Private Sunset River Cruise
Enjoy a private sunset river cruise along the beautiful waters of the Crystal River area. We start our cruises approximately 90 minutes before sunset to take a scenic tour of Kings Bay where we can see pelicans, white ibiss, ospreys, bald eagles, wild boar, otters, racoons, tarpon and everyones two favorites, Manatees and Dolphins. This time of day is when nature seems to come alive bringing animals of all kinds out to play. Most of the boat traffic from the day has subsided and makes for a great time to be on the water.
We cruise through the crystal clear waters enjoying any music of your choice to give the cruise an amazing feel to end a great day on the nature coast. The cruise can be customized to your every need so feel free to contact me with any questions you may have and we will accommodate your tour to the best of our abilities.
Need more info?
- Snacks or Dinner
- An excitement for a beautiful Crystal River Sunset
What is Provided:
- Cooler full of Ice for your Drinks and Snacks
- A fun captain to spend an evening with on the water
When To Go To Crystal River
When is the best time to visit Crystal River? I personally think it’s between November and March, when you’ll find cooler temperatures and have a better chance of seeing manatees.
Want to swim with manatees? Then try to visit from late December to late February, generally the coldest months in Florida . You might still be able to see manatees into March, but it’s never guaranteed.
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Crystal River Cruises Vs Scenic Cruises
Recent years have seen an increase in the number of river cruise lines positioning themselves at the top end of the market. Crystal River Cruises, launched in summer 2016, and Scenic, which started river cruises in 2008, both have well-established pedigrees in the travel industry. Crystal has sprung from the upscale ocean brand of the same name. Scenic is part of the namesake Australian-owned land vacation operator. Crystal says it brings “true luxury” to river cruising, and Scenic gives itself a self-styled six-star ranking.
Want to know the difference between these two luxury river cruise lines? Then read on for our guide to Crystal versus Scenic.
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Choose Scenic If You Want A Stylish Cocktail Hour
The included “Scenic Sundowner” experiences, usually one per cruise, involve passengers being taken to a picturesque and panoramic spot for a pre-dinner cocktail. Venues might include a German castle overlooking the Rhine, a chateau perched on a hilltop in France or the terrace at the Douro Museum in Portugal.
Exciting Underwater Experiences In Citrus County
Water is at the heart of Citrus County, and all the best experiences in Crystal River take place on or under the water. If you love to swim, dive, paddle, or boat, this is the perfect destination to immerse yourself in stunning spring-fed rivers, lakes, and the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Crystal Rivers most famous residents are, of course, manatees, and you cant miss the opportunity to swim with them. Discover all the best things to do in Crystal River and start planning your visit today!
One of the main draws of Crystal River is Kings Bay, fed by more than 70 springs and home to Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge and the Kings Bay Manatee Refuge. As temperatures drop in the Gulf of Mexico in the winter, manatees seek shelter in Kings Bay, the only place in Florida where you can swim with them. Learn about these endearing marine mammals and Crystal Rivers efforts to protect them as you explore the Manatee Capital of the World.
Whether youre looking for swimming, scuba diving, or a boat tour, you can find the perfect experience and connect with nature in a breathtaking setting. Head out on a naturalist-guided boat tour, plunge into the depths on a scuba dive in the unique Blue Grotto, or dip into the water and swim next to manatees.
Weve gathered the best tours and activities in Crystal River to make your trip planning easy. Browse our options offered by top-rated operators and book your experience online!
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Choose Crystal If You Want Exclusive Specialty Dining
The private Vintage Room offers exclusive multi-course tasting menus and is available for a fee. It can be booked as a group, by individual passengers or rented out exclusively for a private dinner for two or more. The wines are top-notch, and food is meticulously prepared and exquisitely plated.
Where To Stay In Crystal River
For my stay in Crystal River, I stayed at The Plantation on Crystal River, a lovely historic hotel that was built in the 1960s . The rooms are large and comfortable, and the pool is the perfect spot to relax after a day of sightseeing.
The Plantation also has an on-site restaurant and offers its own dive shop and manatee tours, meaning you don’t have to go far at all if you want to book a tour or rent a boat for the day.
Some other hotels worth checking out in Crystal River include:
- King’s Bay Lodge The top-rated hotel in Crystal River on TripAdvisor
- Best Western Crystal River Resort Overlooks the Crystal River
If vacation rentals are more your speed, there are some great rentals available in Crystal River. Some to check out include:
- This 3-bedroom home on a quiet canal with a dock and kayaks
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Choose Scenic If You Want Integrated Balconies
Scenic’s sun lounge balconies are unique on the rivers. If you close the folding door behind you and drop the window facing the water, it feels like a true balcony. Some of the line’s ships have screens, as well, which allows passengers to sit, sip drinks and enjoy bug-free scenic cruising. The beauty of the folding doors also allows one person to spend time on the balcony without disturbing someone inside the cabin.
Kings Bay Sunset Cruise
Available on weekends, approximately 100 minutes
At just over an hour and a half, this guided tour gives you a special glimpse at Floridas unique wildlife, culminating in an evening sunset that you can enjoy out on the water. While you enjoy a memorable trip through the Nature Coasts most vibrant habitats, you also have the option to bring drinks and snacks aboard!
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Scenic Cruise On Crystal River
Discover the breathtaking and magical waterways in Tampa with the Scenic Sightseeing Cruise on Crystal River. This fun and enchanting activity will get you outdoors while allowing for a memorable experience for you and your family and friends as you learn about the local natural areas, see an eclectic array of wild life up-close and personal, and relish in your time together in the great outdoors of this glorious city.
Your one hour tour begins by meeting your professional and personable tour guide and embarking out by vessel on the sparkling crystal clear and always warm waters of the Crystal River. The boats are fully covered to help protect from the hot sun and the chances of rain so you can always experience a fun and dry experience. Along the way, your tour guide will provide a live commentary of the area where you will learn about the history of the area as well as fun facts and intricate details about the local wildlife that you see to make for an incredibly tranquil activity. Wildlife you can see along the way includes dolphins, manatees, otters, turtles, birds, and fish! Your adventure takes place on the beautiful Kings Bay, where you can learn about the animals that call the area home. Your guide is talented and extremely knowledgeable on the eco-systems in this area, so you can learn tons of new information during your adventure.
Plantation’s Kings Bay Scenic Cruise
- Location: Crystal River, Florida
- Product code: Scenic
The scenic cruise is our one-hour dry tour of Kings Bay. Well cruise through the bay looking for wildlife while the captain points out the highlights of the area. During the cruise theres always the chance of seeing manatees, but we can never guarantee it. These are wild animals in their natural habitat that come and go as they desire. Our boats are fully covered to protect you from the sun and rain. Besides manatees there is always a chance of seeing dolphins, otters, turtles, a variety of birds and fish. Every tour is unique! Be sure to bring a pair of polarized sunglasses for your best chance at spotting wildlife. We offer a wide selection that are available for purchase in our gift shop as well.
All bookings are subject to a 7 day cancellation policy. Inside 7 days all booking are non transferable and non refundable.
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Choose Crystal If You Want To Spread Out
All of Crystal’s cabins have king-sized beds, which are huge and comfortable but can take up quite a bit of the space in the smallest cabins. The pair of two-bedroom Crystal Suites on Crystal Mozart are vast and comprise a 645-square-feet suite that connects to a second French balcony suite — 860-square-feet in total. Each suite can sleep up to five, with two double or twin beds plus one pull-out sofa bed. The master bedroom includes a separate shower, bathtub, double sinks and a walk-in closet.
Reserve Now & Pay Later
Find your experience
Make a reservation
Choose when to pay
Enjoy your experience
Your payment will be processed one day before the end of the free cancellation period specified in the product’s cancellation policy, based on Pacific time. For example, if you book an experience in Paris with free cancellation up to 1 day before, scheduled to start at 1pm on Saturday October 5, your payment will be processed on Thursday October 3 at 1pm Pacific Time if your experience in New York City has the same cancellation policy and is scheduled to start at 3pm on Saturday October 5, your payment will be processed on Thursday October 3 at 3pm Pacific Time .
If there is no start time set on the experience, payment will be processed at midnight Pacific time. For example, if you book an experience in Paris with free cancellation up to 1 day before, for Saturday October 5, your payment will be processed around 9am Paris time on Thursday October 3.
*Up to 9 days depending on the booking/product
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Meet Lu At Homosassa Springs
Lastly, you should make a stop at Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, located less than 15 minutes from Crystal River. Originally opened as a kind of zoo in the early 1900s, today the park is run by the state of Florida.
When the state took over the park a few decades ago, it slowly started whittling down the animals living there to ones that you’ll find in Florida, keeping humane captivity in mind. Today, there are resident manatees, alligators, bald eagles, and even an orphaned Florida panther.
One odd animal you’ll still find here is Lu the hippo. Hippos are certainly not indigenous to Florida, but when the state took over the park the locals petitioned for Lu the hippo to be able to stay since he’d been a staple at the park for so long.
The state ended up granting Lu honorary Florida citizenship so he could continue living at Homosassa Springs. And keep living he has he’s over 60 years old now!
At the Wildlife Center, you can view animals in the Fish Bowl Underwater Observatory, walk the Pepper Creek Birding Trail, take a 15-minute boat tour, and attend one of the manatee programs at 11 a.m. or 1 p.m. More info here.
About The Crystal River
Book this wondrous scenic sightseeing cruise today and many other fun activities and attractions on your next vacation escape to the Tampa Bay area of Florida! There are so many amazing things to see and discover with this pontoon boat adventure. Have a blast getting out on the sparkling waters of Kings Bay and the Crystal River to discover the unique ecosystem that makes Tampa Bay and Crystal River, FL so special.
- Approximately how long is Scenic Cruise on Crystal River ?The cruise lasts approximately one hour.
- How many decks or levels are there aboard the Scenic Cruise on Crystal River ?There is one deck on the boat.
- What lake or river does the Scenic Cruise on Crystal River cruise on?The cruise takes you on the Crystal River.
- What is the dress code?Dress code is casual.
- For what ages is the tour appropriate?Appropriate for all ages.
- Is photography / video recording allowed on the Scenic Cruise on Crystal River ?Both photography and video cameras are permitted.
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Price Inclusions And Booking Policies
Pricewise, both of these lines are similar. At first glance, they are slightly more expensive than lines such as Avalon and AmaWaterways, around $25 to $50 per night more on some itineraries, and around $1,000 per person, per weeklong cruise higher than lines including Viking. This is due to their all-inclusive nature.
They do, however, offer special deals, so savvy travelers can often snag discounts depending on the time of booking and the departure date. Crystal and Scenic both include butler service in every cabin, unlimited premium brand drinks, complimentary mini-bars, Wi-Fi, room service, a choice of included daily excursions, airport transfers and all gratuities for onboard staff. Both lines also offer specialty dining options.
Cruises on both lines can be booked on a cruise-only or fly-cruise basis, although air travel is generally included in the price for U.K. passengers.
Visit Three Sisters Springs
One of the most famous places that the manatees gather in Crystal River is at Three Sisters Springs, a collection of three natural springs that feed the Crystal River.
There are three different ways to experience the Three Sisters Springs:
You can visit the boardwalk and swim in the springs year-round, which are located within the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge.
Visiting the Three Sisters boardwalk is a must-do but you can’t just drive you car here since it’s within a wildlife refuge. You’ll need to head to the Three Sisters Springs Center instead, and hop on a trolley to the boardwalk.
Once there, you’ll be able to wander around and talk to the US Fish & Wildlife Service volunteers who watch over the springs.
It’s a beautiful location well worth visiting.
Another way to visit the springs is by boat or paddle craft . You can put-in at any of the public boat ramps or kayak launches in Kings Bay and then paddle into the spring.
Lastly, you can swim into the springs. Swimming in the springs is amazing because the water is so clear.
Just note, though, that during manatee season there are strict rules about where you can and can’t go. There will be buoys/signage denoting where the official manatee sanctuaries are, so please respect them.
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Kings Bay Scenic Cruise
Nearby Kings Bay offers a wide range of water activities that keep Crystal River residents busy all year round, but one of the easiest ways to enjoy the water is to head out on a Kings Bay Scenic Cruise with Plantation Adventure Center.
This specific tour is a one-hour excursion that will get you up close and personal with some of the area’s local wildlife. At the same time, you will have the privilege of taking in some of the best views of Kings Bay without ever having to actually get in the water.
What Makes Us Unique
We set ourselves apart from other manatee tours in the area, providing 5mm wetsuits that give additional warmth, buoyancy, and comfort for your tour. This allows you to stay in the water longer and with greater ease! Our tours also include free parking , towels, hot chocolate on the boat, and a shower in the dive shop for you to use after returning.
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Know More About This Tour
Confirmation will be received at time of booking
Not wheelchair accessible
Children must be accompanied by an adult
Near public transportation
Most travelers can participate
This experience requires good weather. If its canceled due to poor weather, youll be offered a different date or a full refund
This tour/activity will have a maximum of 40 travelers
Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
Choose Crystal If You Think Big
Dubbed the “Queen of Europe’s rivers,”Crystal Mozart is unlike any other river vessel. Previously named River Mozart, and sailing for the Peter Deilmann line, it was built in 1987 and, at 77.1 feet, it is double the width of other European vessels. As such, it holds the record of being Europe’s largest river vessel. However, it carries only 154 passengers along with a much larger than average crew of 92. Its size means it can only sail on the stretch of the Danube between Passau and Budapest.
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Crystal River Segway Tours
If you are looking for something outside-the-box and you aren’t afraid of looking like a goofy tourist, you’ll have a hard time finding an excursion that is more fun than the Crystal River Segway Tours. And if you really want to experience Crystal River, this is a great introduction to the town.
The Segway Tours start in the Little Caesar’s parking lot with a quick Segway training session. After that, it’s off to explore the streets, parks, and waters of Crystal River.
Whether you are more interested in swimming, boating, or Segways, there is something for everyone located just up the road in Crystal River. And with Crystal River being so close to us here at the Villages of Citrus Hills, you are free to explore each of these fun activities whenever you like.