Often we are asked when we are out with clients what is the average group size we work with on our Private Boat. The answer is generally between 2 and 6 people. We find that generally, our clients wish to explore the islands (like Phi Phi or James Bond) at their own pace, with their own space and the freedom to choose to stay, go, or even sleepover if that’s what they want.
A true private boat like 5 Star Marine is a boat that is designed to be flexible to you, what you want and to ensure we deliver the best experience that you could possibly have on the day.
You want to stay longer on a beach with no problems, you want to snorkel 4 times no problems, you don’t want to get wet, no problems.
Customized Private Boat Tours
There is literally nothing we cant do to customize our Private Boat Tours for you and this generally appeals to couples looking for something romantic, young families worried about kids getting tired of people who have visited Phuket before and just want to avoid the crowds and visit the best destinations at the best time.
So while our main Private Boat, 5 Star Marine Lucus 1 can hold up to 35 people we generally do not run the boat full and just create a luxurious space and environment for you and your family to enjoy the entire boat.
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 from 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, with 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 won’t enjoy the tour as much and it won’t be as memorable as 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 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 fewer 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 their 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 on 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 of 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.
Obviously, as a Private Boat Charter provider in Phuket, we have agents across Phuket who promote our private boats to visitors, but we always advise our agents to allow the potential customers to talk directly with our boat management team. We advise this so that you, the potential customers can hear the latest news on the weather, wind, wave, and tide conditions.
Sometimes people make bookings with Agents and they just don’t realize that the agent may not have been on a private boat before, visited Phi Phi in the last 5 years, or even seen the private speedboat that you are booking.
This is why we make our team available to any agent on Phuket who is promoting our private boat charter to potential customers. So when you are talking to your Private Speedboat Agent you can always feel free to request to ask to talk to the boat owner or manager directly so you can get the most up-to-date information.
When it comes to weather, sea conditions, pick-up times and route planning the team who are out on the water every day are the best people to talk to as they know the most current conditions and what to expect when you are booking.
Here at 5 Star Marine, we specialize in Private Boat Tours, and often customers we talk to prior to joining onboard our VIP Private Speedboat ask us why our tours are more expensive than traditional Group Tours.
The reality is quite simple, on a Private Boat Tour we limit the number of people on our boat to just you, your family and friends. This means if it’s just the 2 of you on a romantic cruise or your extended family of 10, the only people on the boat are you and your friends with our crew.
By limiting our boat to just Private Boat Tours we create exclusivity of experience for you that you could not have on a Group Tour. Group Tours can be more affordable as they are filling their boats to capacity.
For example, let’s assume that most group tour boats can take 48 people on the boat. If you pay, as an example, 2000 THB per person to be on the boat, then that boat will be producing an income of 96,000 THB for the day.
Now as a responsible Private Boat Tour company we do not charge anywhere near this 96,000 THB price, in fact, you’d be quite surprised by how affordable private boat tours can be.
With that said though you should keep in mind, that when we conduct a private boat tour the entire boat, equipment, crew are all dedicated to making the day out on the sea the most incredible day for just YOU!
We are not focusing on the other 40+ people on the boat. So YES, Private Boat Tours are more expensive, but how often do you get the chance to cruise around the stunning islands of the Andaman Sea in the luxury of a VIP Private Boat?
Often we have guests ask us via message or at one of our agent locations across Phuket why the native weather applications on iPhones or Android devices often predict rain each day but the predictions are incorrect.
The answer is difficult, to be honest. When we are running Private Boat Tours we often use a combination of applications to predict the weather and then on the day of a tour we will also use a number of other applications as well.
When it comes to forecasting rain or sunshine a lot of people make the mistake of taking the forecast for Phuket and applying it to the island destination that they are intending to visit.
For example, we may have a forecast for rain in Phuket, but no rain in Phi Phi. So it’s important to look at the correct forecast model, for your intended destination and then also check things like wind condition, radar, tide, and waves.
For each of these things we use different apps as in our experience, no single app gives you an accurate prediction of Phuket’s weather conditions.
Often we can be out on the boat in beautiful sunshine snorkeling while our offices in Phuket are being drenched with torrential rain. A good Private Boat Charter company will be able to tell you the best time to leave the pier, the best time to come back, and how to avoid the rain.
Where a Group Tour provider is restricted by route and Gasoline allowances, this is not something that you will find here at 5 Star Marine. We will adjust programs to suit weather conditions and ensure you are a smooth, comfortable ride.
Our Agency was one of the top agencies in Phuket for Private Boat Tours, but on most tours, we were using boats that we leased. In 2019 we decided to make a change and invest in building a fleet of our own private VIP Speedboats.
The advantage of using private boats that we owned is we had full control over the experience you would receive with us. The quality of the private boat, the equipment on the boat, the crew, everything we could control, resulting in a better overall experience for you, our customers.
Now with that said, if you read any of the reviews on the Lisa Phuket Tours facebook page you would realize that we were highly recommended and our tours were much loved.
This is because we were very particular about the boats that we leased. Now we can take our business to the next step, we can enhance our guest’s experience and ensure 5 Star service across the board.
That’s why 5 Star Marine looks new, when in fact it’s not new. 5 Star Marine is just an extension of our Lisa Phuket Tours business, which has been running for 3 family generations here in Phuket.
So if you’re looking for a Private Boat Charter in Phuket then contact our team at 5 Star Marine or Lisa Phuket Tours.
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 that avoids crowds at any time. For example, the team here at 5 Star Marine design programs that leave anywhere from 6 am to 2 pm 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 customized 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 the 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 2 pm. 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 the 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 the 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 7 am or 8 am 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 the Low Season. The reality is that most companies in Phuket will go every day 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!