When I first came to Phuket over 11 years ago I hired a Private Speedboat to take me to Phi Phi Island and also on a separate day to James Bond Island. While the speedboat was ok (not amazing, but it didn’t sink) the tour was no different to a standard Group Tour, just done on a Private Speedboat.
Fast forward 11 years and with years of experiencing chartering, leasing, hiring and going on Private Boats in Phuket I’ve come to realize that when most tourists visiting Phuket ask an agent, tour desk or online operator for a Private Speedboat what they are really getting is a Group Tour boat, hired Private for the day.
This means your concept of arriving at destinations without the crowds, visiting remote spots, finding hidden gems are all pipe dreams. The captains of these group tour boats that are rented to go Private are not trained on how to avoid the crowds, devise routes that discover unique locations and generally give you a “True Private” experience.
For me, a true Private Boat Tour in Phuket experience is where I find beaches, snorkeling spots, lagoons, restaurants where there are very few people, that are probably not even on a brochure and are uniquely beautiful.
So, when you look at hiring a Private Speedboat in Phuket my answer to the question as it relates to this post is NO not all Private Speedboats are the same.
This is one of the reasons that 5 Star Marine is so popular and well reviewed. Our company designs programs and tours to suit the customers on the day, the conditions on the day and the tides on the day.
While we will provide an itinerary to you prior to booking, we will also advise you that this may be adjusted on the day as we visit and pass by locations that intrigue you. For example, yesterday we conducted a private tour of Hong Krabi, this tour included 7 stops at some absolutely stunning locations and each stop was completely private, no other boats.
When booking a Private Boat in Phuket we strongly advise that you ensure that the boat is a “True Private Boat” and not just a Group Tour boat that has been provided to your Privately for the day.
Because if it’s just a group tour boat, then you wont enjoy the tour as much and it wont be as memorable is if you take a true Private Boat like the 5 Star Marine boat here in Phuket.
The answer is simple, yes.
BUT, and there is a big but, you have to rent a Private Boat and experience both Islands from the comfort of your own Private Charter.
The reason being that if you a group tour company attempted to do both locations in one day they could not possibly do it. With up to 90 people on a group tour boat, they could not do each stop with 90 people going on and off the boat all in one day.
By taking a Private Speedboat like our 5 Star Marine Private Boat you will be able to complete both trips in one day as there are less people on the boat (just you and your family or friends) and we can design a program that specifically suits you.
This is a popular program that we have run with clients who visit Phuket only just once in there lifetime so they can see some of the most popular sites as well as some of the hidden gems. When you do both James Bond and Phi Phi in the same day with us, we will create a program that ensures you are not transiting too long on the boat.
Generally the programs we design only have a maximum of 20 minutes travel time between each of the islands. How is that possible?
Again, it’s easy for Private Boats like ours where we can design the program to break up the transit and also ensure you see some spectacular sites.
If you are looking to do both wonderful locations in one day, just contact us for more details.
We are active members of many different forums in the Phuket area and often see visitors asking for trip recommendations and past visitors often reply with comments like “Go Early Too Miss the Crowds.”
Now this may seem like a good recommendation as this is how some group tour companies market themselves. But it’s important to understand that it’s not necessary to go early to miss the crowds, like it’s also not necessary to go late.
A great private boat tour company can design a program which avoids the crowds at any time. For example the team here at 5 Star Marine design programs that leave anywhere from 6am to 2pm from the pier.
Why such a big range in private boat tour start times?
The answer is simple, we are designing programs that suit our customers needs and also the wind, sea and rain conditions that we see occurring on the day. As every single private boat tour we conduct here in Phuket is customised and designed to meet you, our customers needs, every single private boat tour is different.
Some tours dictate we leave early, some dictate we leave late. For example, right now we are in Low Season (it’s the rainy / monsoon season in Phuket from mid May to October) which means that we have high winds in the afternoon, starting from around 2pm. This suggests that if we have a route plan that goes out into the open season, we should suggest an earlier leaving time.
How Can You Know What Is Your Best Leaving Time?
Again the answer is simple. Ask an experienced private boat tour provider who cares more about your experience than your money. When you are booking with the tour provider ask what wind, sea and rain conditions they are expecting for the next day. If they answer you without checking any apps, then probably don’t trust them, they just wanted your money. Instead just message us and we’ll let you know even if you’re not booking with us.
Anyone who has been in Phuket he last few days will have noticed that the season is starting to change. For the locals here, that is amazing news considering that our water supplies on the island were starting to run bare.
The answer to the question is simple, YES you can still go island hopping but you need to be careful to select the right day, the right company and the right tour itinerary.
For example, during High Season when we run our private boat tours most of the time we suggest a later leave and spending sunset on a private beach. This is because typically in High Season we have very low wind in the afternoon, making it great conditions for being on the sea.
During Low Season though, we recommend a sunrise tour or a tour leave time around 7am or 8am because during Low Season we expect a high wind in the afternoon which makes traveling back from the islands a little bumpy and less fun.
This is just one example of how things can change in Low Season. The reality is that most companies in Phuket will go everyday of both High and Low Season as they want to make income.
Here at 5 Star Marine Phuket we care about making your Private Boat Charter a wonderful experience so we will only recommend going out on tour when the weather is right for your selected tour program.
If you’d like to know what we recommend for you, please get in contact with us!