Manatee Tours in Citrus County, FL
Why Choose Bird’s Underwater to Swim with Manatees in Citrus County, FL
- We are located on the water. Most manatee tours in Citrus County, FL require you to meet your guide at a public boat ramp or be transported by their shuttle bus. There are also many operations in the area that do not have their own commercial storefront and merely have a docked pontoon boat with a permit enabling them to conduct tours. Bird’s Underwater is located directly on a dock where you can step into one of our boats or kayaks and take off on your manatee experience in Florida!
- Owners Bill “Bird” and Diane Oestreich operate a trusted family-run business within the community and have been conducting scuba diving lessons and manatee tours in Citrus County, FL since 1989.
- All of our captains hold Coast Guard Masters licenses, and our in-water guides are diving professionals, most holding Dive Master Credentials. See our experience for yourself as we venture on an educational eco-tour to swim with the manatees in Citrus County, FL!
- We are founding members of META, the Manatee Eco-Tourism Association. META is dedicated to the education, cooperation, and proper manatee manners among the associated members.
- Bird’s Underwater is an educational facility. You can receive a “Manatee Awareness” certification card through PADI or SDI by request, and 25% of the processing costs will go to our local Chassahowtizka Wildlife Refuge office in Crystal River. Our captains will provide eco-tours on our excursions as we travel at idle speed across Kings Bay to our destinations. Our staff will happily answer any questions you may have throughout your manatee experience in Florida. Our storefront is a full library of educational materials on manatees! We have free handouts from the Fish and Wildlife Service, such as manatee info brochures, local maps of Kings Bay, and a variety of books for children and adults. All children who attend our manatee tours in Citrus County, FL are given a free manatee worksheet and a gold seal, 8 x 10 Manatee Awareness wall plaque after completing their tour.
- We offer small group manatee tours for six people only. Our small tours include a fantastic brunch made by the Dockside Deli located next to our facility. These small tours are up to 4 hours long and will stop by Three Sisters Springs.
- Our pontoon boats are enclosed in the winter months, and we have a dressing room where you can change into dry clothes after your We also carry hot chocolate, coffee, and tea in the winter months and will provide Dunkin Donuts on all early morning tours.
- Our manatee tours in Citrus County, FL meet daily at 6 AM and 11 AM. If you can make it, we strongly recommend the 6 AM tour! Despite the early meeting time, there’s nothing like embarking on a tour of the tranquil Kings Bay with the moon on one side and the sun rising on the other. We also offer an 11 AM tour for those who prefer to sleep in and provide seasonal tours at 2 PM from November through April. Please call us to inquire about this afternoon tour, as it is weather dependent.
- Bird’s Underwater is a full-service scuba diving training and sales facility. We are also a Scubapro Platinum dealership, one of 26 platinum dealers! Bill “Bird” Oestreich is the only cave diving, Tri-Mix, and Megalodon Re-breather diving instructor in Crystal River, FL. He has over 25 years of experience in technical diving, dive training, and dive exploration conducted in over five
- We manage two nightly waterfront rentals on the Homosassa and Halls River in Homosassa, Florida. Both homes have kayaks includes so you can step out the back door and venture along the beautiful waters of the rivers. The Fishbowl unit is just around the corner from the Homosassa Springs State Park, where manatees gather in the blue waters of the Homosassa River in the colder winter months. You may swim with the manatees in this area, so long as you follow the rules set by U.S. Fish and Wildlife.