in the world.
To offset the traffic, from November 15 to March 31 there are 7 sanctuaries covering over 40 acres of water that no one may enter.
What is your Cancellation Policy?
1 week. Details about our cancellation policy can be found on the Manatee Tours page.
I've never snorkeled before. Is it hard?
It is not difficult to snorkel and most people take to it right away, but we recommend that you practice in a local pool if you have the opportunity.
You will be more comfortable and graceful in the water if you can get a little experience beforehand. If not, let your captain know and
he or she will keep a closer eye on you (and offer a few tips).
Do I need a reservation?
Yes. We require reservations (via credit card) for our manatee tours. To make a
reservation call us at (800) 771-2763 or at (352) 563-2763. For
answers to your questions
Do you go out if it the weather is bad?
Yes. We go out in all weather conditions except
lightning. Our boats are enclosed, so you won't get wet on the
trip out into the bay, and once you are in the water, you're
wet anyway. :)
How cold is it and do I really need a wetsuit?
Water temperature in the spring fed rivers is between 68-72 degrees.
The average winter air temperature is 40-50's at night, 60-70's during the day
in the winter, with summertime temps in the upper 80's. Our boats are enclosed
in the winter and we bring hot chocolate and other
refreshments. We offer hoods to wear at no extra cost on the
cool mornings and each of our boats has a dressing room which you can use to put
on dry clothes after you exit the water.
We require that you wear a wetsuit. They provide the
extra buoyancy you need to float quietly in the water without thrashing around and scaring away the
What is the "best" time to come?
The "best" time to come is during the cold spells when
ALL of the manatees gather around the 72 degree springs.
Cold spells are most common from mid-October to mid-March, but keep in
mind that we have a large population of between 100-400 manatees from
October to March. Another consideration when
planning a tour is the time of the week. Tuesday, Wednesday
and Thursday are the best days of the week, because there is less
traffic on the water.
We also offer tours in the summer. There are not as many
manatees as there are in the cooler months, but 25-50 manatees seem
to like spending their time in Kings Bay all year long. We
have had consistent success with summer tours since 1999.
Keep in mind we often see dolphins as well as manatees on the river.
They come in to feed.
Is there an age limit?
No. There is no age limit for our manatee snorkeling tours, but parents MUST stay with their
children at all times and the children must remain quiet. Recommended age is
roughly 5-8 years.
Do you offer scuba diving tours?
Yes, we offer several scuba diving tours. However, we do
not offer scuba diving tours in manatee areas -- the bubbles scare
them away. Scuba diving is available by guided tour in the
afternoon, or you can take out one of our kayaks.
For more information about our scuba diving tours and kayaks, visit our Dive Center
Do you rent kayaks?
Yes, we rent (and sell) ocean kayaks in our Dive Center.
For more information, visit our
Dive Center website.