Phuket Private Boat Charter

Are you looking for a Private Boat Charter while visiting Phuket?  You may be overwhelmed by the options available to you.  Just a quick google search will show up millions of results from large companies to small, from owner-operated companies to agents.  So how do you decide which is the right Private Boat Charter for you?

Selecting A Phuket Private Boat Charter

In our experience of selling, operating, and provided Private Boat Tours for 13 years here in Phuket we find that Private Boat companies fall into a couple of different categories:

Private Boat Agents

Private Boat Agents are companies that don’t actually own the assets that they are chartering to you.  They have a relationship with the owner of the company that they are chartering from and make a commission.  While Private Boat Agents are necessary to help owners like us, you will find that Agents will be providing prices and promises above what the Private Boat Charter company will deliver.

For example, in 2019 we received a booking from an Agent and they told us that they had explained to the customer the need to pay the national park fee and that it was not included in the price paid to the agent.

Upon meeting the customer we did a pre-trip briefing and found out they had no idea what the National Park fee was and the agent told them that everything was included.  To ensure a good customer experience our company took a loss and paid the National Park fee for them and cut ties with the agent.

So when booking with a Private Boat Agent ensure that every promise they are making to you is a promise that the Boat Owner will back up.  An easy way to tell if they are an agent is to ask for a photo of the exact boat they promise you will go on, or even call the owner so you can talk to them.

Group Tour Companies Providing Private Rentals

These companies are companies that generally target the Group Tour market, but if you wish you can choose to take one of their Group Tour boats on a Private Boat Charter.  Generally, this means you will be taking a boat that has a lot of wear and tear with a crew that is set on a normal “route” and is not experienced in offering true private tours.

When I first came to Phuket I did this and would say it was the single worst experience I have had on a tour in Phuket ever.  The crew did not care about our experience, were unhelpful about lunch options, and wanted to get back to the pier as soon as possible.

While these companies have their place in the market, from a price point of view they are on part of even slightly higher than a True Private Tour company but they offer service which is of an inferior standard on boats that don’t appear or operate as VIP.

True Private Boat Charter Companies

I believe that 5 Star Marine is one of those companies.  We do not do group tours, our staff is trained to provide Yacht Like service to our customers, and we design and run programs that go anywhere from Phi Phi to Phang Nga, Krabi to Koh Rok and Koh Haa and beyond.

Our team is heavily trained on making sure they avoid crowds, they deliver custom experiences and receive feedback from our customers and adapt on the fly.  Each and every single tour we do here on our Private Boat Charters are 100% customized we never do the exact same tour twice.

What’s Left To Explore? Some Ideas for The Upcoming Christmas Break!

With travel looking like it will still be restricted in the upcoming Christmas break some of us are looking at what we can do to keep our kids entertained and maybe explore something that we have not seen before.

The good news is that in the December / January period we are past the Wet Season and into our Dry Season which means flat seas, clear water, sunny skies, and the opening of all of the national parks around the Phuket area.

As an owner of a Private Boat company, my recommendations are a little biased but they are based on firsthand experience.

Multi-Day Island Hopping Trip

Over the last past few weeks, we have done trips like this.  Where we pack onto the boat and head off exploring.  Booking accommodation last minute, jumping from island to island, and just living a free life on the sea.

The first trip we did was a 3 Day 2 Night trip that took us to Phi Phi, Krabi, Yao Yai, and beyond.  We had some adventurous customers on board so we went snorkeling, swimming, lagoon hopping, and even went and snorkeled with some reef sharks.

The second trip we did was a 3 Day 2 Night trip that took us to Koh Haa, Koh Rok, Koh Lipe, and Koh Lanta.  A truly stunning trip with some of the most amazing snorkeling that you have ever seen.  If you really want to find the untouched paradises this is the trip for you and it’s suitable for people of all ages.

Koh Haa / Koh Rok / Koh Lipe

Out past, Phi Phi is these 3 paradise islands.  Koh Haa is a beautiful spot for snorkeling where you have a high chance of seeing turtles and other amazing marine life.  The coral reefs are alive with color and marine life.  Do yourself a favor and while the international borders are restricted take a break out to Koh Haa.

Koh Rok is just 35 minutes past Koh Haa and again has the most amazing reef.  You will see heaps of Clown Fish and other amazing varieties.  What we love about Koh Rok is the colorful reef as well as the clear water.

Koh Lipe is a bit of a ride from Phuket, so take a few days to stay over while out there and explore things like 8 Mile Rock and the Black Beach.  See Whale Sharks and more at locations like this.  Truly an idealistic paradise.

Similan Islands / Surin Islands

With the change of season islands like Similan Island and Surin Island open up as possible destinations and are great places for relaxation, snorkeling, and exploration.  Similan is a set of islands and Surin is just a beautiful untouched paradise.

Here are just a few ideas to get you started on what you could be doing this Christmas holiday.  If you would like some custom recommendations just contact us and let us know what you’d like to experience and we will tailor something for you.

What Happens To A Private Boat Tour If The Weather Is Poor?

We have been asked a lot the last month or so what happens to a Private Boat Tour if the weather is bad, the wind is high or the sea is rough.  It’s a good question and relevant this September and October as we are still in the Phuket Wet Season.

The answer is different from company to company.  For example, today as I write this the rain is bucketing down but I am seeing video footage of tours going out.

Now in some cases, the Private Boat Tours will go out in bad weather as the customer requests it but in other cases, the companies do not allow for cancellations.

Here at 5 Star Marine Phuket, we offer a flexible cancellation policy.  The policy allows you to cancel a tour up to the day before the tour for any reason without needing to lose a deposit or make full payment.

On the day of the tour if the weather is poor cancellation is allowable for the weather.  This means we will not force you, your family or friends to take a tour in bad weather, sea conditions or wind conditions.

We wish your private boat experience to be a GREAT experience and the only way to do that is ensure we have good conditions for you, our customers.  So to be clear, as a responsible Private Boat Company we will always give you the option to cancel ON THE DAY of your TOUR if the weather is bad.

IF you wish to go out this is your choice but we will never force you to take a trip just because you are booked.  This is something that our company does differently from most private boat companies in Phuket.

Why You Should Support Local Businesses During Covid 19 Pandemic

 

During this difficult time of the COVID 19 Pandemic as many as 70% of tourism businesses have not been able to re-open here in Phuket.  Whether that is from a lack of customers, financial problems or staffing problems it doesn’t matter, what matters is that this means a lot of people are without work.

As a responsible company that is invested in the local community, as you can see from our regular donations, we also choose to support local businesses by spending at local restaurants, booking local staycations and supporting businesses that have been supporting local people.

This is something we promote heavily on our social media as we strongly believe that the only path for tourism here in Phuket is through Domestic Tourism until at least the end of 2021.  While the government has started to let in long-stay tourism the number of tourist arrivals is just not enough to sustain the local economy.

So we encourage you, if you can, to spend local, stay local and support local businesses.  Also, pay special attention to those local businesses that are investing in keeping the community going.

Businesses like ours here at 5 Star Marine that are offering significantly discounted COVID Rate trips, businesses like ours that are making regular community donations and businesses like ours that are taking the time to promote and help other local businesses.

Stay Local, Support Local and You’ll Discover Places You Never Knew Existed!

What Is 5 Star Marine Doing To Make Private Boat Hires Safe Post Covid19?

What Is 5 Star Marine Doing To Make Private Boat Hires Safe Post Covid19?

We are very aware of how the Covid19 pandemic has affected us locally here in Phuket but also all of our international friends and customers.  Being parents of a 7 year old boy we are as equally concerned as any other parent about ensuring every activity we undertake is safe, clean and the right healthy choice.

With this in mind, during this slow down in tourism we as a company have taken a number of steps to make sure we provide a clean and virus free environment for all of our customers.

Boat Renovations and Deep Cleaning

We were one of the first companies in Phuket to pull our boats out of the water and book them in with the island’s best renovation team.  During the renovation of both of our VIP Private Speedboats we had a deep cleaning undertaken.

All paint was sanded back to its original layer, new paint was applied, all surfaces were disinfected and cleaned.  This disinfection and cleaning happens on a weekly basis while the boat sits idle at our parking.

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Equipment Disinfection

All of the equipment that we use on board inclusive of life jackets, fins, ice boxes, ropes and more were all disinfected, cleaned and sealed in storage containers.  When we resume regular tours we will complete the disinfection process again prior to our first travelers joining us.

Single Use Masks / Snorkels

If you follow us regularly on Facebook you will notice that we have opted to change our process of providing masks and snorkels to customers.  Instead of providing them we will offer a “Covid Kit” to our customers that includes a full face mask and snorkel which you can take home at the end of the tour.

Our Covid Kit will include a number of other items to ensure cleanliness and safety from the virus while onboard and visiting the islands.  Just contact us to ask what the kit includes.

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Quarantine Of Staff

All of our Guide Team, Captain Team, Crew Team and Admin Team undertook a 28 day Quarantine to ensure as the virus spread they were not in contact with anyone that was at risk of having the virus.

Additionally our staff are all required to wear masks, carry hand sanitizer and complete Airborne Pathogen Training so they know how to limit the risk of spreading a virus like Covid19.

Accreditation

The Thai Government is offering an accreditation program that allows businesses like ours to develop a set of guidelines for our employees, suppliers and customers to follow to ensure safe use of our private boats.

We are one of the first 1442 tourism businesses in all of Thailand to adopt this accreditation program.  We believe from our research we may be one of the only 2 Private Speedboat Tour companies in Phuket to adopt this accreditation process.

Additionally we have mandated our staff to undertake Airborne Pathogen accreditation and training as well.

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5 Star Marine Providing Safe, Health Conscious Private Boat Tours

Once travel is allowed to resume and it’s safe for you to join us on Private Boat Tours we look forward to welcoming you onboard and having a great, safe time with us.  We take pride in being industry leaders and hopefully you can see we have been taking major leaps forward to ensure you have a safe and fun time with us.

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.

Can I Do James Bond Island And Phi Phi Island In One Day?

When people who visit Phuket are short on time, they are on a short stay or it’s just one of many stops we are often asked if it’s possible to do James Bond and Phi Phi Island all in the same day.

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.

Private Speedboat Agents In Phuket

We often see posts on Facebook forums and Trip Advisor where visitors to Phuket are asking who are the best agents on Phuket to book tours through, or hire Private Speedboats from.

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 direct 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 realise 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 are 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 everyday are the best people to talk to as they know the most current conditions and what to expect when you are booking.