And That’s A Wrap

We are excited to remain open for the entire Christmas and New Year period, and are looking forward to welcoming you on board for a tailor-made and festive private speedboat tour with us during this time!

Reflecting on the last 12 months, we would like to say a heartfelt THANK YOU for the level of support we received from all of our wonderfully loyal, local customers, who have helped us during the past 20 months. Without you, we would not still be operating as we are today, and for that our company, team, captains, and tour guides are immensely grateful.

As a company, we managed to take time to regroup and focus on reprioritizing our efforts, and this meant rolling up our sleeves and getting busy. We keep continuing to support the vulnerable communities and the people around us via our charity efforts, with 5 Star Marine involved in all packing and delivery efforts of essential food relief parcels and bags. We focused on the upside wherever we could see or create one. We wanted to look at where we could add value to our community and what we should be doing during this time.


Living Waters Phuket Foundation was born from this desire to help and continue to support our community; it was set up to build brighter futures for communities in need and provides financial grants for projects around relief areas including sustainable food security, education requirements, renewable energy, and environmental issues. We are excited to report that already in only 6 weeks, 4 major funded projects have been completed and many, many more have applied for funding and are undergoing our impartial review process for approval.

Find out more on the website You can also watch our YouTube video on some of our latest grants:

 

We were thrilled to see many new destinations open back up for our day tours, and now offer over 11 stunning destinations including the Similan Islands, Phi Phi, Racha, Phang Nga Bay, Coral Island, Krabi tours, Mai Ton Dolphin Spotting plus many more tailor-made options to ensure you had the perfect day out. We saw a rise in popularity of our dual tour to Phi Phi and James Bond Island which literally has something for everyone; plus, we are awaiting the much-anticipated opening of Maya Bay on 1st January 2022.

You can watch more on Maya Bay and Shaun’s personal thoughts here:

Our YouTube channel has gone from strength to strength and we appreciate all the love and support we are getting. If you haven’t done so already, please subscribe and follow here:

5 Star Marine Youtube

5 Star Marine was lucky to welcome so much interest and publicity from bloggers and news reporters – we are grateful for the coverage and interest in our community efforts. Chris Parker, (from Retired Working For You), joined to see our food packing and delivery efforts first hand to see exactly what goes on behind the scenes of each vital life bag.

We also gained and appreciate hugely the support of local and international media, including but not limited to:

During the last year, we also had a chance to more than double the size of our fleet; we now have 15 Private VIP Speedboats and a VIP Luxury Cruiser which is a proud extension to our current speedboat fleet and offers a truly unique experience on the water.  In addition, to accommodate our growing fleet size, the domestic market support, and prepare for the return of international tourists, we moved piers and into a new office at Boat Lagoon, Phuket. We love our new glass-fronted office which has been a more welcoming environment for all our loyal VIP customers.

 

So, to wrap it up – it has been a year of highs and lows, of challenges and new opportunities. We are thankful, grateful, and happy to be where we are and we will continue to help those in the community who need it most; and will always be grateful to our loyal customers for making 2021 the year it was for us.

Thank you,

Shaun and the entire 5 Star Marine Team

Phuket Private Boat Charter

Deciding which company to book a Phuket Private Boat Charter with, as well as which tropical paradise you want to explore for the day can lead to a confusing lineup of different options. To help you consider your choices, we have looked at some of the more important criteria to allow you to determine your perfect day out on a Phuket Private Boat Charter.

Experienced Crew:

All of 5 Star Marine’s boats are fully crewed by experienced captains, tour guides, and crew members; so, you get to relax onboard your Phuket Private Boat Charter and enjoy their dedicated services.

Their experienced crew also knows how to miss the crowds and take you to some hidden gems you would not get to experience with other Phuket Private Boat Charter companies. Therefore, by selecting to go on a Phuket Private Boat Charter with 5 Star Marine, they can ensure that you get to discover paradise islands, coves, and viewpoints in the best possible conditions, with the least number of tourists.

Private Versus Group Tour:

When we talk about a Phuket private boat charter, what exactly does this mean versus a group speedboat charter? Here are just some of the benefits to going the private boat charter route:

  • Captain and crew will be dedicated entirely to you, your family, or friends on board
  • We are able to tailor-make excursions to the islands surrounding Phuket
  • We can be flexible on pick up and drop off location (hotel, pier, beach, etc.)
  • You will receive a unique and customized program that is tailored to suit your exact preferences
  • We can be flexible on timing; it is your private boat charter after all!
  • You can choose to remain at a lagoon or private beach for a longer period if you are enjoying yourself, you won’t have to fit in with a group timetable
  • With a small and intimate group of people, you are close with, it is a more Covid-19 safe environment, with fewer people on board and more space to yourselves
  • You will get to discover hidden coves and caves that you will not experience on group tours because time does not allow
  • We can organize a private beach picnic for your small Phuket Private Boat Charter to enjoy

Safety Is THE Top Priority:

Since 2020, 5 Star Marine have run Phuket Private Boat Charter under their TAT SHA approved status. The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) awarded this certification, and the TAT Safety and Health Administration Plus Certificate is proudly held by the company also.

As one of the first tourism services to gain TAT SHA Plus status in 2021, 5 Star Marine was recognized as adhering to public health measures regarding Covid-19 safety. This means that all guests can rest assured and feel safe and secure onboard a 5 Star Marine Phuket Private Boat Charter.

 

New Rules – No Problem:

It is of utmost importance that tour companies keep updated with the latest rules and regulations, which change frequently here in Thailand. So, here at 5 Star Marine, we do the hard work to understand how new regulations, closures, and new openings affect you getting out on the water.

Management and crew go out to newly opened locations to personally check the requirements for themselves. This means you can be 100% comfortable when you go out on your Phuket Private Boat Charter, knowing that 5 Star Marine’s knowledge of the rules is thoroughly up to date.

Flexible Cancellation Policy:

Payments for your Phuket Private Boat Charter can be made on the day, whereas some group tours take money in advance. 5 Star Marine do not take deposits so there is no need to worry about refunds or lost money if the weather turns poor. Obviously, we cross our fingers and toes for smooth seas and bright skies, but in the event that the tour date is predicted to be poor weather, 5 Star Marine will re-schedule with you.

Luxury Inclusions:

To make sure you have the best time on your Phuket Private Boat Charter, 5 Star Marine add in a few little extras for your comfort and convenience during your private trip:

Phuket Private Boat Charter Inspiration:

  • Take in the seascape views of the limestone karsts and caves in Phang Nga Bay, and visit the infamous James Bond Island
  • Experience world-class snorkeling in the Similan Islands, potentially encountering manta rays, whale sharks, turtles, and a plethora of tropical fish
  • Visit the caves, beaches, and island paradise around Phi Phi, including Maya Bay – the location of The Beach film starring Leonardo di Caprio
  • Escape to white sandy beaches and enjoy quiet walks on Racha Island
  • Try your luck spotting dolphins at Koh Mai Ton before heading to Coral Island to enjoy snorkeling and lunch at Banana Beach Club
  • Visit Hong Krabi for a swim in the turquoise lagoon before getting your adrenaline pumping by climbing up to the 360-degree viewpoint
  • Visit Koh Ha and Ko Rok if you are looking for something a little more exotic and lesser-known. These small islands are situated just south of Koh Lanta in the Mu Ko Lanta National Park.

Contact us to get out and explore, there are so many places to be discovered on your Phuket Private Boat Charter. We look forward to welcoming you on board for once-in-a-lifetime experiences with 5 Star Marine.

Phi Phi / James Bond Combo Day Tour

This is one of our most popular VIP private speedboat day trips. This combination tour has a little something for everyone; from snorkeling with rich marine life, swimming in bright turquoise lagoons, seeing famous beaches and coves; to canoeing, spectacular karst rock seascapes, and of course the iconic James Bond Island.

Phi Phi is a particularly well know location in the Phuket region, with one of its iconic islands made famous after being featured in the 2000 movie, “The Beach” with Leonardo DiCaprio. The Phi Phi Islands have some stunning coral reefs abound with marine life, ready to give you an unforgettable experience, swimming, and snorkeling in crystal clear tropical waters.

Whereas the second part of the day trip is to Phang Nga which is truly one of natures’ spectacular works of art; where the vast karst rock scenery presents a visually stunning location. This area is all about the seascapes, canoeing, caving, and exploring, versus the underwater scenery and beaches around Phi Phi.

With so much to do and see in just one day, we recommend touring from 8 am – 6 pm for the full experience. So, let’s take a look at a sample itinerary (please note all tours are private and fully customizable to your requirements):

  1. Depart from the 5 Star Marine pier in Boat Lagoon and head out towards Phi Phi. Make a stop at Maya Bay, the most notable “Beach” from the 2000 hit movie, on Phi Phi Leh. Although you cannot currently, walk on the beach, it is still a fantastic experience to visit this beautiful and famous cove and take photos from a distance or swim off to the side of the Bay.
  2. Head around to Loh Samah Bay, which is a small bay on the other side of Maya Bay on Koh Phi Phi Leh. It offers some beautiful marine life and therefore makes for a good snorkeling stop-off point.
  3. Enter into Pileh Lagoon and enjoy a swim in the clear turquoise waters. This lagoon also starred in “The Beach” featuring Leonardo DiCaprio, as a spot where he dived off into the aquamarine waters.
  4. Explore Small Monkey Beach, where you can see these cheeky little creatures sitting on the karst rocks and relaxing on the beach!
  5. Continue onto Wong Long Bay, which is only accessible to smaller boats due to the narrow entrance to a bay. Luckily our private speedboats can fit inside so you get the opportunity to have a quiet bay potentially all to yourselves.
  6. Move onto Big Monkey Beach on Phi Phi Don, which is a great place for a picnic lunch with a soft sand cove beach going into a shallow bay.
  7. Stop for some more snorkeling at Phi Phi Don at Ao Nuoi and discover rich corals and marine life together with a picturesque beach setting.
  8. Take in the beauty of Bamboo Island – a stunning setting, with shallow clear blue waters and a picturesque beach. Enjoy some snorkeling in this area and you might even spot a blacktip reef shark.
  9. Head towards Phang Nga Bay and enjoy some canoeing and exploring amongst the caves and rock formations.
  10. Make your way towards the iconic James Bond island, which became a major attraction after featuring in the 1974 Bond movie, The Man With The Golden Gun. Then get your Bond Instagram to pose ready as you stand in front of James Bond Island, (Khao Phing Kan); An internationally renowned destination since appearing as the hideout for Bond’s antagonist, Scaramanga.

Please contact us to book your very own Phi Phi / James Bond combination private boat tour.

Phuket Sandbox Update – 7 Day Sandbox, Bars Open, Island Hopping Easier Than Ever!

As Phuket transitions away from its wet season towards the dry (or high) season, the Thailand Government has made a major and positive update to the Phuket Sandbox program.

Instead of being a 14-day Sandbox Program or the 7+7 Day Sandbox Model, it is now just a simple and easy ‘7 Day Sandbox’.

Along with the reduction in the Sandbox days, the number of RT-PCR Covid-19 Tests required while staying has also come down.  As of now, with the new update, there are just 2 tests required; the first on the day of arrival and the second on day 6 of your stay.

The good news continues as island hopping by private speedboat is now easier than ever before with a wide-ranging 11 destinations now open. Plus, none of these stunning destinations require additional Covid-19 tests for Sandbox Travelers.

The return of the dry season, the reduced Sandbox days model, fewer Covid-19 tests and new island destinations are all pointing in the right direction for our Sandbox Guests.

For full details watch this short video update below:

Here we go Again! – Phuket Sandbox Rules Update

Today we are thrilled to report good, positive news – now doesn’t that make a change to the negative news cycle?

The new Sandbox rules mean that from now on it is easier than it has ever been before for Sandbox guests to explore Phang Nga Bay, James Bond Island, Phi Phi, Hong Krabi, and beyond.

In fact, we were just out at Phi Phi enjoying the stunning Pileh Lagoon. Now, if you have ever been or seen photos you will know that this gorgeous lagoon is normally crowded with well over 100 boats at one time; but for this day trip the 5 Star Marine speedboat was the ONLY one in the lagoon – yes you read that right. Can you imagine having this all to yourself? A priceless experience, never possible before, so now really is the best time to explore exotic locations with a luxury speedboat day tour.

Let’s Explore

Private VIP Speedboat Day Tours Days 1-7 (Sandbox Guests)

  • Koh Mai Ton for some dolphin spotting
  • Coral Island for snorkeling and relaxing at the beach club
  • Koh Racha for superb underwater marine life

Private VIP Speedboat Day Tours Days 8-20 (Sandbox Guests)

  • Phi Phi – stunning lagoons and beaches
  • Hong Krabi – the new 360 Degree Viewpoint
  • Phang Nga Bay / James Bond Island – canoeing through the caves, enjoy a picnic lunch overlooking the infamous island
  • Khai Islands – snorkeling in shallow waters
  • Koh Mai Ton – dolphin spotting
  • Koh Racha – stunning marine life
  • Coral Island – beautiful beach resort
  • Koh Lon – sunset cruise

Requirements Just Got Easier

All you need to give us is:

  1. A copy of your passport
  2. Your Vaccine certificate

That’s it – no long, confusing list anymore! You just provide us with these 2 items plus approval to talk to your hotel and we take care of EVERYTHING else. We coordinate with the SHA manager at your hotel to get the paperwork required, so you only need to worry about where to explore next.

No More Tests

For Day Tours from days 8-20, the new rules mean that you DO NOT need to take another Covid-19 test which is great news and one less thing to think about.

SHA Approved

Of course, we are proudly TAT SHA Plus approved, but now are also SHA Plus Transportation Approved so the entire speedboat fleet is licensed and approved by the Government and Marine Department to go outside of the Phuket Province. For our Sandbox guests, this means that every single boat is safe, secure and Covid-19 approved. Plus, we test staff weekly as an added measure to make guests feel comfortable and safe.

Look What Is Around The Corner!

On October 15th we are more than a little excited to report that the Similan, Surin Islands, Koh Rok, and Koh Ha are all open and are ready for your to explore (Sandbox guests between day 8 -20). We have no doubt that it is going to be amazing to be out there at these paradise islands by yourselves – literally experience them like NEVER before.

Contact us to find out more or to book your Sandbox tour.

Phuket Sandbox Day Tours – TAT SHA Plus Approved

Since the initial opening of the Phuket Sandbox scheme, 5 Star Marine have been operating SHA Plus Approved Day Tours for customers who joined the 14 Day Program and 7+7 Program Sandbox initiative.

As we continue to provide Day Tours to the islands around Phuket, we have been busy making sure we are up to date on Phuket Sandbox Travelers Day Tour rules, as well as which destinations they are able to experience.

Today, we are pleased to launch the “Phuket Sandbox Info” section of our website which is dedicated to providing the most up-to-date news, information, and rules for travelers currently within the Phuket Sandbox. The aim is to answer any questions or concerns you might have regarding taking a Day Tour.

All you need to do is select whether you are visiting Phuket on the 7+7 Program or the 14 Day Program; from here click through to find out the most up-to-date news and information.  If you are already here in Phuket and would like to get out on tour and explore, then head straight to our SHA Plus Approved Day Tours and Transfers section.

As one of the first Private Boat Tour companies in Phuket to become SHA Plus approved, we take pride in understanding, translating, and providing the most up-to-date information there is related to the Phuket Sandbox, Day Tours, rules, and restrictions.

We are updating these pages on a daily basis, whenever rules change, we also make sure updates occur. Our YouTube Channel is a great source for the most up-to-date information on rules, destinations, and more!

If you prefer to talk to someone, feel free to contact us as we provide a FREE concierge service for guests traveling to Phuket.

You NEED to Know This: Can you go to Phi Phi?

“Can I go to Phi Phi?” Well, with some requirements to be aware of, 5 Star Marine have broken these down for you. We know the rules, we have been through the process so that we know exactly what to do and how to do it. . so here is the lowdown:

WHO is allowed to go to Phi Phi National Park areas:

  • Sandbox customers cannot go to Phi Phi during the first 14 days after they arrive in Phuket. From day 15, Sandbox customers can go to Phi Phi with 5 Star Marine.
  • Expats living in Phuket are allowed to visit Phi Phi if they are fully vaccinated.

What are the REQUIREMENTS to go to Phi Phi?

  • Anyone going to Phi Phi needs to pre-register with the National Park one day prior to going to get approval.
  • 5 Star Marine will take care of the approval process for you, they simply need a copy of your passport and vaccine certificate.
  • When arriving at Tonsai Bay, 5 Star Marine staff will manage the process with the National Park and will hand over the relevant paperwork where vaccination documents will also be checked.

What about CHILDREN coming into the Phi Phi National Park?

  • Children 12 – 18 years old will need to show a negative Covid-19 test within the last 72 hours.
  • Under 12-year-old children are allowed into the National Park, as long as they are with a fully vaccinated parent.

How LONG does it take to get there?

  • It takes 45 minutes from our pier in Boat Lagoon to reach the Phi Phi Islands.

WHERE is open?

  • Phi Phi Don has re-opened, where you can explore a number of coves, snorkeling spots, and even hidden lagoons. The water right now is stunning and turquoise with abundant marine life after having some time to rest.
  • You are allowed to access most of Phi Phi Don – including Laem Tong Bay, Monkey Beach, and Tonsai Bay, and the village itself. However, please note that Tonsai village itself is quiet with little open at the moment.

It’s the perfect time to get out there and support the island and small community, and the fact that it is still quiet is an added bonus. With only a few small requirements needed prior to departure which the team at 5 Star Marine can help you with, what are you waiting for? Book your Phi Phi adventure now and experience it like never before!

 

What a Year!

We know that uncertainty remains at unprecedented levels globally, but we wanted to take a moment to look back on all the positive experiences from the last year, to realize how far we have come – and wow what a year it has been for us.

We took time to regroup and focus on reprioritizing our efforts in the last 12 months, and this meant rolling up our sleeves and getting busy. We re-evaluated in order to understand where new opportunities could open up for us and where they made sense. We continued supporting the vulnerable communities and the people around us via our charity efforts. We focused on the upside wherever we could see or create one. We wanted to look at where we could add value to our community and what we should be doing during this time.  

All in all, we are feeling positive about the future and wanted to share our top positive moments from the last year with you: 

1. Adding To Our Fleet

Let’s start with our speedboat fleet, which has doubled in size; we now have a total of 12 Private VIP Speedboats which offer day and multi-night tours out of Phuket and Krabi. We introduced our first VIP Luxury Cruiser, which is a proud extension to our current speedboat fleet and offers a truly unique experience on the water.

2. New Premises

To accommodate our growing fleet size, the domestic market support, and prepare for the return of international tourists, we moved piers and into a new office at Boat Lagoon, Phuket. Our new glass-fronted office is a more welcoming environment for all our loyal VIP customers and future private tours. 

3. Once In A Lifetime Experiences

We are humbled and know how lucky our crew, staff, and guests have been in the last year. We had the opportunity to experience Phuket and the Islands like NEVER before. Deserted beaches, empty turquoise lagoons and even being some of the first people to climb the new 3600 Krabi Viewpoint. We made unforgettable memories and feel blessed to have these with us forever.

4. New Tour Options

We introduced overnight and multi-day tours to our Phuket and Krabi markets. This included supplying private guests with island hotel return transfers, and adding new day trip locations such as Koh Ngai, Koh Mook, and Koh Kradan. We also had some exciting and memorable multi-night tours to paradise locations such as Koh Lipe, where our guests experienced manta rays and turtles amongst other stunning marine life. 

5. Our Charity Efforts Kept Going

We financed, packed, and delivered over 190,000 Life Bags to support the local, vulnerable communities; not only in Phuket but in the hard-to-reach surrounding islands where help was so greatly needed. Our teams of staff and volunteers have worked tirelessly ordering, packing, managing logistics, and delivering these food-based Life Bags for over 15 months now. Often exhausted from the sheer scale of efforts, our teams have stood strong and kept these efforts going each and every week –  We want to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who has been involved in this critical effort.

Here’s to more positive times ahead in 2021 and beyond. 

Limited VIP Trips Re-Starting on 1st June 2021

During the last few weeks, our private boat tours have been put on hold to help keep Phuket safe. During this time, we have been able to concentrate on our charity efforts as well as finding safe and responsible ways to get our VIP guests back out on the water. Our piers, boats, and office have all been thoroughly cleaned by Government provincial teams, plus staff members have been PCR Covid-19 tested – and we are happy to report that all of our fantastic team are officially Covid-19 free.

Therefore, from 1st June 2021, we are looking forward to welcoming back our existing VIP guests as we will be re-opening with a range of limited private trips. Please note that all guests will be required to complete a short Declaration Form prior to being accepted on board, and also must comply with all Provincial announcements. These precautions and regulations will enable us to re-open our operations on a smaller scale to keep staff and guests safe.

Re-opening at this point is important to give our staff the opportunity to work again and keep motivated during these difficult times. We also want to give you the chance to explore some exciting destinations whilst the seas are still calm, and the islands are blissfully quiet and beautiful.

From 1st June 2021 we are able to offer private small group tours to the following destinations:

If you would like to book a trip to the aforementioned areas, please get in contact to book and fill in our Declaration Form.

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.