Kerala house boats combine the modern with tradition. Old style boat design with all the trimmings of modern "yachting". Kerala House boats were never designed for the rough seas or oceans; they were barges for transporting the agricultural produce of inland Kerala to the sea ports of the coast - Alappuzha, Kollam and Cochin, where the rice harvest was then shipped abroad or to the North. --readmore--
Originally they floated with the tides or used rudimentary sails and oars to propel themselves across the calm waters of Vembanad or the inland waterways and canals. Today most house boats are powered by external or internal engines and cover the distances rapidly.
Likewise the boats were covered with leaves to protect their produce, today their distinctive, armadillo shape protects a kitchen and cabins where today's tourists can enjoy a calm night's sleep with only the gentle lapping of the water or the distant bells of the largely Christian backwater churches.
Most Kerala house boats are designed with one or two bedrooms although new boats seem to get ever larger with twin decks and accommodation for as many as ten or twelve people. The issue for the large house boats is that they do not eaily fit in the narrower canals or beneath the low strung telephone and electricity cables that cross the canals between the villages. Likewise new boats place more emphasis on televisions and sound systems rather than the overall experience of the backwaters which is why visitors book a house boat in the first place.
Our view is that the backwater house boat experience should be tranquil and unspoilt by too many modcons which most of us have at home anyway. Rather, while away your day lying back on the daybed in the bows and simply watch a fading world float past. What more do we want from a holiday?
Our favourite tours start from Alappuzha around midday. We have one, two or more day tours which you can browse in our Kerala house boats tours section. We have divided into tours of different durations, qualities and departure points. Our aim is to provide the appropriate tour for you. If you are staying in a local hotel, we can arrange for you to be picked up from the hotel by boat if they are waterfront.
Please feel free to call or enquire about our cruises and we can take it from there, advising you on what we think is best.
The serving of Alcohol aboard Houseboats
Answers about whether houseboats are shared across different parties.
Information about the different houseboats
Those Pesky Critters...
What is the difference between Day Boats and rice boats?
Kerala backwater houseboat prices and rates vary across the year. Here is an indication of rates across the year for different classes of houseboat to get you started. Please note these are indicative and can vary according to boat and availability.