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.