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 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.

lucus1
boat

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.

boat view

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.

first response

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.

Family Celebrations and Experiences Done The 5 Star Way!

Family Celebrations and Experiences Done The 5 Star Way!

You probably don’t know it, but the team here at 5 Star Marine are extensively experienced in creating and executing family celebrations, romantic experiences and wedding receptions that integrate amazing scenery, beautiful blue water and private islands.

Let me give you a few examples:

New Years Day Serenade –

We had a client join us from Spain and as part of his plans for New Years Day he hired one of our VIP Private Speedboats for a custom program tour that included James Bond Island, Canoeing through the Hongs and snorkeling at a quiet spot in Hong Krabi.

The client had specifically requested a Private Island Sunset Dinner complete with a live acoustic band.  To make this happen we split our teams up, we had the “on boat team” of Guide, Manager, Captain, Engineer and Host looking after the customer as they did the tour.

The second team went to the private island, set up a romantic sunset dinner location, prepared there custom meal, set up the band and did a sound test.  On arrival the band played a very special song that was specifically requested by the client, dinner was served as was a custom drinks menu.

After sunset the band played into the evening and we transferred the client back via our VIP Private Boat.  This is just one example of a unique and special experience we can craft upon request.

50th Wedding Anniversary  –

We had a family group of 20 people join us on a private custom Phi Phi Island tour.  The tour was to celebrate the 50th Wedding Anniversary of our client.
We organized Snorkeling, Diving, Jet Skiing and more while on tour.  While our “on tour team” were looking after the clients at Phi Phi we had our “Island Team” setting up a private island dinner for 20 people complete with sound system for music and speeches.

A custom dinner menu was created, drinks were served, our DJ played an array of old and new songs and the speeches were moving.  At the end of the evening we transferred the clients safely back to their hotels.  This is just one example of a unique and special experience we can craft upon request.

Post Wedding Tour –

We were delighted to have an Australian Bride and Groom select a Private Custom Tour to James Bond Island, Hong Island, Panyee Island and more as part of there wedding plans.

Upon completing the wedding ceremony we transferred the Bride and Groom and there guest to our pier where we took them on a private tour complete with a wedding reception lunch.

Drinks were flowing on board as was a custom playlist on our VIP Private Speedboat sound system.  A truly unique way to have a post wedding celebration and one that will be remembered by all who attended for years to come.

If you have a dream, an idea or a plan that you would like to implement contact our team here at 5 Star Marine about how we can any dream come true and design a memorable experience for you and your friends, family or even team members.

Cheap Phi Phi Island Tours

Prior to providing Private Boat Tours to island sets like the Phi Phi Islands we were heavily involved in the resale and promotion of Cheap Phi Phi Island Group Tours.  The kind of tours where 35 to 50 people are on a boat and they quickly move from stop to stop.

As a reseller of these tours we were frequently changing providers as our clients often came back dissatisfied with the Phi Phi Island Group Tour.  Complaints we often received were:

  • Cheap Phi Phi Island ToursTravel Time – Due to the nature of a group tour the bus that transfers you to the pier has to stop at multiple hotels to pick up other guests. Sometimes those guests are late and you stuck waiting on a bus adding an extra 1hr each way onto your travel.
  • Boat – The quality of the boat is poor and has too many people on the boat for you to really enjoy the sights. Additionally when snorkeling it takes some time to get into the water as too many people are trying to get off at once.
  • Equipment – The equipment on the boat is faulty. Life jackets don’t close properly, masks leak, snorkels are broken, no fins are available.
  • Snorkelling – The area where they are snorkeling is too crowded as multiple boats with 35 – 50 people are in the same area and they keep getting kicked in the head.
  • Lunch – The buffet lunch is poor quality with the food luke warm and of a low quality.

These are just some of the complaints we heard and helped to solve.  Out of the frustration of sending customers to companies that really didn’t care about delivering quality experiences we created 5 Star Marine.

5 Star Marine Private Boat Tours to Phi Phi Island

The 5 Star Marine team, boats and equipment are all high quality.  Our boats are some of the newest and best maintained on the water.  Our crew and guides are constantly receiving training and are instructed to avoid the crowds.

So while 5 Star Marine Private Boat Tours to Phi Phi Island may be more expensive than Cheap Phi Phi Island Group Tours the difference in experience is not comparable.  Decide to make your Phi Phi Island trip memorable for all the right reasons and chat with the team at 5 Star Marine today.

You’ll be amazed at how affordable we are!

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 change.

Based on my personal experience with my son Lucus and the children we’ve had onboard 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 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.

 

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 direct.  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!

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.

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.

Why Are Private Boat Tours More Expensive Then Group Tours In Phuket?

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 an exclusivity of experience for you that you could not have on a Group Tour. Group Tours can be more affordable as they are filling there 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 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?