6 Key Differences of Private vs Group snorkeling in Phu Quoc

6 Key Differences of Private vs Group snorkeling in Phu Quoc

Phu Quoc Island has a priceless gift from nature - it has countless coral reefs and diverse marine life. We can make snorkeling trips to almost all the small islands of Phu Quoc island.

Therefore, many tour operators in Phu Quoc operate this kind of trip. There, private tours and group tours are two popular forms of Phu Quoc snorkeling tour organization.

Snorkeling on Phu Quoc Island
Snorkeling on Phu Quoc Island

A group tour refers to traveling in an organized trip with a guide, other tourists, and a set itinerary that you will have seen before booking. The services provided are similar to all the people in that group. 

A private tour means that the tour operator will make up your schedule as you like and the resources included are for your use only. It consists of a personal guide, a private vehicle, and a private driver.

If you are wavering between a private snorkeling tour and a group snorkeling tour, this article is for you.

John's Tours with more than 15 years of experience organizing Phu Quoc tours will analyze the pros and cons of two of these kinds of Phu Quoc snorkeling tours. Based on that, you can consider it carefully and make a sensible decision.

1. Fixed and Tailor-made itinerary

Group tours mean you’re on a compressed schedule. The time you spend traveling on a group tour is set from start to finish. You can not change it. It is a disadvantage for people who join a group tour if they fall in love with snorkeling and wish to have extra time for exploring.

If you’re someone who values privacy, group travel is not for you. You should choose a private tour to have time for yourself and explore as much as you want.

A fabulous advantage of private tours is you have the freedom to do whatever you want while not worrying about the time limit: enjoying the time onboard, sightseeing the An Thoi archipelago's beautiful scene, sunbathing, having lunch with delicious seafood, snorkeling, etc.

Tour operators will tailor the trip as long as it suits your style, taste, and budget. If you want to spend more time on islands or doing something on your trip, you only need to inform your tour guide.

John’s Tours Phú Quốc
Phu Quoc snorkeling trip by speed boat

Have you ever found yourself on a group tour, enjoying a snorkeling spot, but then times up, and you have to move on following the group’s itinerary?

In group island tours, you just have about 30 to 45 minutes of snorkeling. It's quite a short time for people who are fond of exploring the underwater world and coral reefs. 

In a private tour, if you’re not enjoying a particular location or activity, you can skip it and move on to the next destination. On the other hand, if you are thoroughly enjoying a particular place or experience, you can spend more time there.

Free-diving on Phu Quoc island
Free-diving on Phu Quoc island

If you desire to discover different wonderful snorkeling spots and maximize your sightseeing time, a private tour is the best choice for you.

2. Instant friends vs Comfort

An undeniable benefit of group tours compared to private tours is you automatically have like-minded friends.

Although there are many ways to meet people traveling to Phu Quoc, like at your accommodations, you have to work that bit harder and the tourists you meet are often headed off to different Phu Quoc destinations at that time. There’s always that odd occasion such as you staying in an empty hostel or don't click with anybody.

John’s Tours Phú Quốc
You automatically have like-minded friends on the Phu Quoc snorkeling group tour

You still have chances to meet your soulmate or future best friend in a hostel but the opportunities are increased on a group tour. You will have so many shared experiences and joy.

In larger tour groups, it is almost unavoidable if there will be someone you do not see eye to eye with or have actions get on your nerves like filming, whining, loud speech, and laughter. It can make the snorkeling trip difficult, unpleasant, and unenjoyable. If someone you’re traveling with is having a harmful impact on your trip, you can only accept it. But do not worry, it does not always happen in group tours.

John’s Tours Phú Quốc
Experience the trip with your best friends

But what if you prefer spending time alone or just with your group? A private tour is the best choice. You do not need to care about the strange people who may make you uncomfortable.

With private tours, you get total personal space to make your stress and anxiety go away, and create timeless memories and priceless moments with your loved ones.

Because of its privacy and comfort, a private trip is perfect for special occasions like wedding proposals, honeymoons, wedding anniversaries, birthdays, or just having a vacation with friends and family.

3. Transportation

On Phu Quoc snorkeling trips, tour guides and drivers will pick up tourists at the hotel lobby and transfer them to An Thoi harbor. Then everybody gets on a boat or speedboat and heads to the islands.

Group tours usually start by going around for picking up and include numerous stops on the way back. In addition, waiting for others to return to the bus and boat/speedboat at the agreed meeting time can be frustrating when you are ready to move on.

John’s Tours Phu Quoc's tour guide picks up tourists
John’s Tours Phu Quoc's tour guide picks up tourists

If these small inefficiencies make you unpleasant, then a group tour is not for you. It is also one of the significant advantages of a private tour, so you should consider that option.

You only need to get on a bus and head off, no need to waste time picking up, dropping off, and waiting for the other tourists.

4. Care and assistance

Having your personal tour guide, driver and transportation provide you with that more distinctive care and attention.

In group tours, a tour guide has to take care of many people at once so they do not have the ability to focus on one's particular needs and answer all of your questions all the time.

Without other tourists, your tour guide will only focus on you and your travel companions’ needs, as well as your desire to tap into local knowledge.

John’s Tours Phu Quoc's tour guide guides tourists how to use snorkeling equipment
John’s Tours Phu Quoc's tour guide guides tourists on how to use snorkeling equipment 

Having your own private guide means there is no competition with other tourists to get the attention of your tour guide or to have your questions answered. Instead, you’ll have more time to understand local culture and knowledge.

Let's find out everything you want to know from the local guide, and get recommendations about foods to try, things to do, and places to visit.

It is especially helpful if you are traveling Phu Quoc island with kids, the elderly, disabled tourists, and those with medical conditions, special needs, or mobility issues.

5. Lunch

You will have a set menu lunch with other travelers at a ten-seater table in a group snorkeling tour (dedicated vegetarian menu available). This standard meal helps you have energy for activities in the afternoon.

Tourists have lunch at John's Tours' restaurant on May Rut Trong Island
Tourists have lunch at John's Tours' restaurant on May Rut Trong Island

You're also shown off the dishes on the fixed menu before booking by the travel consultant. But what happens if you don't like one or any of the food on the set menu or have allergies?

You have only two options: skip that dish and enjoy the other foods or choose the vegetarian menu. In addition, you can spend more money to order dishes a la carte.

So have you ever wanted to have a tailor-made menu that suits your taste? 

The tour operator will help you prepare a perfect meal on a private tour. You also do not need to share your lunch with other tourists and have more time to savor local foods. In group tours, you have a fixed time to finish your lunch and move on to the next activity according to the itinerary.

6. Cost

A group tour usually offers the cheapest option for travelers on a tight budget because travelers can benefit from the savings associated with sharing resources.

There are tons of exciting things you want to explore on Phu Quoc island, but you travel on a shoestring? By choosing group tours to decrease costs, you’ll have extra money to spend, see and do more things.

It is also an advantage if you have a large family or a large group trying to travel together. If you want to save money, a group tour is definitely the best decision.

Snorkeling on Gam Ghi Island
Snorkeling on Gam Ghi Island

A private tour is usually costlier due to the luxury, convenience, and personal assistance

Although private tours traditionally cost more money, you aren’t wasting money on things you don’t want to do. You can spend more money to join in the range of activities you desire to experience!

The power is in your hands to create the experience you’re dreaming of and a meaningful vacation for your family, friends, and lovers with the support of the tour operator.

The conclusion to travel in a private group or a group tour is a very personal decision. So think about the above pros and cons to make the right choice.

Your decision must be based on what will work best for you and your travel mates. Consider all the different factors and weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each. Let's consider what is most important to you.

John’s Tours Phu Quoc's speedboat
John’s Tours Phu Quoc's speedboat
John's Tours Phu Quoc's boat
John's Tours Phu Quoc's boat

Take a look at the most popular Phu Quoc snorkeling group tours that you can not ignore:

  • 2 islands trip by boat: fishing, snorkeling at Gam Ghi Island, relaxing at May Rut Trong Island.

  • 3 islands trip by boat: snorkeling at Gam Ghi Island and Buom Island, swimming and sunbathing at May Rut Trong Island.

  • Cable car, Aquatopia water park, and 3 islands trip by boat: snorkeling at Gam Ghi Island, relaxing at May Rut Trong Island, enjoying the ride on the longest cable car, and more than 20 modern games at the water park on Thom Island.

  • 4 islands trip by speedboat: snorkeling at Gam Ghi Island and Buom Island (or Mong Tay Island), having lunch at May Rut Trong Island, and experiencing Seawalker next to Thom Island.

  • Cable car, Aquatopia water park & 4 islands trip by speedboat: experience the longest 3-wire sea-crossing cable car in the world, the top modern water park in Southeast Asia and explore the most beautiful islands of An Thoi Archipelago.

  • Adventure day and night cruise: enjoy snorkeling, sunbathing in the daytime, and squid fishing at night.

Exclusive tour available only at John's Tours:

  • 2 islands by speedboat - snorkeling & sunset BBQ dinner on May Rut Trong island.

  • 3 islands by boat and camping 2 days 1 night on May Rut Trong Island.

If you are interested in discussing a private tour further, get in touch today to share your travel dreams with John's Tours Phu Quoc.

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