- 438 Ratings
Two Hour Manatee River Cruise
Set sail down Manatee River with this cruise that lets you see the best of Florida. Coast through Terra Ceia and Lower Tampa Bay while listening to a trained ecologist explain the local flora and fauna.
What You Will Do
- Enjoy a comfortable cruise ship that is weather protected as you work your way down a number of waterways
- Bring any food or beverages on board that you want to make your excursion as enjoyable as possible
- Marvel at rare and exotic animals that you'll spot from your ship, from manatees to a variety of seagulls
- Gaze at impressive mansions along the banks of Manatee River as you head for Lower Tampa Bay
- Float past incredible mangrove islands in Terra Ceia Bay as you learn about the history of this recently-restored estuary
- 2 hour guided boat tour of Manatee River and surrounding areas
- Complimentary bottled water and coolers
This tour requires a minimum of 10 people. Guests should dress in layers and wear sunscreen for maximum comfort while aboard the boat. The boat is equipped with on-board restrooms.
- 438 Ratings
We stayed in close contact with Captain Tom to wait and watch for tour availability based upon the minimum number of passengers required to hold. We were able to be flexible and new dates were arranged. We thoroughly enjoyed the historical and ecological information and were free to ask questions and learn even more. We sat close to Captain Tom and asked many personal questions relating to fishing and river information. We took the tour specifically to learn more before renting our own boat and it was WELL WORTH the wealth of information received. Our only concern was that we sent several emails with questions and comments about our dates and # attending, and I don't believe these emails were read. I suggest calling to speak to Captain Tom himself. We would highly recommend the tour to get to know the Manatee River and Palmetto area better. It was also simply a lovely boat ride.
It was very informative of the area and we discovered different life in Palmetto that we had no idea it existed. We also appreciated the information provided by Susan.
What a wonderful tour of the water and surroundings. Very relaxed and so nice we were able to bring some wine and truly enjoy the tour. We were so Lucy to see an Osprey nest and we dolphins. This was our second time on this tour and we will definitely go again. It’s a great idea for visitors and a group. Loved it!!!
Enjoyed the ride and the Captain Tom and hostess did great job of outlining the history and questions guests had regarding the area. Very beautiful day to cruise.
The captain was careful and proficient in his sailing. The lady guide and narrator was knowledgeable and very Friendly!
We had a great time! The weather was perfect for a boat ride! The commentary was wonderful as well. We'll surely tell others!
- Mary Kay
Captain Tom and Firstmate Ann were wonderful hosts. The cruise was a lot of fun our group of 10 all seemed very pleased and happy with the cruise.
Had a fun entertaining trip
Comfortable boat. Good views out the windows. Interesting places. Informative.
Boat was very clean and comfortable. Trip was comfortably long and pleasant with slight breeze, surf at sides of boat, and rocking of boat, yet warm enough even in December because enclosed with windows. Captain and First Mate, Ann, were both friendly. During Automatic Pilot, we had a photo opportunity to sit in the pilot seat and pretend to drive. Pilot tried to find dolphins that some saw. First mate, Ann, greeted us saying glad we dressed wisely. She was creative and caring to fix with duct tape the sole of my friend's shoe that came unglued on the way to the boat, making me feel she could figure out how to handle anything that could arise. Felt there was almost a friendship that developed among crew and all passengers. There were occasional interesting comments about mangroves, plus history and ownership stories of huge houses on shores and large anchored boat. First mate got out maps to show us visually where we were. Also we learned ideas how a boat could be used for good later, that involved hopes and dreams of crew members. Susan Stulting
We experienced a fantastic outing today. The guide Mike and his assistant were wonderful. It took a while to find any dolphins at all and then suddenly they were all over. So nice to be able to move around on the boat and not be stuck in a seat for the trip!!
Not every day you get to see a hippopotamus in the river (or a tree stump resembling one). Small group-10 total but a lot of fun regardless. Can't wait to book our Xmas lights/sunset cruise next month.
Good 2 hrs, shame we didn't see any manatees or dolphins but still enjoyable. Thank you
Great afternoon experience.
We had a wonderful time seeing and hearing about Manatee's and the lay of the land. ( Sea ) The grandkids really enjoyed the boat ride and seeing everything. I'm returning with more grandkids soon. Thank you for a wonderful time. Mick,Sandee,Madi,Kevin and Leighton.
Thank you, Captain Tom, for a fun and informative tour. We all enjoyed your commentary. Even though the water was a bit choppy, you made every effort to make our excursion enjoyable. The search for the manatees was a real treat!! We will come back again for another tour and tell our friends about our great adventure.
- doug & Jan
Nice weather and great crew!
I always bring out of town guests for your ride, and it is always enjoable.
What a wonderful trip down the river and through lower Tampa Bay! The guide was very friendly and knowledgeable about the history of the area. It was a lovely time. Thank you!
Our boat Captain Chance was awesome!
God truly blessed us when He chose River Tours for my husband's funeral service. Thank you for stopping the boat to give my family time to reflect on Bob's life. Capt. Chance and his Mate respected our wishes. Thank you for stopping at the DeSoto Memorial. That made an impact on our family. God Bless you all!!!
I took my parents on the 1pm trip today. They loved it. It was interesting and everyone was very nice. It rained on and off and so Sonia was opening windows, closing windows!! Smiling all the time!
Captain Chance was very knowledgeable and very entertaining. Loved the trip
Can't wait to try the upriver tour next! Loved all the history, humor and info shared by Captain Chance!
Dear Capt Tom, Once again the Manatee River Rats had a wonderful trip. Capt Chance and 1st mate Bebe were extremely accommodating to all of our guests. After all expenses we raised just over $150 which is earmarked to charities within Colony Cove. Thank you for helping us accomplish this. Hope you enjoyed KW! Regards, Bob Sobon
- Captain Mike
We truly enjoyed the ride, the cleanliness, comfort, and the historical information presented by the Naturalist was wonderful. Wish the microphone and speaker had been working so we could have heard everything. Other wise a very beautiful boat trip.
It was a very enjoyable experience. The Captain and his assistant were very pleasant and informative. The sites were amazing
Capt Chance and BeBe were very informative and friendly. Pointed out many things, although we didn't see any dolphins, did see jumping fish. Beautiful views and a pleasant ride. Loved seeing the Sunshine bridge from water rather than just driving across it. Thanks for a great trip.
Wonderful tour. Captain and first mate very friendly and knowledgeable. Recommend to locals and visitors. Parking is tight tho so get there early.
Captain and BB kept it fun and informing. We will definitely do it again.
We enjoyed the wonderful hospitality on board, seeing to our comfort, offering bottled water. Great descriptions of local history and wonderful respect for natural habitat. We would do it again. Would like info. About having my 75th birthday on the evening cruise. Price and min. Max number of guests?
Very knowledgeable , very professional, very friendly crew
My friend and I had a great time. A very relaxing and enjoyable 2 hour trip. Captain Tom and his wife were very casual with the guests, yet very informative about the river and it's history. Would recommend!
Informative, relaxing, fun
Susan is very informative about Bradenton history and Capt. Tom is always pleasant. Thanks for another great trip. Glenn and Marti Clark
Very enjoyable trip. Our tour guide and Capt were very knowledgeable about the area and shared many things we wouldn't have otherwise known. Lots of fun!
The boat was very clean and Capt Tom and his wife did a great job explaining everything.
Beautiful area, informative narration, well organized, clean, comfortable boat, pleasant crew.
Great tour. Naturalist onboard very informative about history of the area.