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Bird's Underwater

Features Animals
300 N US Hwy 19, Crystal River, FL 34428
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Review Highlights
One of the most magical wildlife experiences EVER!

We've been raving about this manatee tour to everyone! My husband and I want to come back with the... read more

Reviewed 29 March 2017
MakeamemoryThair
,
Columbus, Ohio
Paul's Poor Man's Mocha

The sun crested the trees as the springs opened. We slipped into the water under the watchful eyes... read more

Reviewed 27 March 2017
George S
,
Lewisville, North Carolina
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Bird's Underwater Dive Center offer manatee snorkel tours, waterfront location, Swimming with the manatees in Crystal River, small group 6 person only tours with meals included, Manatee surface tours, Manatee educational tours, Manatee Awareness Program, Manatee Dives, Manatee Photography underwater, Manatee Photography above the water, Kayak rental, Kayaking with the endangered manatees in Crystal River, Florida, Enclosed Pontoon boats, snacks, Paddle boarding with the manatees, Group manatee tours, School Field Trip Manatee Tours, Handicap access to view or swim with the manatees, Waterfront Vacation Rental Houses in Homosassa, Fl. Manatee swims from Vacation Rental Houses in Homosassa, Kayaks included with nightly vacation rental houses, Kayaking in Homosassa, Fl. Dolphin sightings, early morning manatee tours, Late afternoon Manatee Tours. Scallop Tours, Scallop gear Sales, Scallop education. Scuba diving sales, Scuba Diving Instruction, Snorkel Equipment sales, Cavern Diving, Cavern Diving Instruction, Cave diving instruction, Nitrox instruction, Tri-Mix instruction, re-breather diving instruction. Members of Manatee Eco Tourism Association, Better Business Bureau, and Citrus County Tourism Division. Owned by Bill (Bird) and Diana Oestreich since 1993. Bill "Bird" and Diane Oestreich moved to Crystal River in 1989 and began teaching scuba diving and offering manatee snorkel tours. At that time there were only 3 hotels, one independent shop, and about 100 manatees that came to Citrus County in the winter months. Since then, Manatees have increased to over 1000 manatees in Citrus County alone in the winter, and there is an average population of about 35 manatees that remain in Kings Bay in the summer months. The Manatee Awareness Program was set up by Bird and Diana Oestreich in 1990 with the dive agency NAUI, then PADI, and now SDI offers the same program. They offer quality and personalized manatee tours with experienced and insured boat captains, all of which are at Divemaster level or higher. Manatee Tours average about 3 hours, but they do not have a set time in which they "pull" the customers out of the water in order to run another tour. All tours include drinks and snacks. Private tours include a full meal. Bird's Underwater Dive Center is located on the Kings Bay of Crystal River. You do not have to drive to a separate location to be on the water. Bird's Underwater is located on the dock behind the Dockside Trading Company. We are next to Charlies Fish House restaurant, and walking distance from Crackers restaurant. The Dockside Deli is located in the same parking lot. Main Street or Citrus Avenue is 2 blocks to the south, the Crystal River Mall is 1/4 mile north.
  • Excellent93%
  • Very good4%
  • Average1%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“donuts” (70 reviews)
“captain steve” (98 reviews)
“manatee tour” (109 reviews)
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Hours
Hours Today: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Suggested Duration: More than 3 hours
LOCATION
300 N US Hwy 19, Crystal River, FL 34428
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"donuts"
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"captain steve"
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"manatee tour"
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"hot drinks"
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"three sisters"
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"a great experience"
in 71 reviews
"early morning"
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"worked very hard"
in 11 reviews
"dive shop"
in 44 reviews
"early tour"
in 21 reviews
"flash drive"
in 13 reviews
"these guys"
in 27 reviews
"making sure"
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"manatee swim"
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"wet suits"
in 38 reviews
"these gentle giants"
in 26 reviews
"snorkel gear"
in 16 reviews
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271 - 280 of 1,116 reviews

Reviewed March 29, 2017

We've been raving about this manatee tour to everyone! My husband and I want to come back with the rest of the family--it was that magical! The captain and our guide were fabulous, and we had such a fine interactive experience with very playful manatees,...More

1  Thank MakeamemoryThair
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 27, 2017

The sun crested the trees as the springs opened. We slipped into the water under the watchful eyes of the wildlife folks as Jesse led us into three sisters spring for a manatee encounter that was wonderful. I'm not sure when she had time to...More

1  Thank George S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 23, 2017 via mobile

We spent a little more for the private package but it WAS SOOOO WORTH IT! We got to the dock at 7am (the earlier the better in manatee world) and it was cold!! We were shown a video, given wet suits and snorkel gear. Don't...More

1  Thank Bari1025
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed March 23, 2017

I would highly recommend Bird's Underwater for manatee tours during season. They are the earliest (6am) tour company to go out by about 30-40 minutes, which was great. Wet suits and instructions of what to do and not to do, hot chocolate and snacks after....More

1  Thank TE747
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 23, 2017

We are avid scuba divers and have traveled to Crystal River several times to snorkel with the Manatees. Some trips were good; some bad; some so-so. This past March we went out with Bird's Manatee Snorkel Tours. It started off a bit questionable because they...More

1  Thank Alec P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 20, 2017 via mobile

I always thought this would be a cool experience, but I was completely blown away by how this exceeded my expectations. Bird's Underwater is a mom and pop type business that has been in operation for decades; they really know their business. Without a lot...More

1  Thank kater523
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HuManatee9, Manager at Bird's Underwater, responded to this reviewResponded April 2, 2017

Truly appreciate the awesome comments! We're so glad you had a great experience. We're sorry that we were unable to get any pictures on this particular trip. Normally, our guides have cameras and take pictures if the conditions allow. Occasionally the in-water guides have to...More

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 20, 2017 via mobile

Captain Loopy and Crystal were very knowledgeable and have a real love for these beautiful animals. Our group was small, and we were lucky enough to see several Manatee on our early morning trip. There were two males and one female that swam around, under,...More

1  Thank dzbeth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 20, 2017 via mobile

We went on March 12 and had a fantastic experience! The manatee encounter was amazing and something my teenagers talked about all week! We highly recommend Captain Steve and Robbie!! Fun and informative, accommodating and knowledgeable...we will be telling our friends! Thanks again 😊 The...More

2  Thank Pamela B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 20, 2017

I'd been lucky enough to see some manatees on an earlier trip to Merritt Island, so dithered a bit over the value of paying for a boat/snorkelling trip rather than just heading to another viewing point or hiring a kayak. In the end, I booked...More

1  Thank calico_demon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 19, 2017

I chose Bird's from the many manatee tours I researched because they seemed to be most respectful of the animals. It was a great decision. Captain Steve and dive master (is that term used for non-scuba dives?) Robbie were wonderful- the perfect balance of knowledge,...More

1  Thank lofi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Questions & Answers
lynnmcguinness52
May 7, 2018|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from Bonnie R | Reviewed this property |
0 Votes Please contact the business itself at (352) 563-2763. I am not sure about this as I have never been a tour where a wheelchair person was present.
0
Votes
Tryhunter
March 12, 2018|
AnswerShow all 5 answers
Response from Thomas S | Reviewed this property |
You can touch them if they initiate the close contact, which, on our trip, they did frequently. Many, but not all, were very confiding.
2
Votes
Johnna M
January 3, 2018|
AnswerShow all 12 answers
Response from | Reviewed this property |
We didn’t have a camera so they let us use theirs and then they transferred the photos on a pendrive that we bought. Very helpful
1
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