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Welcome to the Springs and Manatees of Florida Snorkeling Adventure.
I hope you will consider joining us as we explore the Florida Springs!
I saw my first manatee at age eleven. I was surf fishing in a quiet lagoon with my father. I will never forget my father's startled expression as a massive, unidentifiable creature surfaced next to us in the warm Gulf waters of Florida. I have been swimming with these gentle animals nearly every winter since.
TRIP DATES: January 22nd-28th, 2017
Each winter as the Gulf temperatures begin to drop, The West Indian Manatees migrate into the clear warmer springs of Florida. By January, the manatees have been in Crystal and Homosassa River for several months. Most of the population will leave the rivers for the Gulf waters by late March. January is an excellent time to visits these spring fed rivers. The weather in January can be very pleasant and there are typically plenty of manatees basking in the spring-fed water. We may experience daytime temperatures ranging from the 50's to70's.
Our trip will also include a new destination, the Chassahowitzka River Springs and kayak run. During our day on the Chassahowitzka we may drift by basking alligators, river otters and a multitude of wading birds such as little blue herons, white ibis, great egrets and limpkins. We are very excited to offer a new spring-fed river to explore in our 2017 itinerary
The cost of the Florida Springs trip is 4-6 guests: $1825 and 7-10 guests: $1695. This price includes: 6 nights of lodging, van transfers in Florida, 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 5 dinners, canoeing, kayaking, 3 guided snorkeling tours via pontoon boat, permits, naturalist -led programs and the extraordinary experience of snorkeling with a 2000 pound mammal! This price does not include air transportation, snorkeling gear or personal liquor. Farmer Jane style wetsuits are provided and full wetsuits may be rented on site if additional warmth is preferred. All meals are included with the exception of lunch on Day 3, dinner on Day 6 or any optional stops at river side "happy hours".
There are several options for travel to Tampa International Airport (airport code TPA). Please make arrangements so that you can meet the group between 5:30pm and 6:00pm outside baggage claim on January 22nd. Our trip ends at 11:00am at Tampa International Airport on January 28th allowing people to catch afternoon flights.
PLEASE DO NOT BOOK YOUR RETURN FLIGHTS BEFORE 1:00 PM on January 28th. We suggest that you follow our recommendations below regarding the required travel insurance. I have found great flight deals on Kayak.com.
Blue Water guide Nellie observing a manatee
For our first five nights, we have rented a private waterfront home on a tributary of Crystal River. The location is fabulous and our comfortable Florida style home has several rooms which sleep 4-5 people as well as a few beds tucked away throughout the house. Your Blue Water Ventures staff will be cooking most meals at the house. The rental house is cozy and somewhat like a big slumber party! Our our final night, we will enjoy the southern comforts of the near-by Plantation Inn where we have reserved double occupancy rooms. You may take a look at our rental house in Crystal River.
We will have WiFi connection at both the rental house and Plantation Inn
While experience in snorkeling or kayaking is not required to participate in this program, good general health is recommended. Some level of upper body conditioning is advisable to prepare for our active and adventurous trip.
Please be sure to mark your calendars.
$100 Non-refundable reservation fee is due upon registration
$500 Deposit Due: June 20th, 2016
$500 Deposit Due: August 5th, 2016
Balance Due: October 5th. 2016
Please send all payments in the form of personal checks or money orders to:
Blue Water Ventures, 127 Mason St. Santa Cruz, CA 95060
If you would like to pay a portion of your trip using PayPal,
Please visit our Payment Center
PAYMENT SCHEDULE IF USING PAY PAL
Please be sure to mark your calendars.
$103 Non-refundable reservation fee is due upon registration
$515 Deposit Due: June 20th, 2016
$515 Deposit Due: August 5th, 2016
Balance Due: October 5th, 2016
an additional 3% is added to cover PayPal's service fee.
(rather than building a 3% increase into the trip cost, we have given people the option to pay by check
and avoid this service fee).
Due to the complexity of arranging out of state programs the following cancellation policy is required. If cancellation requests are made with 90 days notice prior to the starting date of the program, you will be granted a full refund minus the $100 non-refundable reservation fee. No refunds are given when cancellation requests are made with less than 75 days notice prior to the starting date. We can not make exceptions to our cancellation policy so please protect your travel plans by purchasing travel insurance.
Blue Water Ventures (BWV) requires that participants purchase Travel Insurance for all multi-day trip destinations.
Travel Insurance is a very affordable tool to protect your investment.
Over the years, I've had several clients who have used their travel insurance and they were fully refunded for both the flight and cost of the trip. On the flip side, I've had people lose the full value of a trip because a medical situation developed or an unexpected family emergency happened back home such as an ailing family member.
Travel insurance will also cover medical evacuations and expenses during a trip, a cost that we can not cover for you. Travel insurance would cover the cost of getting you back home if a family member became ill and you needed to leave the trip for that reason. This is covered under the trip interruption clause.
Travel insurance will also help cover unexpected travel related issues during the program such as a missed flight due to a flat tire en route to the airport.
We are directing our clients to Pacific Harbor Travel (831) 427- 5000. By using a local Santa Cruz business, we have an extra layer of protection, a reliable agency that can help advise us if we need to make a travel insurance claim.
The great staff at Pacific Harbor Travel can review the policies with you and help you select the policy that suits you best. Most clients purchase the World Wide Trip Protector Plan which is very affordable. Pacific Harbor travel may also help you book your flights.
Travel insurance may need to be purchased within 15 days of initial payment to Blue Water Ventures or purchase of an airlines ticket.
Evacuations: Travel insurance is also highly recommended in the event that you require an evacuation due to a medical condition, family emergency back home or any other reason.
All costs for such evacuations and/or medical treatments are the responsibility of each participant. Please travel with a credit card in the event that payments are required for an evacuation or medical treatment.
We can not make any exceptions to our cancellation policy so please protect your travel plans by purchasing travel insurance.
BWV is not responsible for any expenses incurred by participants related to a canceled program or one they participated in, costs such as airline tickets, flight change fees, lost luggage, missed flights, visa fees, transportation, lodging, etc. BWV reserves the right to cancel a trip before it's departure date for any reason including insufficient participation. Blue Water Ventures does not assume responsibility for program changes or trip cancellations due to situations such as those related to weather, natural disasters or political events (i.e. war) or any other reason. Furthermore, BWV is not responsible for changes in private or governmental sectors, both at the domestic and international level, that may effect this trip.
Please don’t hesitate to give me a call if I can be of any other assistance.
Kim Powell, MRPA
Owner, Operator & Naturalist
Blue Water Ventures
phone & fax: 831-459-8548
127 Mason St., Santa Cruz, CA 95060