Whenever you’re looking for Kerala tour packages, check if the package includes a houseboat cruise. It is an enchanting experience that will stay with you forever, and you miss not miss an opportunity to experience it.
With its numerous water bodies, long coast line and the mesmerizing network of backwaters, Kerala is the ideal destination for houseboat cruises. You can choose from any of these great places for your cruise in Kerala:
- Alleppey: the most preferred destination for domestic and international travelers, Alleppey is often called the Venice of the East. Numerous lagoons, lakes, ponds and canals crisscross the district, and boats are a common mode of transport within Alleppey. Water ferries, small boats tied to private jetties, myriad exotic marine life, and children playing water polo are all common sights here. What better way to soak it all in, other than an Alleppey boat house? Enjoy a relaxing stay on board your houseboat, and watch the unhurried pace of village life on the banks. You’ll find the biggest choice of houseboats in Alleppey.
- Kollam: An important port since ancient times, the backwaters include the Lake Ashtamudi, on whose banks the city is located. What better way to unwind and let the stress melt away, than cruising lazily down the brackish backwaters, and tucking into the freshly prepared local delicacies? Your houseboat crew includes a cook; if you’re a seafood lover, and lady luck is with you, you may even have some fresh catch!
- Kochi: Known as the Queen of the Arabian Sea, this cosmopolitan city is actually made up of many small islands, all connected through canals, and the Lake Vembanad which opens into the Arabian Sea. The city has welcomed a host of foreign traders and settlers since the 16th Century – Portuguese, Dutch, French, Arab, Chinese, and British. Each of these people left indelible marks in the city, and one can enjoy them in the form of architectural marvels – places of worship, palaces, quaint townships, and more.
- Kasaragod: Situated in the northernmost part of Kerala, Kasaragod is a picturesque town, bordered by the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea. You can go for backwater cruises on the Chandragiri River and Lake Valiyaparamba – and of course, you must not miss a visit to the famous Bekal Fort.
- Kumarakom: This is a sleepy little town not far from Kottayam city, and situated on the banks of the Vembanad Lake. Made up of numerous tiny islands, Kumarakom offers one of the most scenic Kerala backwater cruises. A bird sanctuary, spread over 14 acres, provides safe haven to several species of rare, endangered, and migratory birds. It also has mangrove forests that are home to several small animal species.
Kerala houseboats today are modern – they run on fuel, and feature contemporary amenities like showers, western toilets, and so on, and are fully furnished with a dining set, bed and linens, and of course, have kitchens and the requisite accessories.
However, many are ‘dressed up’ from the outside to resemble the traditional Kerala kettuvallams – with thatched roof, coir ropes and bamboo blinds, and so on. They look exotic – try to book one of those when you’re looking at houseboats. You can also choose according to the number of bedrooms – houseboats have rooms ranging from 2 to 5 or 6, so if you’re in a large group, you may need a bigger boat.
For a comprehensive and immersive Kerala experience, you can request for a traditional dance performance of Kathakali, Mohiniyattam or Bharatanatyam. If you truly want all your tension and worries to disappear, ask for an Ayurvedic spa treatment or massage on board – and drift away to heaven.