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A Thailand Sailing Adventure
Stunning Scenery, Easy Passages, Tropical Beauty in the Land of Smiles
In the heart of Southeast Asia is an amazing cruising destination – with gently curving coastlines, craggy limestone islands, colorful marine parks, and untouched sandy coves. This “first” for Colgate Sailing Adventures® flotilla cruises takes you to the island of Phuket, called the “Pearl of the Andaman Sea.” The Andaman Sea is known for beautiful anchorages with deserted pristine white sand beaches, undeveloped picturesque fishing villages, and amazing vistas seeped in ancient cultures. On this cruise, you can expect temperatures ranging from 77-95◦F, water temperatures around 86◦F, winds generally NE 10-15 knots – a grand adventure sailing “The Land of Smiles.”
During this cruise you sail in Phang-nga Bay and the Andaman Sea where you drop anchor in bays lined with white sand beaches, bordered by majestic limestone cliffs. Coral reefs boasting a rainbow of colors provide incredible snorkeling and diving. Marine parks set aside as natural preserves protect an array of tropical birds and sea life. Nightlife in Phuket is good fun. And then there’s the Thai culture and cuisine that makes you want to return time and time again.
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So Many Amazing Sites to See on a Thailand Sailing Adventure
While this is a 10-day cruise, it will be impossible to see every one of the sites listed below. They are provided here to give you a taste of flotilla cruising in Thailand. Your cruise leaders – Heather and Nate Atwater – will work with the Sunsail base manager before everyone else arrives, to come up with the best itinerary, which will surely have a pleasing variety of sites for all. The itinerary, always subject to change, will be presented at the Meet and Greet party when all gather together.
This flotilla cruise starts at 4 p.m. on April 22, 2023 at Ao Po Marina (15 minutes from the airport in Phuket), and ends at 9 a.m. back at the marina on May 2, 2023. We recommend that you head to Thailand a few days early to unwind from a long flight and get acquainted with the gentle Thai people. Stay first in Bangkok, then head to Phuket. In both cities, the shopping, dining, museums, theaters, and historic sites are fascinating. Phuket has two very distinct characters – old and historic, modern and chic. Take a tour of its ancient sites and Buddhist temples, head to FantaSea theme park for a celebration of everything Thai including superb cruise. Shop and dine in Phuket Town. Dance the night away in chic nightclubs. Or just people-watch from a laid-back waterfront bar. Phuket is world-famous for its resorts, particularly those on the west coast overlooking the Andaman Sea. The Ao Po Marina has a gym, swimming pool and Thai massage center if you just want to hang out there.
The Phi Phi Islands and Tonsai Bay
Phi Phi Don is said to be one of the three most beautiful islands in the world, with some of the best snorkeling and diving on surrounding reefs. Tonsai Bay where you anchor has one of the top beaches in Southeast Asia. Beachfront restaurants, bars, and shops are set among stunning scenery. Nearby is Phi Phi Le, also a beautiful place to explore. Longtail tour boats in Tonsai Bay will take you to spectacular caves, hongs (translation, “rooms”) and rocky inlets along the shores of Ph Phi Don and Phi Phi Le. If there is a full moon, a real treat is the spectacular full moon party in Tonsai Bay.
A two-hour sail from Tonsai Bay is a relaxed, quiet anchorage with traditional villages. In Koh Lanta you can hike through the rainforest, enjoy a delicious lunch or dinner in one of the local restaurants or head to the tiny islet of Ko Po for lunch among amazing rock formations and swaying palms. A mecca for divers, manta rays and giant whale sharks cruise through clear waters. Kayakers can enjoy exploring Koh Lanta’s winding, mangrove-lined river.
Ko Racha Yai
West across the Andaman Sea is a favorite spot for sport fishermen and divers. If you have fishing gear you might catch a sailfish, mahi mahi or giant trevally. You can explore the many beaches and coves, or perhaps get a glimpse of an underwater sculpture park with giant stone elephants and other art at Koh Racha Yai.
North of Phuket and west of Krabi Province is beautiful Ao Phang-nga National Park, established in 1981 – with many caves, soaring limestone pinnacles, and lush mangrove forests. Drop the hook here, and gaze at a stunning backdrop of large and small mountains. Then head to the park to explore the caves, swim, snorkel and dinghy through the Koh Hong tunnel into an amazing lagoon called the Hong.
Koh Roi and Neighboring Koh Kudu Yai
These two stopover points take you across Phang-nga Bay to a tropical wonderland. Koh Roi has an interesting hong to walk through, and Koh Kudu Yai has many intriguing caves and hongs to explore by dinghy. At dusk you might see thousands of fruit bats with three-foot wingspans soar into the night sky, heading to jungles on the mainland.
Koh Hong Krabi
One of the most stunning areas on this trip is an archipelago of islands with a variety of reefs. Snorkeling is fantastic at Koh Pak Bia. There are pristine beaches, great places to explore by foot or dinghy. Koh Hong Krabi has an enormous hong with sheer cliffs on all sides, and warm crystal waters for swimming and snorkeling at high tide. On the way to Koh Hong Krabi, you might stop for a longtail boat tour to James Bond Island (yes, where the movie was shot).
Rai Le Beach
On the mainland of south Thailand are spectacular Andaman Sea beaches. Many are inaccessible by road because of the towering cliffs and rock formations, thus creating a remote and secluded place to step ashore. At the south end of the bay is a fantastic reef teeming with sea life and colorful coral. There are more caves and rock formations to explore, and a few restaurants ashore where you can relax in the shade with a cool drink and enjoy Thai taste treats.
As you get closer to Phuket, along the east coast, Koh Rang Yai and Ko Naka Noi are good spots to spend your last night aboard. En route to Ko Naka Noi are countless picturesque bays, beaches and small towns. In Koh Rang Yai you can swim, snorkel, walk the beaches, rent a Hobie cat or paddleboard. There are several great lunch spots ashore, bike rentals at Koh Rang Yai, and a magnificent white sand beach on the west side. You can even play miniature golf there.
Sailing Resume Required for All Participants
- All flotilla participants must be fully-vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus before embarking on a flotilla trip.
- These trips are hands-on activities that require complete, unaided mobility getting on and off docks, boats, and dinghies.
- All participants must complete a Sailing Resume before being confirmed on the trip, including answering questions regarding existing medical conditions that may hinder their full participation.
- A Skipper and Navigator will be assigned to each boat based on the completed Resumes.
- All Skippers on European charter trips must also have their US Sailing IPC, International Proficiency Certificate. Learn more about the IPC here.
Your cruise leaders must have a completed resume for all who book a Colgate Sailing Adventures® Flotilla Cruise. When you are ready to book, please print, fill out and email the form in the link below and send it to Cheryl@OffshoreSailing.com.
SAILING RESUME FOR FLOTILLA CRUISES
Book Your Cabin
The Thailand Flotilla Cruise Fleet
Four Sunsail catamarans are chartered for this cruise. These fun to sail, versatile catamarans have sliding doors allowing easy access from the large saloon to bow and stern and lots of space to share with your crewmates. Generator powered air conditioning is available throughout. Three or four private, spacious cabins share two large heads (bathrooms) and shower spaces. There are two small forepeak areas good for luggage storage. Great visibility for the helmsman, electric winches and relatively large sail area combine to make cruising these catamarans fun. With just 14 available cabins to sell, this cruise is going to fill fast!
About Your Thailand Flotilla Cruise Package
- Private or shared cabin on one of the flotilla yachts, assigned in advance by your cruise leaders
- Starter pack of provisions and bottled water
- Welcome meet and greet party and dinner first night of trip
- Gala group dinner ashore during the cruise or at end of cruise
- Commemorative Colgate Sailing Adventures® Thailand Flotilla Cruise shirt and hat
- Wi-Fi aboard your yacht
- Full fuel and water tanks upon departure
- Comprehensive e-book prepared by Offshore, to help you plan your trip
- Guidance by expert cruise leaders – Nate and Heather Atwater – with the fleet throughout the cruise
For Offshore Sailing School Graduates with US Sailing Bareboat Cruising Certification:
- $5495 per person for two people in a shared cabin
- $6495 for a single in a private cabin
For those who do not hold Offshore Sailing School Bareboat Cruising Certification, add a $300 surcharge: $5795 in shared cabin, $6795 in single private cabin. This also applies to anyone who does not have US Sailing Bareboat Cruising Certification provided by Offshore Sailing School, even if traveling with someone who does.
Boat Kitty and Security Deposit
On Colgate Sailing Adventures® Flotilla Cruises, each boat sets up a kitty to cover shared costs during the cruise, usually starting with $100 per person. In advance, the Atwaters will arrange for a starter pack of provisions and supplies to be on the boat when you arrive, which will cover a couple of meals. You will be purchasing items to consume aboard in local markets as the cruise progresses, and there are many places to dine ashore along the way.
How to Sign Up for This Thailand Cruise
Please call your Sales Associate at Offshore Sailing School (239-454-1700) to book your cabin or email Info@OffshoreSailing.com. But don’t wait as there are only 14 cabins available on this Thailand bareboat charter! Your sailing resume must be included with your deposit. To reserve your cabin, a 30% deposit of the total package is due when you sign up. Terms and Conditions signed with this deposit outline cancellation policies. Final or full payment is due on December 16, 2022, at which time no refunds are allowed. We stand by our cancellation policies, no exceptions are made. Please purchase travel insurance – learn more.
888-454-7015 ♦ 239-454-1700
More Thai Flotilla Cruise Information
The official language in Thailand is Thai and English is widely spoken. Standard time zone is UTC/GMT + 7 hours. Currency is the Baht. One U.S. dollar (USD) equals around 30 (THB) as of March 2021. Sunsail recommends you plan on spending at least 1,000 Baht per day ($33), as credit cards are not accepted in many places. A complete handbook will be provided shortly after you sign up with more information, including what to bring, electricity in Thailand, travel information and requirements (visas not required for less than 30 day stays), other costs you may incur during the cruise, credit card use, and more.
Read the Fall 2022 article on Thailand from Coastal Living Magazine
How to Get to Your Thailand Flotilla sailing Adventure
Thailand’s principal airport is Bangkok Savarnabhumi Airport, where you will connect for your domestic flight to Phuket. Both airports have bureau de change, the easiest places to exchange money, plus shops and eateries. Because Sunsail books so many flights to their cruising destinations, we highly recommend you contact their travel department at 888 350 3568 for help in arranging your flights. Places to stay ashore in Phuket near the marina, recommended by Sunsail, are Supalai Resort and Chandara Resort. Your cruise leaders, Nate and Heather Atwater, will likely stay at one of these as they get everything ready for your arrival. Join them on this Colgate Sailing Adventures® “first” in the Land of Smiles!