ITINERARY: For serious snorkelers, these luxury cruises will take you to some of the best reefs in the area, usually frequented by scuba divers. These are not the same reefs as those visited by the normal tour boats – the coral for the most part is intact and the relative lack of traffic at the sites means the marine life is varied and plentiful.
There will be two or three stops throughout the day (see itineraries below for further details), though only the cruise on Tuesday will allow you time ashore on Phi Phi Don Island.
After an on-board briefing at each site to let you know the best spots and the type of marine life to look out for, you’ll be allowed a full hour-long + session to explore, plus – for those who would like it – you’ll receive expert assistance from professional snorkel guides in the water.
Comfort levels on board the cruise boat are high, with a toilet, shower, and dining area and two decks to relax and take in the scenery. A buffet lunch, early morning and afternoon snacks, soft drinks, electrolytes, tea and coffee are included in the trip price.
The Phi Phi Island group consists of six separate islands – Phi Phi Don (the only inhabited island), Phi Phi Leh (Maya Bay), Koh Yung, Koh Pai (Bamboo Island), Bida Nok and Bida Nai – and it is not possible to visit all of them in a single day. Therefore, the itinerary varies throughout the week, as below, so please note this when booking:
Tuesday (year round): Head straight for the island of Phi Phi Don for some exploring, shopping or just lying on the beach. Set off just before lunch to Viking Cave to explore the reefs in front of the dramatic rocks. Have lunch on board while cruising past Maya Bay and the other sights of Phi Phi Leh, with a final snorkeling stop at Ao Nui, Lomodee or Lana Bay for the chance to see anything from tiny ghost pipefish to elegant lionfish.
Thursday (Nov – Mar only): This day is Phi Phi Open Day – the boat chief will check the visibility and sea conditions and decide on the destination. You could be exploring the Bida Islands (see below) or making stops at Ao Nui or Hin Klai. Great snorkeling is guaranteed. As with the other trips, lunch is served on board as you cruise past the islands – though no time is spent onshore during this trip.
Friday (Nov – Mar) or Sunday (Apr – Oct): Visit the most southerly point of Phi Phi – the Bida Islands, ranked as Phi Phi’s best diving and snorkeling site and excellent for spotting larger pelagic creatures such as leopard and other reef sharks, moray eels and even the occasional turtle. There’s also plenty of schooling pelagics and interesting corals. There will be two 1 – 1.5 hour guided snorkeling stops at either Bida Nok, Bida Nai or Hin Bida, also known as Shark Point. Note: no time is spent onshore at any island.
Saturday (Nov – Mar only): Maya Bay on Phi Phi Leh Island is best known as “The Beach” from the Leonardo Dicaprio movie of the same name. It is often packed with tourists. On the other side of the bay, however, can be found some magnificent reefs where Hawksbill and green turtles have made their home. The rugged walls of the cliffs extend below sea level and are covered with colourful hard corals. There are also some underwater caves filled with schooling fish and you have a good chance of spotting blacktip reef sharks. There will be two 1 – 1.5 hour guided snorkeling stops in different sites around this area, with lunch being served on board as you cruise around the islands. Note: no time is spent onshore at any island.
Expected group size: 12 – 50 pax, depending on the day and time of year.
Important: Please provide the full names of all passengers and their shoe size in the order notes when you check out, so we can ensure the correct size fins are available for you on board.
This trip includes 2 open water snorkeling stops of one hour + each. It is possible to stay on the boat during this time. Please wear a life jacket if not a confident swimmer. Travel time to Phi Phi is around 1 hour 20 mins.