5 Star Marine – TAT SHA Plus Approved

5 Star Marine pride themselves on continuously striving to remain an industry leader in all areas; and they were in fact one of the first private boat companies in Phuket to be awarded the TAT SHA Certification in 2020, followed by the TAT SHA Plus Certification in 2021.

As the Phuket Sandbox officially reopened to international guests on July 1st, 2021, this means that international travelers can be assured of their safety with 5 Star Marine’s speedboat tours. The Tourism Authority of Thailand awarded 5 Star Marine with this certification, as a tourism-related business on the island; and the Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration Plus Certificate is now proudly held by the company. 

The TAT SHA Plus symbol shows customers that the business has been certified as adhering to all public health measures set up for Covid-19 safety. Although it only requires 70% of employees to have been fully vaccinated as part of the “Phuket Must Win” vaccination rollout – 5 Star Marine have gone over and above with 100% of employees having been fully vaccinated.   

This private speedboat tour company has taken extensive measures to ensure that its speedboats, staff, crew, policies, and procedures are industry-leading. Not only have they been accredited by the Thai Government by proving they competently following ‘Covid-19 Safe Guidelines and Principles’, but they have also gone the extra mile so that you can rest assured of all aspects of health and safety during this unprecedented time.

5 Star Marine is proud to be one of the first TAT SHA Plus certified tourism services and looks forward to welcoming more domestic and international travelers onboard for once-in-a-lifetime experiences on their private speedboats in 2021. 

46800 Meals Distributed In The Last 14 Days

As Covid continues to restrict the local Phuket economy our team here at 5 Star Marine, lead by Shaun Stenning continues to dig deep and help the community. The third wave of Covid created more devastation than any other wave has.

This means that our team has had to step up and deliver more life bags and meals than ever before. Take a quick look at the last 14 days in review: 

Paradise in Phi Phi

Phi Phi is infamous in the Phuket region, with one of its iconic islands featuring in the 2000 movie, “The Beach” with Leonardo DiCaprio.

A Phi Phi private tour with 5 Star Marine offers crystal clear tropical waters with stunning coral reefs to produce fantastic snorkeling, abound with marine life. Plus, the spectacular and well-known Maya Bay is a must-stop spot for some snaps. Move onto a quiet picnic spot on the white sand of Monkey Beach, and experience the stunning Pileh Lagoon for a truly memorable day out. Pileh Lagoon is the perfect spot to cool down and take a dip in the turquoise waters whilst admiring the cove-like canyon which literally cuts into Phi Phi Leh.

Star Marine ensures that you discover the area in the best possible conditions, with the least number of tourists, and also get to discover hidden coves and caves that you will not experience on group tours.

Your day in the paradise that we refer to as Phi Phi could look something like this:

  • Photos at Maya Bay
  • Swimming at Pileh Lagoon
  • Stopping at Monkey Beach
  • Picnic lunch at Loh Lana Bay Beach
  • Snorkelling at Nui Beach

No Quarantine in Phuket For Vaccinated Tourists

International Travellers – What You Need to Know

Phuket will be the first destination in Thailand to reopen to overseas tourists, from July 2021. This comes after over 15 months of the island being closed off to tourists; and now the local businesses, restaurants, hotels, and shops are looking forward to welcoming travelers back. Thailand has a full Covid-19 plan to reopen the whole country, and this starts in July where fully vaccinated tourists can fly to Phuket without the requirement to quarantine.  

Under the ‘Phuket Sandbox’ program, Phuket will be the first destination to lift quarantine requirements for vaccinated foreign tourists, starting from 1 July 2021. Tourists will be required to spend the first seven days on the island, before being allowed to travel to other Thai destinations. (source TATNEWS.org)

Phase 1: Phuket

From the 1st July 2021, fully vaccinated travelers can visit Phuket without the need to quarantine on arrival. 

The main requirements for overseas tourists are set out below*

  • Proof of Covid-19 vaccination is required (full vaccination)
  • Obtain a Certificate of Entry (CoE) before departure
  • Travel insurance with Covid-19 cover
  • Download the Thailand Plus tracking application before departure and upload the required information
  • Must fly directly to Phuket International Airport*
  • Present a negative PCR test result (issued a maximum of 72 hours before departure)
  • Covid-19 test on arrival
  • Stay in Phuket for a minimum of 7 days

*Please enquire at the Royal Thai Embassy or Consulate in your own country for up-to-date travel requirements and to ensure you are eligible for quarantine-free arrival into Phuket. 

5 Star Marine Private Boat Tours

From July 1st, we are looking forward to welcoming back our international market VIP guests with a range of private boat trips. We are excited to give our staff the opportunity to work with international guests again and we also want to give you the chance to explore some exciting destinations whilst the islands are still blissfully quiet and beautiful.

From 1st July 2021 we are able to offer private tours to the following destinations:

Please contact us to book your bespoke VIP boat tour experience. 

Community Efforts and Preparing for the Road Ahead

Here at 5 Star Marine, we passed a huge milestone this April (2021) – of over 14 months of continuous efforts supporting vulnerable communities in need situated in and around the Phuket and Phang Nga areas.

Over 60-weeks of donations have produced an incredible amount of these Life Bags; more than 160,000 have been paid for, packed, and delivered to date. Each one containing staple items such as eggs, oil, noodles, sauces, and rice, among other essentials.

So, what do these numbers actually mean? Well, each Life Bag can feed a family of 4 for 5 days, which means that over the last 14 months we have already helped over 640,000 people, (and counting), get access to basic food supplies. Our teams put themselves out there in the local communities, going out at least twice per week to make these deliveries, so this number is rising every day.

Through this initiative, we are happy to report that we have already made a huge difference and been able to target some of the remote, hardest to reach, and most at-risk areas and islands utilizing our fleet of 5 Star Marine speedboats.

Even the current and previous waves of Covid-19 here did not halt our charity drives. After seeing first-hand how much devastation was caused to the local economy, our 5 Star Marine team now continues to work even harder to find solutions to continue these indispensable efforts.

We have worked long and hard to build trusted relationships with a network of local OrBorTors, and these connections have enabled us to get insights into the real needs of these communities. So, we are able to identify the highest priority villagers, and where to focus efforts several times a week. The necessity for these Life Bags is now, sadly, greater than ever.

Packing had previously been at Sutai Muay Thai on Saturday mornings by teams of volunteers and schools; in a Covid-19 safe and TAT SHA compliant way. However, as the number of active cases in Phuket has increased, the decision was made to keep everyone safe by reducing the number of packers and revert back to the original core group of 5 Star Marine and Sutai Muay staff (April 2021). With an ever-increasing need for Life Bags as the months go on, it means that our small-scale team will work around the clock to ensure no one is left out.

Our scaled-back team recently managed to finish 1,000 Life Bags in a long 6-hour packing window. To put this into perspective, this would normally have taken just 1 hour with the usual volunteer numbers. However, our team didn’t stop there and after finishing the mammoth packing task, they then went on delivering them without a break.

During the past few months, we have received increasingly frequent and anguished requests for help. Community visits have clearly highlighted that some villagers are desperate, they simply don’t know where to turn, and they are truly struggling.

However, in order to prepare for the road ahead, we at 5 Star Marine have increased our own funds available for donation; meaning we can help more people in need. We will continue to help the communities during this pandemic, and beyond too.

With an understanding that plastic usage during food donations is not ideal, we have teamed up with UWC Thailand to come up with solutions and ways to reduce this.

So, please rest assured that throughout this pandemic, we have and will continue with the buying, packing, and distribution of Life Bags to the communities who rely on us, and often have no other means of getting food.

Please follow @5StarMarinePhuket on FB to see our donation activities. Also, when packing efforts resume, (please note these are currently paused for the safety of volunteers and staff), then why not volunteer some of your time to help out – this really will make a difference.

Stay safe and be kind.

From the 5 Star Marine team. 

360 Degrees, Yes Please

Ko Hong Krabi and the smaller Krabi province archipelagos are typically quieter than the more popular Phi Phi or Phang Nga Bay areas. However, the area provides you with everything you could want from a day out with your friends or family – snorkeling, discovering white sandy private beaches, hiking, or sightseeing – there is something to keep everyone happy. 

Ko Hong Krabi sits in-between the Koh Yao Islands and Krabi mainland and already had a great name for itself with its stunning lagoon. Entering through a narrow passageway you are greeted by the scenic and mesmerizing Ko Hong Lagoon. This striking turquoise body of shallow water is surrounded by high rock walls lined with lush mangroves giving a forgotten world feeling to it. Only accessible by small boat or longtail, some areas are so clear and shallow you can easily see your feet on the underwater sand.   

You could even get to enjoy the mystical sense of being in this bright turquoise lagoon all to yourselves as 5 Star Marine have the knowledge and expertise to miss the rush and give you the most private and memorable time here.  

After taking in the vibrant colors of Ko Hong Lagoon, let your adventurous side loose and make your way around to the most recent addition to the island; the breathtaking 360o Viewpoint. This impressive metal staircase structure was built in 2020, during Covid, and was designed to give panoramic 360o views of Krabi and the surrounding islands. It certainly delivers and is arguably one of the best seascape views of the Krabi island sets, Phang Nga Bay, and surrounding islands in the national park that you can get from anywhere. 

The climb is not for the fainthearted as you need to ascend the metal stairs (all 419 of them) and progress along wooden walkways for around 10 – 15 minutes in the heat before reaching the top viewing platform. Here, your efforts will be greatly rewarded with the most spectacular view. At around 109 meters above sea level, it is definitely a steep climb, but totally doable and worth the exertion to get to the top to see views of tropical islands and karst limestone mountains jutting out of the emerald waters. This experience is perfect for a group of friends or families with children; just remember to take shoes with you.

Once you have had your fill of these stunning panoramic seascapes, make your way back down to the shore and catch your breath before heading out to your pick of fantastic snorkeling and island locations nearby. With clear waters, secluded lagoons, and abundant marine life in the shallow and deep-water coral reefs; you could even get lucky enough to spot a reef shark on your adventure. 

With so much to see and do, the Krabi Islands are a perfect mix for sightseeing, adventure, snorkeling, and private white sandy beaches. 

360 view hong krabi island

Photo credit – sunny_rung

Important Update on Cancellations – April 2021

Customers

At 5 Star Marine, we are proud to say that you, our valued customers, always remain our top priority. This means that if you would like to cancel your April adventure on the sea with us, we will happily provide a refund of your deposit, no questions asked.

We understand that right now, with everything going on, you might want to postpone your plans until you feel safer traveling. We will honor all cancelations – not with credit notes, but with honest fast refunds. 

Just get in contact with us via the booking channel that you used and provide us your bank details so we can swiftly process your refund.

We are dedicated to making your time on the sea a 5-star experience in every way, and look forward to welcoming you back in the future should you decide to cancel your current booking. 

Community

5 Star Marine wants to reassure everyone that our essential community work will continue; supporting the most vulnerable people with our life bag donation program we have been running for over 14 months to date. Our life bags are crucially needed to help those in need during this economic crisis; each one supports a family of 4 people for 5 days.

Please note that our volunteering packing life bag efforts at Sutai Muay Thai on Saturday mornings will pause for the time being. This decision was made (6th April 2021) as a proactive measure in the interests of all our volunteers’ safety. Please rest assured that life bags will still be packed and distributed, but only by 5 Star Marine staff in a controlled environment.

How do you like my island, Mr Bond?

With virtually no tourists around, why not take some time now to visit one of the (normally) busiest islands in Ao Phang Nga National Park – the one and only James Bond Island. 

With a custom Phang Nga Bay tour, 5 Star Marine will guide you around hidden coves and lagoons, as well as stopping off at the iconic island which became a major attraction after featuring in the 1974 Bond movie, The Man With The Golden Gun.  

Phang Nga truly is one of natures’ spectacular works of art; where the vast karst rock scenery presents a visually stunning location. In fact, with the sheer number of unique formations, you could explore here for days. 

On your private day trip, you could stop by Panak Island to float along gently inside one of the hidden caves surrounded by mangroves, before enjoying a peaceful golden bay all to yourself. Move onto Ko Kudu Yai to take in the exquisite beauty of the clear turquoise water in this stunning lagoon. 

At lunchtime make a stop at the small island community of Koh Panyee; where huts, houses, and restaurants are built on stilts over the water. Don’t miss the opportunity to see their unique floating football pitch either! Then get your Bond Instagram to pose ready as you make your way to James Bond Island, (Khao Phing Kan); An internationally renowned tourist destination since appearing as the hideout for Bond’s antagonist, Scaramanga. 

Boats are not allowed too close, as this is a protected marine area, but you can view the famous sight from Koh Ping Ghan; an island with an immensely tall leaning rock and some small caves to explore. With the tourists gone you can see the island properly minus the crowds. Take your time to stroll around, in peace and quiet for the first time in around 40 years. 

After getting your fill of this notorious island, you can continue on to enjoy some sea canoeing or more cave exploring before making your way back to base. Perhaps you might make a final sunset stop at Koh Pear, a small strip of an island that looks and feels like you are walking on water – a perfect end to the day. 

5 Star Marine’s Phang Nga Bay tour creates an unforgettable time at this world-renowned destination. 

Covid 19 Donation Update February 2021

As we move towards the end of February I felt it was important to give a quick update to our customers, friends, family, and supporters on our efforts to provide food relief to local Phuket residents. 

We are now past the 12-month mark of the devastating effects of tourism here in Phuket.  We are seeing more and more businesses closing, people giving up and desperation coming forth. 

Thailand was hit with a resurgence of Covid during the December / January period which saw Phuket shut down Domestic Travel.  This “Second Wave” was devastating to morale as well as the financial resources of those surviving. 

During the past month and a bit we have received more and more requests for help, and the requests have become more desperate. 

As we visit communities they share with us that they have been without work for 12 months, they don’t know where to turn, and they are just struggling. 

The good news is that we have increased our funds available for donation meaning we can reach more people, help more people and provide more support. 

In addition to that, to make things more fluid and to take some pressure from Sutai Muay Thai Team and 5 Star Marine Team we have recruited volunteers. 

As you can see in the video below our packing days are getting lots of people turning out to help. 

This would never have been possible without the help of UWC Thailand, its teachers, students, and volunteers.  In addition to UWC Thailand, we have also had great ex-pat help. 

To help manage our volunteer efforts to of our wonderful friends and customers Stepped into the position of Volunteer Managers. 

Huge shoutout to Pete and Nina for taking on that responsibility and allowing us to help more people more efficiently. 

So as the year continues, we expect to continue to be providing food relief support to our local Phuket communities. 

Stay Safe
Shaun

Phuket Boat Lagoon Private Boat Charter Office

During this Covid 19 Season, the 5 Star Marine team has been well supported by the local and domestic markets booking private boats and excursions. Combine this with our Donation program that has seen over 100,000 meals donated by the team we thought it was time to move to a location more central to the areas that we operate from.

During November our team started the cleaning, set up, and operations of a new office for our Private Boat Charters at Phuket Boat Lagoon. Considering the location of Phuket Boat Lagoon, we thought it was strategic as it allowed easy and quick access to our office from all over Phuket.

Whether you are coming from Rawai, Patong, Laguna, or beyond Phuket Boat Lagoon is a centralized location. So when you board for your next tour with 5 Star Marine you will be checked in and prepared for your tour at our newly opened office for our Private Boat Charters.

A huge shoutout to our Administrative and Operations team for setting up the office and making it comfortable for our clients and staff. We welcome you to come to the office at any time for a chat.