This is our most popular traditional houseboat cruise covering Vembanad Lake and Backwaters. Wonderful introduction to this unique world. Available in different ratings, sleeps from 2 - 8 as required.
About Your Cruise
After boarding around midday in either Kumarakom or Alappuzha ( we can pickup as required by your schedule), we motor into Vembanad Lake before entering the canal system of the Kuttanad - the rice bowl of Southern India.
The waters here are full of fish, prawns and mussels. The greenish muddy waters have had ample efforts in cleanliness as tourism boomed. Dive in to the waters to come back up with mussels. Why, the likes of Anthony Bourdain have sampled the mussels harvested here. The trick is to cook it well unlike the gourmet dishes of curing and flash cooking. Despite this the masalas added bring out mussel dishes that are quite a revelation. Experience the whole process from fishing to cooking and enjoying a Keralan mussel delicacy.
For others, as soon as we find a quiet spot, we moor for lunch, which is a traditional Kerala meal cooked in the galley fresh.
After lunch, we raise sail and start to explore the canals and byways of this unusual ecosystem. Without roads, all life in the backwaters takes place on the stage of the canal bank - whether it be washing clothes and children, gossipping or buying fish and victuals from the itinerant boatmen. You may hear their distinctive cries as they paddle down the canals.
As the sun starts to set we find our night time moorings and anchor for the night (usually around 6ish). This is your chance to enjoy a sundowner and take in the late afternoon activities of the local society.
Your Sleeping Cabin
All boats now offer en-suite cabins with double bed and shower/washroom. All deluxe boats offer 24hr AC, whilst some standard boats offer only intermittent AC (see more about boats below)
Food Aboard the Houseboat
All meals are cooked and served aboard the boat and feature the typical Kerala cuisine. Indeed, may Keralites believe that you get the best food in houseboats! Ingredients are local and fresh and feature the ubiquitous local "fat" rice, lots of coconut in various forms, the backwater Karimeen or Pearl Spot fish and vegetables in as many ways as we can curry them. Each meal features a number of dishes... and you just dig in. If you have special diet requirements, we need to know before hand to ensure that you are offered appropriate food.
We cannot sell alcohol as boats are not licensed... but where there is a way, there is a means! We can discuss beer etc with you.
Included in the Cruise Price
- All Meals
- AC (except where specified)
- Soft Drinks
- Sheets, Towels, Soap, etc
Not Included in the Price
- Alcoholic Beverages
- Transfers (arranged separately as required by you)
Standard & Deluxe/Luxury Boats
We distinguish between two classes of boat - standard and deluxe/luxury as a simple way for you to choose which type of boat you want. We also list below examples of the boat to help you choose what boat you want to choose.
In overall layout, they are very similar. The real distinction is age of boat and quality of build.
Deluxe/luxury houseboats are either new or simply very well maintained with high crew quality and the overall build and finish is excellent. For a good nights sleep and real comfort - choose deluxe.
Transfers & Departure Points
We can arrange pick up transfers for you inf necessary. Typically visitors may be starting from Fort Cochin and we can happily arrange for car pickup from hotel to transfer to the boat-jetty at exxtra cost (24 hours notice required).
Departure points for this cruise are normally Alappuzha or across Vembanad Lake at Kumarakom. However, we can arrange cruises from specific places as required.
To Prebook or Not to Prebook... That is the Question
There are a lot of houseboats on the backwaters - too many if truth be told! So you might just choose to turn up and see what is available and haggle. If that is how you roll, don't let us stop you. We are here for travellers who don't want to discover that having travelled all the way to Kerala, they end up with a crappy houseboat that is not prepared for them. By prebooking your houseboat, we can ensure you get a good one we know, that it is ready for you and fully and freshly provisioned. You may be leaving town soon, but we won't be so houseboat owners know that they must not mess us about.
We have spent a lot of time tramping the decks which you can benefit from, so if you really want to ensure the houseboat goes well... book with us.
Note: Cruise starts at 12:00 noon with lunch and ends by last day morning 09:00 after breakfast. As per government rule, the boat will be anchored from 05:30 pm to 7:30 am.
Prices vary across the season for cruises. Luxury boats are more expensive than superior boats as you would expect. Each cabin sleeps two people. For luxury category, price can vary a little as per the boat chosen.
Low Season Rates priced per person.
From 1st May 2015 until 9th October 2015
|Standard 1 cabin sleeps 2||35||58||45||3500|
|Standard 2 cabin sleeps 4||25||41||32||2500|
|Standard 3 cabin sleeps 6||27||44||35||2667|
|Superior 1 cabin sleeps 2||38||61||48||3750|
|Superior 2 cabin sleeps 4||28||45||36||2750|
|Superior 3 cabin sleeps 6||27||44||34||2667|
|Luxury 1 cabin sleeps 2||51||82||64||5000|
|Luxury 2 cabin sleeps 4||43||70||55||4250|
|Luxury 3 cabin sleeps 6||43||69||53||4167|
High Season Rates priced per person
October 10th until 20th December 2014 & January 11th until 30th April 2015
|Standard 1 cabin sleeps 2||436||70||55||4250|
|Standard 2 cabin sleeps 4||36||57||45||3500|
|Standard 3 cabin sleeps 6||32||78||68||3167|
|Superior 1 cabin sleeps 2||47||74||58||4500|
|Superior 2 cabin sleeps 4||46||57||45||3500|
|Superior 3 cabin sleeps 6||32||52||46||3167|
|Luxury 1 cabin sleeps 2||97||157||137||9500|
|Luxury 2 cabin sleeps 4||64||102||80||6250|
|Luxury 3 cabin sleeps 6||51||82||64||5000|
Peak Season is the Xmas and New Year Period where prices usually rise by 25% but it can depend and we negotiate to get the best rates.