The Need Continues, and So Will We

From July 1st, 2021 we welcomed a positive and critical step in the right direction; with the opening of the Phuket Sandbox. With hopes that this will help jump-start the return of international tourism and the economic benefits that come with this for an island such as Phuket.

We are all hopeful that this will be a welcome development for southern Thailand and eventually the rest of the country. However, we know that this is going to take some time, and while it ramps up slowly, we understand that the need for food and our vital life bag efforts continue to be hugely important to many communities.

So, we continue to get our volunteers together to organize our life bag packing efforts, each and every Saturday at 10 am at Sutai Muay Thai. But it doesn’t stop there, once the huge packing efforts are complete the 5 Star Marine teams carry on through to distribution by truck or boat to some of the most suffering communities in and around Phuket. 

No matter what, we do what we can to help and will continue to do so until such time that tourism returns to more normal levels. 

The Life of a Life Bag – Video by Chris Parker

5 Star Marine was thrilled to welcome Chris Parker, (from Retired Working For You), as he joined their usual weekly efforts to see exactly what goes on behind the scenes of each vital life bag.

Chris Parker got an inside glimpse of how things work right from the organized packing efforts by volunteers at Sutai Muay Thai, to the distribution to some of the most suffering communities in and around Phuket. He joined the distribution efforts by truck and then headed out on the sea to get to some of the harder-to-reach places which the 5 Star Marine have been able to serve using their speedboats for deliveries.

In his follow-up, hard-hitting video, you get to see where these life bags go, and how vitally important they have become for the worst-hit communities around us here. 

In Chris’ own words: What 5 Star Marine in Phuket, Thailand have done during the past 14 months is nothing short of unbelievable. This video will tell the story about how, when the pandemic struck, one man decided to begin helping those in need on his home island and as the need grew, so did the effort. Today, One Phuket has handed out more than 210,000 ‘Life Bags’ with daily essentials for a local family who have no income. On Phuket, where tourism is basically everything, this has provided a lifeline and gotten many through this challenging year. 

The news in Bangkok and Thailand has been mostly bad this past year, but the Phuket Sandbox is reopening travel and bringing hope to the locals who are looking to get back on their feet. So book a ticket and be a hero!”

5 Star Marine is so grateful to Chris for filming this emotional and honest video and for helping to raise awareness by sharing this story on his YouTube platform also; all much appreciated. 

5 Star Marine – TAT SHA Plus Approved

5 Star Marine pride themselves on continuously striving to remain an industry leader in all areas; and they were in fact one of the first private boat companies in Phuket to be awarded the TAT SHA Certification in 2020, followed by the TAT SHA Plus Certification in 2021.

As the Phuket Sandbox officially reopened to international guests on July 1st, 2021, this means that international travelers can be assured of their safety with 5 Star Marine’s speedboat tours. The Tourism Authority of Thailand awarded 5 Star Marine with this certification, as a tourism-related business on the island; and the Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration Plus Certificate is now proudly held by the company. 

The TAT SHA Plus symbol shows customers that the business has been certified as adhering to all public health measures set up for Covid-19 safety. Although it only requires 70% of employees to have been fully vaccinated as part of the “Phuket Must Win” vaccination rollout – 5 Star Marine have gone over and above with 100% of employees having been fully vaccinated.   

This private speedboat tour company has taken extensive measures to ensure that its speedboats, staff, crew, policies, and procedures are industry-leading. Not only have they been accredited by the Thai Government by proving they competently following ‘Covid-19 Safe Guidelines and Principles’, but they have also gone the extra mile so that you can rest assured of all aspects of health and safety during this unprecedented time.

5 Star Marine is proud to be one of the first TAT SHA Plus certified tourism services and looks forward to welcoming more domestic and international travelers onboard for once-in-a-lifetime experiences on their private speedboats in 2021. 

Private Charter FAQs

Have You Just Booked A Tour? What Happens Next? Watch This Video For Full Details

Once you’ve decided to book a Private Boat Charter with 5 Star Marine your mind naturally wonders what should you bring to the boat to ensure you have a wonderful day?

FAQ: What is Included Onboard?

inclusion

FAQ: What Should I Bring Onboard

  • Passport Copy / Thai ID (if you have provided a digital copy, there is no need to bring it onboard)
  • Towels (we provide cool face towels, to cool off with, but these are not Beach Towels or used for Drying Off)
  • Sunscreen
  • Cash (for National Park fees)
  • Drinks (we provide soft drinks and water, but you are welcome to bring your own alcohol onboard at no additional charge)
  • Snacks (fresh fruits will be served)

FAQ: What Do I Need To Supply?

For International and Domestic travellers, please provide a digital copy of your passport or Thai ID via email prior to your tour.  These documents are used for our Tour Insurance, registration with the Marine Department as well as any National Parks we will enter.

FAQ: What is Excluded?

  • Lunch – If you wish to stop for lunch then our experienced team can help you decide where would suit your requirements and desired itinerary.  Our guides know a number of great restaurants on each tour program and can recommend for you.  Alternatively we can organize a beach picnic for your tour; we have a selection of western and Thai sharing dishes to select from. See our menu here.

FAQ: Where is The 5 Star Marine Pier?

Our pier is in Boat Lagoon, you can find our location on Google Maps here.

FAQ: Are Transfers Included?

Yes, we include private minibus transfers from your hotel / villa / residence to the pier for your private speedboat (unless specifically requested otherwise).

FAQ: How long before My Tour Should I Get to the Pier?

We recommend coming to the pier minimum 30 minutes before departure. This will give you time to discuss your day luxury tour requirements with your guide to ensure you get the most out of your day.

FAQ: What Payment Methods do you Accept?

We accept various payment methods for your convenience, including Mastercard, Visa, Paypal, bank transfer or cash.  If you choose to pay via Mastercard, Visa or Paypal please note we charge a processing fee of 3%.

FAQ: What is the Tour Itinerary?

You will get only a ‘suggested’ itinerary, and this is why; when you arrive at the pier we will talk through the day plan, make suggestions (because there are variables outside of our control like the sea, wind condition and tide, etc.) Our concept is a joint idea between you and your guide on the day, for the best experience.

For example, if the tide is high on your Phi Phi private luxury tour date, we suggest you go to Phi Phi Ley first (explore Maya Bay, Pi Ley Lagoon, go snorkelling near Viking cave), and then in the afternoon head over to Phi Phi Don. However, for a low tide morning and high tide afternoon; the itinerary would need to reverse in order to see Maya Bay at its most beautiful.

This is why the itinerary is suggested, not set in stone. We allow for you to add in more snorkelling stops if you please, and take your time; there are no set schedules of rushing for the next stop like you might experience on group tours.

FAQ: How Long do we Get For Lunch?

The answer is simple, it is however long you want it to be. As it is a private boat, essentially the boat is yours and your captain and crew on the day are there to give you the ultimate day out so they will take into account your requirements and help guide you.

FAQ: What Is The Best Departure Time?

As your boat hire with us is private, timing on your tour is flexible.  If you are an early riser and wish to get out early, we can accommodate that.  If you prefer a leisurely breakfast and to get out later we can do that as well.
 
Our Guide Team recommend to avoid the crowds a pick up from your hotel at either 06:30 AM or 10:30 AM.  This allows us to design your tour program to miss the group tours.
 

FAQ: What is Your Cancellation Policy?

At 5 Star Marine, we ensure that our customers remain our top priority. Therefore, we offer a flexible cancellation policy; so, if you need to cancel your tour, we will honour all cancellations made 24 hours prior to departure with honest, 100% refunds.

FAQ: What if The Weather is Poor?

We hope that we will luck in with great weather. However, in the event that the date is predicted to be poor weather, we will let you know, cancel and re-schedule

FAQ: Are you an Australian in Phuket and require consular, notarial or passport assistance?

The Australian Consulate-General in Phuket (also covering Krabi, Phang Nga and Surat Thani) may be able to assist you if you face issues while travelling.

Visit their website for information about the types of services available to you. The latest travel advice for Thailand can be found on the Smartraveller website.

‘Captain’s Choice’ – A Maximum Flexibility Private Tour

Captain’s Choice is 5 Star Marine’s unique luxury boat tour experience, offering you the perfect combination of maximum convenience plus flexibility. It brings together a new collection of inspired day sea tours tailored to your personal expectations; with an element of surprise thrown in to ensure your day is exactly what you would have wished for. 

So, all you have to do is book your VIP boat experience then, simply turn up on the day for your adventure. That’s literally all you need to do! No worrying about where to stop for lunch, what to do first, which order to sightsee or snorkel, where is best for the sea conditions that day – you can leave the hard decisions to our expert Captains and concentrate on enjoying your trip to the deserted paradise islands around Phuket.

Our experienced team of Tour Managers and Captains will ensure you have the perfect day out on the water, and fulfill your expectations to leave you with special lasting memories of your VIP tour with us. We are also TAT SHA Plus approved, so you know that you and your booking are in safe hands.

For the ultimate travel experience, you can trust 5 Star Marine’s ‘Captain’s Choice’ to bring you itineraries that are only available to small and private booking groups and not offered with any other boat tour company. 

We have already taken a number of international bookings, so don’t delay and book your ‘Captain’s Choice’ luxury day out now, to enjoy the bespoke selection of untouched paradise locations on offer. 

Contact 5 Star Marine on Facebook to book.  

What a Year!

We know that uncertainty remains at unprecedented levels globally, but we wanted to take a moment to look back on all the positive experiences from the last year, to realize how far we have come – and wow what a year it has been for us.

We took time to regroup and focus on reprioritizing our efforts in the last 12 months, and this meant rolling up our sleeves and getting busy. We re-evaluated in order to understand where new opportunities could open up for us and where they made sense. We continued supporting the vulnerable communities and the people around us via our charity efforts. We focused on the upside wherever we could see or create one. We wanted to look at where we could add value to our community and what we should be doing during this time.  

All in all, we are feeling positive about the future and wanted to share our top positive moments from the last year with you: 

1. Adding To Our Fleet

Let’s start with our speedboat fleet, which has doubled in size; we now have a total of 12 Private VIP Speedboats which offer day and multi-night tours out of Phuket and Krabi. We introduced our first VIP Luxury Cruiser, which is a proud extension to our current speedboat fleet and offers a truly unique experience on the water.

2. New Premises

To accommodate our growing fleet size, the domestic market support, and prepare for the return of international tourists, we moved piers and into a new office at Boat Lagoon, Phuket. Our new glass-fronted office is a more welcoming environment for all our loyal VIP customers and future private tours. 

3. Once In A Lifetime Experiences

We are humbled and know how lucky our crew, staff, and guests have been in the last year. We had the opportunity to experience Phuket and the Islands like NEVER before. Deserted beaches, empty turquoise lagoons and even being some of the first people to climb the new 3600 Krabi Viewpoint. We made unforgettable memories and feel blessed to have these with us forever.

4. New Tour Options

We introduced overnight and multi-day tours to our Phuket and Krabi markets. This included supplying private guests with island hotel return transfers, and adding new day trip locations such as Koh Ngai, Koh Mook, and Koh Kradan. We also had some exciting and memorable multi-night tours to paradise locations such as Koh Lipe, where our guests experienced manta rays and turtles amongst other stunning marine life. 

5. Our Charity Efforts Kept Going

We financed, packed, and delivered over 190,000 Life Bags to support the local, vulnerable communities; not only in Phuket but in the hard-to-reach surrounding islands where help was so greatly needed. Our teams of staff and volunteers have worked tirelessly ordering, packing, managing logistics, and delivering these food-based Life Bags for over 15 months now. Often exhausted from the sheer scale of efforts, our teams have stood strong and kept these efforts going each and every week –  We want to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who has been involved in this critical effort.

Here’s to more positive times ahead in 2021 and beyond. 

46800 Meals Distributed In The Last 14 Days

As Covid continues to restrict the local Phuket economy our team here at 5 Star Marine, lead by Shaun Stenning continues to dig deep and help the community. The third wave of Covid created more devastation than any other wave has.

This means that our team has had to step up and deliver more life bags and meals than ever before. Take a quick look at the last 14 days in review: 

Paradise in Phi Phi

Phi Phi is infamous in the Phuket region, with one of its iconic islands featuring in the 2000 movie, “The Beach” with Leonardo DiCaprio.

A Phi Phi private tour with 5 Star Marine offers crystal clear tropical waters with stunning coral reefs to produce fantastic snorkeling, abound with marine life. Plus, the spectacular and well-known Maya Bay is a must-stop spot for some snaps. Move onto a quiet picnic spot on the white sand of Monkey Beach, and experience the stunning Pileh Lagoon for a truly memorable day out. Pileh Lagoon is the perfect spot to cool down and take a dip in the turquoise waters whilst admiring the cove-like canyon which literally cuts into Phi Phi Leh.

Star Marine ensures that you discover the area in the best possible conditions, with the least number of tourists, and also get to discover hidden coves and caves that you will not experience on group tours.

Your day in the paradise that we refer to as Phi Phi could look something like this:

  • Photos at Maya Bay
  • Swimming at Pileh Lagoon
  • Stopping at Monkey Beach
  • Picnic lunch at Loh Lana Bay Beach
  • Snorkelling at Nui Beach

New Offices, Same 5 Star Service

We are excited to announce that we have been keeping ourselves busy in the last few days by taking a giant (out of water) leap and moving into our brand-new office space. This has been a natural progression for us, as we continue to expand our business to meet new domestic and international market demands. 

Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 situation, we are not able to do our grand opening just yet and invite you all to see our new space; however, with our tours now resuming, and international bookings coming in, plus our valued customers coming into our offices it is important you all know where we are now located. 

Don’t worry, we are still based in Boat Lagoon, Phuket; and to make things easy we have remained on the same side of the pier, just a little further down (about 150 meters) in our new two-story glass office. 

We are just settling into our new space, and as we all know things take a little time to get just right, but we hope to welcome you for the grand opening as soon as we are able to.

Please follow the Google Maps link below to meet us for your tour, or feel free to drop by if you fancy saying hello and seeing the team!

https://g.page/5StarMarinePhuket?share

A Snapshot Of Our Life Bag Program In May​ 2021

If you didn’t know, for the last 14 months our business has been helping our local community survive through one of the most economically trying times ever seen.

As a tourist island, Phuket was devastated by Covid leaving so many without work, businesses closed and the local community needed help.

Seeing this need we stepped up and financed the purchasing, packing, and delivery of life bags all over Phuket.

Here’s a quick look at what we did in May: