By default, any private boat tour booked with the 5 Star Marine team direct will include a transfer from your hotel across to our pier. For those of you who are looking for something a little more VIP or Unique, we offer a Hotel and/or Beachside pick-up.
For a small additional fee, we will move our boat from our pier up to your hotel or beachside and pick you up directly. This saves on transfer time and provides a unique and often romantic experience for you and your fellow guests.
Recently we have completed hotel pick-ups from Trisara Resort, The Surin, Panwa, Surin Beach, and Bangtao Beach to name just a few. If you are looking for ways to customize your tour and make it unique just ask us.
Nothing is too much for us and with our team of experienced captains and guides, we can navigate most beaches and hotel pick-ups. All you need to do is ask!
I often see people asking whether they should book tours before arriving in Phuket or on arrival at Phuket at the street vendors. Whenever someone posts something like this the local community has different thoughts, ideas, and advice for the person writing the post.
After 11 years here booking tours myself, being part of a tour company, and also running a private boat marine business my advice is a little conflicted. If you plan to do a group tour, then generally you will find it best to book once you arrive in Phuket as you can compare prices at different agents.
The only exception to that is if you wish to book one of the premium tour providers like Phuket Sail Tours or Simba Tours. These companies generally book out well ahead of time and as such it’s best to at least reserve a spot prior to arriving.
So if you plan to book a group tour that sits in the “general” category and not in the small group or VIP tour category then I would strongly recommend to you that you should research before you arrive and then book on the ground.
We Recommend Booking Private Boats In Advance
But if you are booking with a popular tour provider in the VIP or Small Group category then I would suggest that you reserve. Then when it comes to Private Boats you should also reserve the boat if you wish to go with a reputable private boat provider.
For example here at 5 Star Marine, we pre-sell more than 75% of our month weeks or months in advance as we are a popular and reputable provider. If you land in and try to secure a private boat you may not get the date you want, the price you want, or even the boat you want.
If you’d like more advice feel free to contact us.
We receive a lot of inquiries via Facebook, WhatsApp, and Email from Solo travelers looking to join tours with 5 Star Marine. While we are aware that the experiences that we provide are extremely unique and memorable it’s important to understand that they are this way as no tour is the same.
We customize each tour to the customers on the boat. If our customers love to snorkel then we go to multiple snorkeling locations. If our customers love to relax on the beach, we go to multiple quiet and idyllic beach locations.
To do this kind of customized tour means that we are limited to just Private Tours. This means it’s just you and your traveling companions on the boat with our crew and guide.
Now for a Solo Traveller, this can be expensive as you are not splitting the cost with other travelers or with your family. The reality is if you compare our company, 5 Star Marine, to a typical group tour company we are more expensive.
But at a group tour company, you’ll have anywhere from 25 to 75 people on the boat. So if you have 75 people all paying 1300 THB per person then these group tour companies are making significantly more than us as a Private Boat Tour provider.
The reason we decided to do only Private Tours is we can craft, and execute programs that suit just you and ensure 100% satisfaction 100% of the time. This is why we receive 5 Star Trip Advisor and Facebook Ratings and people rave about what we do.
We are customizing the tour for you and ensuring that you have the most memorable time we can give you.
What Is The Difference Between A James Bond Island Private Boat Tour and A Phi Phi Island Private Boat Tour?
Generally, when we receive inquiries about private boats we are asked what is the difference between James Bond and Phi Phi Island. The immediate response out of our mouths is they are night and day tours.
The tours while taking place on the water are two completely different tours. For example, the James Bond Island Private Boat Tour takes place in lagoon-like water. There is very little clarity around the waters of James Bond (or Phang Nga as it is known locally). When you go on a James Bond Island Private Boat Tour you go to look at the wonderful limestone rocks, stalactite formations, hidden caves, lagoons, and of course the famous James Bond Island.
But when you go to Phi Phi you go see the crystal clear water, the white sandy beaches, the colorful marine life, rocky outcrops, and if you are really lucky maybe a reef shark or two. The Phi Phi Island Private Boat Tour is really about seeing what’s under the water, as well as what’s above whereas the James Bond Island Tour is about seeing what’s above the water.
Both tours are equally as beautiful, you just need to decide what kind of tour you want, do you want to go swimming, snorkeling and sitting on white sandy beaches or do you want to go sightseeing, sea canoeing and cave exploring?
If you are the adventurous type then you can do BOTH Phi Phi Island and James Bond Island at one time on a Private Boat.
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.