Desperate sailors of old oft mistook manatees for smoking-hot mermaids, which is easy to understand once you've glimpsed these gentle sea giants in 6-inch pink flipper pumps. See for yourself with today's Groupon for a dolphin or manatee tour from Native Vacations in Crystal River. Each tour requires a minimum of two people (maximum of six per outing), so tell your friends about today's Groupon to form your own swim club. Choose between the following options:
Native Vacations' goal is to let individuals experience Florida's natural splendor in an environment that's intimate and unmitigated by tourist crowds. You'll shove off for your three-hour manatee experience or two-hour dolphin-watching boat tour from Native Vacations' Crystal River marina and ply the shallow, inviting water of Kings Bay. As you drive deeper into this heart of cuteness, Captain Traci will spout facts about manatees and their habitat, answering any and all questions. Once she spots a particularly snuggly herd of sea cows, you'll slip into the water and sidle up to these 13-foot, 2,000-pound critters, photographing them and sea gossiping with them over a nice tender clump of seagrass. If the manatees happen to be particularly secretive on the day of your tour, your time on the water may be extended so that you'll have enough time to get acquainted with the beasts. Because manatees are a threatened species, you'll have to sit down to a short film before embarking that will fill you in on proper respect and manatetiquette. You'll also a receive a voucher good for a 10% discount at nearby Cuban restaurant Cravings on the Water, where you can help save the manatees by binging on shrimp, their chief natural predator.
For anyone wanting a less-intense relationship, dolphin viewing tours embark for the Gulf of Mexico or St. Martins Marsh Aquatic Preserve on a pontoon boat with a U.S. Coast GuardCertified captain. Slipping under the waters surface, sleek gray dolphins will flip and frolic alongside the boat or out on the sparkling sea. As guests plow through the waters, they might glimpse the elongated wingspan of a swooping eagle or snow bird, or witness the grace of an otter or alligator posing for boudoir photographs.
Tours depart at 8 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. There is no age limit. Though manatees have a year-round presence in Kings Bay, many leave for vacation during the spring and summer months.
TripAdvisors give Native Vacations a solid five-star average, and rank it as the number one attraction in Crystal River:
-   - We had the best day on the river. We saw dolphins and they played in our wake, swam with 3 manatees, swam up to the most beautiful springs. pointerb
-   - We saw this gentle creature in clear sun dappled water rest on the bottom. When he / she came up, she went face to face with my daughter. It was an amazing experience that she will never forget. ruthk191
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