What Are The Best Private Boat Tours For Young Children?

As a father of a 7-year-old boy, I understand what it’s like to take Children out on tour as a parent.  Lucus, my son, has been coming out on boats since he was 6 months old and I’ve found that as he gets older the kinds of tours that he can join the change.

Based on my personal experience with my son Lucus and the children we’ve had on board here is what we would recommend in terms of Private Boat Tours for young children.

 

Lucus On A Private Boat
Lucus On Board At 7 Years Old

Age 6 Months to 2 Years Old – Private Boat Tours

At this age, your child is most probably too young to really experience any of the tours so the tour selection should come down to something that you would like to see and is safe for your child as well.

Generally, this means you should consider a tour into Phang Nga Bay / James Bond Island as the water is calm, the speed of the Private Boat slower, and the chance of bumps during your ride considerably less.  Also, Phang Nga Bay tours can be done in as little as 3hrs if you wish to push through the tour between nap and feeding times.  In our experience, though you can have your child nap on our large outdoor cushions or in your pram/stroller.

A secondary location that also offers a similar level of safety and sea conditions would be Hong Krabi.  This location also offers the ability for you to snorkel whereas Phang Nga Bay does not.

 

Kids On A Private Boat Tour
Some Fun On Board Lucus 1

 

Age 2 Years Old – 6 Years Old – Private Boat Tours

At this age, your child needs to be kept engaged with multiple new things to see, explore, and do otherwise they may become agitated on tour.  For my son from 2-4 years old, he personally loved the Phang Nga Bay Private Tour, Khai Island Private Tour, Raya Island Private Tour, and Hong Krabi Tour.

As he got older, around 5-6 Years old his preference moved towards Phi Phi Island Private Tours as there was more to see and he was a confident swimmer.  Again it’s important for her to time stops frequently and use our outdoor cushions for nap time.

 

7 Years And Above – Private Boat Tours

Generally, any tour would be suitable for a child of 7 years and above.  Just check on sea conditions prior to departing as one negative experience with a child could ruin any future chances of going on a Private Tour.

 

What Is A Traditional Phi Phi Island Private Boat Tour?

Often when we are discussing with potential clients a Private Boat Charter to the Phi Phi Islands we are asked what is a traditional Phi Phi Island tour.  Our answer is generally direct and maybe a little confusing for our guests.  You see, we say we don’t have a traditional Phi Phi Island tour, every single tour we run out to Phi Phi Island is unique, customized and tailored to the customers on the Private Boat.

As a Private Boat Charter company, we encounter a wide range of guests.  We have guests who love snorkeling, guests who want to see reef sharks, guests who want to snorkel from the boat, guests who want to snorkel from the beach, guests who want to sightsee.

Camel Rock At Phi Phi Island

Due to the wide range of guests we have and the wide range of tours they wish to experience we build a custom program for every single guest.  When building that program for a Phi Phi Island tour we consider the guest’s desires, the sea conditions, the water clarity, and the wind direction.

If the wind is coming from a certain direction it may make sea conditions more pleasant in different areas of Phi Phi Island.  So this is why every single time that we run a Private Charter Boat to Phi Phi Island we take a different course, we stop at different locations and we time the tour differently.

What Can You Expect From A Phi Phi Island Private Boat Tour?

Instead of giving an EXACT plan of what we will see and do at Phi Phi Island, we allow our guides and captains to have complete flexibility on the day.  With that said there are a few things we can guarantee you’ll have the opportunity to experience.  Those things include 2 or more wonderful snorkeling spots, 1 or more great beaches for relaxing, 1 or more spots to view the local monkeys, 1 or more beautiful lagoons, and a quiet spot for lunch.

Quiet Lunch Spot At Phi Phi Island

If you’d like to find out more about a Phi Phi Island tour, simply contact us and we’d happily discuss how we can customise a Private Boat Charter to Phi Phi Island for you.

Corona Virus And Phuket Private Boat Tours

All parts of the world are concerned about the current Corona Virus health crisis, which is fully understandable considering the quick growth of the virus and the uncertainty it is creating.

Here at 5 Star Marine Phuket we have been taking steps to help our local staff, local suppliers and local operators to prepare for an extended period of low to no charters.

As a tourism driver island Phuket is feeling the affect of the international flight cancellations and government mandated travel bans. With that said the locals and us believe that this momentary dip in travel will be for the greater good.

It gives us a chance as a company to reflect on what we can do to improve our business, clean up the popular areas of Phuket and prepare better tourism management plans in the future.

For those travellers who were affected by the Corona Virus here at 5 Star Marine we are extending a full refund as the Corona Virus was in no way something that you have or had control over. For a refund please contact us via email and we will advise you of the simple process.

We do hope though, that as things recover that you choose to come back and visit Phuket and book a Private Boat through us here at 5 Star Marine.

During this quiet time our staff are dedicating there time to maintenance, cleaning and stock management. While the english speaking management and guides are volunteering to help tourists navigate visa issues as well as finding flights home.

Stay safe during this period!

With Love

Shaun, Lisa, Tony, Nut, Jin, Got, Lift and Omar

Is It Possible To Request Beachside Or Hotel Pick Ups?

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!

What Should I Bring On My Private Boat Charter?

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

The answer is really quite simple.  On each private charter with us we will provide on the boat the following:

  • Life Jackets
  • Masks
  • Snorkels
  • Fins
  • Fresh Fruit
  • Soft Drink
  • Water
  • Beach Mats

In addition to these items that we provide we recommend that you bring the following:

  • Towels
  • Sunscreen
  • Cash (For National Park Fees)
  • Drinks (Alcoholic If You Require – No Additional Charge)
  • Snacks (In Addition To The Fruit We Have On Board)

These simple things will ensure that you have a great charter with 5 Star Marine.

Book Tours Before Arriving Or On Arrival To Phuket?

I often see people asking whether they should book tours before arriving to 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 to 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.

Does 5 Star Marine Do Group Tours?

We receive a lot of enquiries 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 idealic beach locations.

To do this kind of customized tour it means that we are limited to just Private Tours.  This means it’s just you and your travelling 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 which 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 to 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.

What Is The Average Group Size On A Private Boat Tour In Phuket?

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 there own pace, with there 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 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 or 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.

Are All Private Speedboats In Phuket The Same?

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.