Frequently Asked Questions
In order, to make your stay more convenient and enjoyable, we have put together a few of many questions individuals have regarding their stay or trip with the manatees. Please take a moment to look over these questions and see if it answers your questions or feel free to call us at 352-795-7234 to speak with our trained personnel in the Dive Shop.
1. What is the best time to go see the manatees?
Winter months are the best time to see the manatees. Usually during the months between November-April. Early mornings are the best time to swim with the manatees because they are very active and playful during mornings.
2. How cold is the water?
The water temperature is usually 72 degrees Fahrenheit year round and is supplied from a fresh water spring.
3. How old you have to be to swim with the manatees?
There is no legal or age limit to swim with the manatees. It usually depends on the maturity of each individual. Very young children can stay on the boat with a parent or they can hold their kids in their arms because the depth of the water is fairly shallow.
4. How do we get to where the manatees are?
You can get to where the manatees are either through charter or through boat rental.
5. What type of fish are there in Kings Bay?
Largemouth Bass, Perch, Ladyfish, Mangrove Snapper, Mullet, Tarpon, Catfish, Sheepshead, Redfish, Cravelle Jacks, & Gar.
6. Do we have to wear a wet suit?
Yes, recommended. So that you are not always treading water, and because of warmth and buoyancy (for floating) purposes.
7. What if we do not have our own wet suit?
You can rent one through our dive shop.
8. Can we scuba dive?
Scuba diving is discouraged around manatees because the bubbles may scare them off. Snorkeling is the preferred method for interacting with manatees. Please note it is unlawful to chase, pursue or harass a manatee at any time.
9. How many people can go on a swim with the manatee trip?
In order to make your experience unforgettable and personal, we recommend six people per manatee.
10. How many manatees will we see?
It varies. It is impossible to predict the number of manatees, depending on the temperature and season, you might see none to about twenty-five or more manatees.
11. Can we rent a boat and swim with the manatees without a tour guide?
Yes. But there is a mandatory video called "Manatee Manner" that each individual has to watch. However, we do recommend that you take a tour guide first before you attempt to swim with the manatees on you own.
12. How long will the trip be?
Depending on the rental. It usually takes about three hours for this exciting journey from start to finish.
13. What else does Port Hotel and Marina have to do?
We rent Kayaks, Canoes, Jon Boats, Pontoons Boats (ranging in different sizes) for your river enjoyment. Please visit our 'Dive Shop and Marina' link for more information on what port hotel and marina has to offer you. Or you can enjoy the beautiful breeze and sunset at our waterfront tiki bar and watch the passing manatees.
14. How far are we from the airport?
We are 96 miles from Orlando international airport, 91 miles from Tampa International Airport and 124 miles from Jacksonville International Airport. To get directions, please visit our directions link on the homepage.