A Kerala traditional houseboat cruise is a popular and unique way to explore the backwaters of Kerala, a beautiful state in southwestern India. These houseboats are locally known as “Kettuvallam” and offer a tranquil and immersive experience in the heart of Kerala’s picturesque landscapes.
A houseboat cruise on backwaters is an unavoidable part of Kerala tourism. Kerala houseboat cruise through curving and winding backwaters will give visitors an opportunity to explore the rustic village life like toddy tapping, to enjoy the scenic vista of nature, and have rendezvous with nature. Houseboat cruise is the major sightseeing option here and no one can think of complete Kerala travel without a houseboat experience.
Backwater destinations here are truly a hot spot for honeymoon couples in their Kerala tour as they can spend time in solitude and view the captivating sights of nature. Cruise over the scenic backwaters will ultimately take them to unforgettable wonderments and heavenly natural beauty. An intricate maze of backwaters stretches over 900 km nestled in pristinely beautiful environs and set amidst greenery, with enchanting views of coconut lagoons, paddy fields, and banana plantations are prime attractions of Kerala backwater tourism.
The backwaters mainly cover four districts of the state – Kollam, Alleppey (Alappuzha), Kottayam, and Kochi ( Cochin ). The Vembanad Lake, the largest backwater stretch, flows through the Alleppey (Alappuzha) and Kottayam districts and opens out into the Arabian Sea at the Kochi Port. The Ashtamudi Lake, known as the gateway to the backwaters, gives the longest cruise on backwaters from Kollam to Alleppey.
In earlier days, Kettuvallams were used primarily for transporting cargo in rural Kerala. Now these traditional houseboats with all modern luxurious facilities, are designed to offer the utmost comfort to tourists. It is a huge, slow-moving boat equipped with all modern facilities such as television sets, air conditioners, etc., and has become an essential segment of leisure tourism in Kerala. Kettuvallams are built with huge wooden planks bundled and stitched together with coir rope without using a single nail. The exteriors of boats are painted with a protective coating of Cashew nut oil. It requires great skill, artfulness, and expertise to build Kettuvallams. Evidently, it is symbolic of heritage, cultural traditions, and regional identity.
Skilled artisans transform Kettuvallams into a modern tourism product comfortably furnished with bedrooms, living space, bathroom, kitchen, and a sun deck. Commonly one-bedroom to four-bedroom houseboats are available.
An ethnic houseboat that floats over the rippling water gives occupants an antique experience and a holiday with a difference. A houseboat ride helps to understand and witness the inaccessible rural lifestyle of Kerala villages.
The modern kitchen in the houseboat provides hygienic, fresh, and delicious traditional Kerala food. An array of best of Kerala delicacies, especially lip-smacking seafood, is served on board amid a tranquil, home-like ambiance.
Houseboats are classified into three categories Gold Star, Silver Star, and Green Palm by the Dept. of Tourism on the basis of Safety and service standards.
Kerala Houseboat Itineraries:
ALLEPPY TO ALLEPPY: Alleppey is famous for beaches, backwaters, and houseboats and serves as starting and ending points of pristine backwater cruises. Alleppey is also called the hub of backwater tourism. This package starts & ends at Alleppey and the cruise will be in and around Alleppey (Alappuzha Travelers enjoy the breathtaking views and the glimpses of life along the banks. The paddy field, the coconut trees etc lined along the backwaters, the Chinese nets, etc. will make you delighted. Large numbers of species of birds even migratory birds are found during cruise. Alleppey Backwaters are known for their marine life i.e.: it is home to a large variety of fish.
ALLEPPY TO KUMARAKOM: The cruise from Alleppey to Kumarakom will be one of the most beautiful and unforgettable hours of your life. Kumarakom is a unique backwater destination situated on the banks of Vembanad Lake, which is one of the largest freshwater lakes. Ethnic houseboat which floats over the famous Vembanadu Lake takes tourists into the unique world of water and wonderment and finds it as a great, joyful, and thrilling experience of a lifetime. The visitors can have a small nearby village walk and can visit a bird sanctuary, which is a favorite haunt of migratory birds and an ornithologist’s paradise. Pathiramanal Backwater Island is situated on the backwaters of Vembanad Lake, which attracts many due to its enchanting scenic beauty.
ALLEPPY TO THOTTAPPALLY: The houseboat floats through the river pampa, and narrow canals, and then for a brief visit to the quiet and peaceful Chavara village, which is known as the sacred birthplace of blessed. Mar Kuriakose Elias Chavara is a Syrian Catholic saint and social reformer from the Indian state of Kerala. “]Kuriakose Elias Chavara. Houseboats pass through Champakulam – an amazing experience, offers you, is the snake boat, which is used for the prestigious Nehru Trophy Boat Race, held every year around the time of Onam. Champakulam church is one of the oldest churches in India which was established in AD 427 and also attracts tourists . Then hoseboat heads towards the Karumadi canal.