The Manatee Tour: Cocoa Beach Shore Excursions -
Award-winning travel guidebooks

   guidebooks   |   news   |   podcasts   |   boards   |   blog   |   worksheets   |   photos   |   articles   |   updates   |   register   |  

The Manatee Tour: Cocoa Beach Shore Excursions

by Sue Kulick, PassPorter Featured Columnist
Last modified 11-02-2010 > Articles > U.S. Travel > general travel  

If you are traveling to Florida's Port Canaveral area, consider taking some extra time to appreciate all the wonderful things the area has to offer.

On a recent trip, we decided to book a Manatee tour. I have always been fascinated by manatees, Called "sea cows" they are huge (800-1200 pounds) gentle and intelligent creatures. However, they are endangered. In 2009, only 3000 manatees could be accounted for. They are slow moving, which accounts for some of the injuries they sustain, as boaters don’t see them and they can't get out of the way of engines. Changes in climate and toxins in their feeding area also accounted for some of the loss. But in January 2010, a new count revealed over 5000 manatees in the Florida area! Could this gentle giant be making a comeback?

We decided that we wanted to see these beautiful animals for ourselves. We booked a tour with a company called Wild Side Tours . Our tour left at 10 AM from Ramp Road City Park on the inlet in Cocoa Beach. Much to our delight, we were the only ones on the tour! Captain Ben was well versed and knowledgeable in all things manatee. He was a retired biology teacher who had always had an interest in manatees and other Florida wildlife. Three years ago, he started doing the tours, and he has never regretted it.

We boarded the comfortable catamaran boat. Captain Ben had a cooler with water and soda for us, and he did the mandatory safety check. The boat even had a small bathroom on it! Soon we were on our way.

Manatee Tour in Cocoa Beach photo
Manatee Tour in Cocoa Beach

The boat that takes you on the Manatee Tour in Cocoa Beach, Florida - photo by rescuesk

We sailed out past the inlet. Our first encounter was with a manatee named Patty. We didn't get too much of a glimpse of her, because she sailed past us and into a small cove. Apparently, she is the star resident of this cove and comes back here year after year!

From there, we sailed out and onto the Banana River. Here, the water got very rough. It was a windy day, and we really felt it out there on the water. For about 15 minutes, we held onto our hats and sunglasses. Captain Ben pointed out some of the sights to us. One of our favorites was the Assembly building at NASA. During shuttle launches, these waters are filled with charter boats with a perfect view of the launch site!

Once we were past the rough river, we turned into a quiet cove and past some condos. Once past them, we turned into a small inlet and Captain Ben cut his engine. He didn’t want to take a chance of hurting the manatees with his propellers. We drifted for less than a minute, and suddenly, we were surrounded by manatees! One, two…at least 6 were coming up to see what this boat thing was all about! Our first impression was, they are so cute! And our second impression was, they are so BIG!! Its hard to appreciate 1000 pounds until its swimming next to your boat!

They played, surfaced, swam and looked at us for almost a half hour. Eventually, they got bored, and moved on. We drifted out of the channel before Captain Ben would turn the engines back on, and then we headed back to shore. On the way, we saw dolphins and all sorts of birds, including egrets, herons, kingfishers, cormorants and ducks.

It was an awesome trip, and we loved every minute of them. I would highly recommend Captain Ben and his tours. Cost was $29 per person. The tour ran about 2 ½ hours. Tours leave at 10 AM Tuesday through Saturday, and 2 PM Sunday and Monday.

Take a few hours to do this tour…you’ll be very glad you did!

Manatees in Cocoa Beach photo
Manatees in Cocoa Beach

Two manatees spotted in Cocoa Beach - photo by rescuesk

About the Author:
Sue Kulick is a resident of the Pocono Mountains and an avid Disney fan. She and her husband, Steve, live in a log home with their Golden Retrievers, Cody and Belle and their cat Tigger.

Recent U.S. Travel Articles:
Honolulu and and Waikiki - Things to Do While Visiting Aulani last updated 04-30-2015
The Eastern Coast of Oahu, Hawaii - Things to Do While Visiting Aulani last updated 04-23-2015
The Pearl Harbor Memorial - Things to Do While Visiting Aulani last updated 04-16-2015
Kennedy Space Center - Things to Do Near Port Canaveral last updated 04-09-2015
The Bishop Museum in Oahu - Things to Do While Visiting Aulani last updated 04-09-2015

More Related Links:
Serendipity 3 in New York City - A Dining Review last updated 12/29/2008
Hong Kong Disneyland Celebrates - A New Year In A New Disney Park last updated 12/18/2008
Valencia, Spain - Travel Tips last updated 11/27/2008
Bellagio of Las Vegas - Simply Bellissimo! last updated 1/08/2009
Hever Castle - Kent, England last updated 1/15/2009

Reader Comments:

I'm glad I came across this article. This is going on my list of things I'd like to do on our next trip. Do you by chance have a picture of the bathroom facility on the boat? And perhaps I missed it, but how long was your tour? Thanks!

     GreyHairedGrammie on March 13, 2011 @ 8:04 am
View all 1 comments in forum thread

So what do you think? Click here to share your comments, feedback, and experiences on this article and topic!

(Note: You must be a member of our PassPorter Message Board Community to leave comments. Join today for free!)

Updated 11-02-2010 - Article #536 

Read additional articles from

Subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter, PassPorter News, published for more than 58,000 opt-in subscribers worldwide. As an added bonus for subscribing, you will receive a 20% discount coupon for the PassPorter Store -- no catch!

E-mail Address:

First Name:

E-mail Format:
-Text/Don't Know  



We respect your privacy and never sell or rent our subscriber list. Subscribing will not result in more spam! We guarantee it.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Copyright 1999-2015
by PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.

Learn More With Our Award-Winning Guidebooks


RSS General PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel - Globetrotting: General Travel Planning
PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disn...
Planning a trip around the globe, or just away for the weekend? Ask questions and share experiences! Forum Sponsored by

Vegas Baby-packing light?
by Kelly66
4 Jul 2015 at 8:31pm
My husband and I get to go to Vegas! We are almost 50 years old. What kind of things can we do for free? We want to walk along the stip. Are there...
(click title above to view replies)

Orange County Convention Center Orlando Hotel Choice?
by KathyL
3 Jul 2015 at 8:25am
I am attending a conference at the Orange County Convention Center in November. The conference is taking place in the West Building. At this point,...
(click title above to view replies)

First trip to Hawaii...Aulani or other?
by thinkpink
26 Jun 2015 at 8:28pm
We need some advice on a trip to Hawaii. We have never been. Should we book a package deal? Try Aulani? Other advice? Thanks in advance!!
(click title above to view replies)

Dallas Texas - advice
by thinkpink
26 Jun 2015 at 8:27pm
I will be attending a conference in Dallas this July. I may take my dd12 with me and make the trip a fun girls trip. I need recommendations on what...
(click title above to view replies)

American Express Travelers Checks?
by Goofy'sGal
23 Jun 2015 at 5:59pm
We are traveling to Canada in early August (Montreal and Toronto area). It's been a while since I've been anywhere outside the US (although I love...
(click title above to view replies)

Amtrok IL to CO--first time
by MickeyRules
15 Jun 2015 at 11:31am
My son and I are headed out to CO and found it to be much cheaper taking the train. This will be my first long-distance train trip--and it's...
(click title above to view replies)

New Bus Service in Washington DC
by emtpej
12 Jun 2015 at 1:12pm
The DC Circulator is expanding service beginning 06/14/2015 to include a low-cost loop around the National Mall -- but it does not include Arlington...
(click title above to view replies)

Just got back from Aulani
by Tigger71
9 Jun 2015 at 6:30pm
I have just returned from our trip to Aulani where I stayed with my DM. It was truly a beautiful resort and we had a delightful time just the two of...
(click title above to view replies)

Total Visits: 7455

PassPorter ~ 1998-2015 ~ 17 Years of Making Dreams Come True!
Publishers of bestselling travel guidebooks and proud recipients of 13 national book awards
About PassPorter
About Us
Site Map
Privacy Policy
Images & Artwork
News & Updates
Message Boards
Concierge Desk
Books & E-Books
Customs Office
Register Books
Book Updates
Help & Info
Finding Answers to Questions
Help Desk
Using Your PassPorter Forum
Store Customer Service
E-Mail Us
Follow Us Front Page (Updated Daily!)
PassPorter Newsletter (weekly and free)
Latest Posts
YouTube Channel
Questions? Check our Site Map and visit our Help Desk to learn how to contact us online, by e-mail, and by phone.
Please feel free to link to this page so that other vacationers can find it.