Cruising along the backwaters of Kerala is an unforgettable experience. If you have not experienced it, here is a golden opportunity to do it at a fraction of its original cost. You could get in any House Boat of your liking, saunter down the cool placid waters of our world-famous backwaters, have a merry time and get back home either the same day or after spending a night as well out floating around.
House Boats are huge, slow moving, exotic barges designed for sheer leisure trips. They are the new versions of traditional Kettuvallams. Kettu means tying and Vallam means country boats. These Kettuvallams were earlier used to ship rice and spices and other goods between Kuttanad and the Cochin port. It was a three-day affair those days. A standard House Boat, which could be about 100 feet long, can hold up to 30 tons, and that is as much as three big lorries can.
A House Boat (which is made of hundreds of fine but heavy-duty planks of jack-wood) is held together absolutely by coir knots (not a single nail is used). This framework is then coated with a caustic black resin extracted from boiled cashew kernels. And it lasts for generations. Ancient principles and techniques are used by the local carpenters for constructing house boats. The ?Anjali wood? is used for this purpose. Normally our houseboats are of an average 70 ft long and 15 ft width in the central section. Some of the attractive houseboat packages in Kerala are:
Alleppey is the citadel of House Boats: There are some 120 of them, well maintained and perfected as luxury liners here. The crew cooks on board, and most often, their meals included delicious pearlspot fish caught straight from the water. A portion of the House Boat had bamboo roofing, and that was where the crew would rest. You will be enjoying the finest Kuttanadan delicacies when you saunter down the backwaters. You will be lounging in the best-furnished cabins with a view you cannot find anywhere else in the world, and the entire milieu is ecological. Fresh food, cooked in inimitable Kuttanadan style is the rage of the international tourists.
The premium attraction of Kumarakom is obviously the backwaters here. A ride through these backwaters will be an unforgettable experience for you. From single to multiple ? lots of packages are available and you can have your choice. You can enjoy the traditional Kerala meals while enjoying the fine trip through the gorgeous backwaters of Kumarakom. Fresh cooked meals along with the unique ?Karimeen fry? will satisfy your gourmet.
The eight hour water cruise from Kollam to Alappuzha is considered to be the longest backwater cruises in Kerala. The long hour journey through the backwaters will be a cherishing memory filled with the stunning beauty of the backwaters. On your way, enjoy the beauty of Chinese fishing nets; get excited with the sights of lotuses and water lilies, which is sprouting out of the water.
A ride in a House Boat is the most stunning experience you could ever float into, or get floated into. And, nothing like it, if it rains while you are cozy inside the luxurious House Boat. It will be the most magical moment of your life. You could watch millions of drops of water splashing and pounding on the rhythm of the falling rain like you never had in all your life.
What is meant by Kerala houseboats?
Houseboats are a modified version of country boats that were used to carry goods from one place to another, during the bygone days. These houseboats are built by tying huge jack woods together and the interesting part is that, not even a single nail is used for the construction of the boat. Single bed room to ten bed room houseboats is currently available. Each of these has bed rooms with attached wash rooms, living room and dining room and a kitchen. Some even have separate dining room and balcony, upper deck, glass wall etc.
What are the different categories available in houseboats?
Generally, House boats comes under 4 categories namely Standard, Deluxe, Premium and Luxury house boats. But Kerala.com Travel Division is not providing any standard category boats. We are providing deluxe boats and the higher grades only.
In deluxe house boats, AC will be operated only from 9:00 pm to 6:00 am while for premium houseboats AC will be operated round the clock. Premium house boats provides Luxury furnishing, Premium food menu, Candle light dinner, Jacuzzi, Shower panel etc.
You can contact us for more details.
What is the time duration of the different boat trips?
Day trip & Overnight stay are the two major cruises available.
Check-in time for day cruise is by 11.30 am while checkout time is 5:00 pm. For overnight trip check-in is usually around 11am to 11.30am while checkout is next day 9:00am.
All meals are served in houseboat.
Is travel in houseboat at night possible?
No, since the local fisherman put their fishing nets in the backwaters and lakes, the Kerala Govt. has banned the operations of all types of engine operated boats from 5.30pm in the evening to 7.30am till the next day.
Is the a/c in houseboats working at nights?
Generally, a/c in the deluxe houseboats work from 8pm to next day 6am (when the boat is stationery). But, there are expensive Premium and Luxury boats that operate a/c during the day time.
Can you tell me the travel plan (Itinerary) in houseboat?
For both day and over night cruise, the total cruise time is usually 5 to 6 hrs. Over night cruise house boats will be anchored at shore of a backwater village from 5:30 pm till 8:00 am next day. Cruise will come to an end by 9:00 am.
Can you tell me the Room facilities?
Deluxe attached bathroom (Bath Towel + Toilet Soap), Premium attached bathroom (Bath Towel + Toilet Soap), Luxury attached bathroom (Bath Towel + Toilet Soap and Super Luxury attached bathroom (Bath Towel + Toilet Kit)
Is Houseboat available on multi sharing basis?
Houseboat is reserved on Exclusive Basis only and not on Shared basis. Kerala.com Travel Division strictly does not provide any shared boats.
Why footwear is not allowed inside the boat?
In order to keep the houseboat neat and clean, the guests are not allowed to wear footwear inside the boats. It is required for you to remove your footwear and keep it aside inside the boat.
What are the different backwater travel routes available?
The popular destinations of houseboat cruise are Alappuzha and Kumarakom. Houseboats are also available in places like Kollam.
Which destination is mostly preferred for houseboat cruise - Alleppey or Kumarakom?
The best one to select will be Alleppey-Kumarakom cruise which allows travelers to check in at Kumarakom and check out at Alleppey or vice versa at a nominal additional charge. By this cruise, visitors can enjoy beauty of both the back waters. Most operators are providing this route. There is more number of houseboats options available in Alleppey and cruise are done in narrow channels. While in Kumarakom, you may have a glimpse of all luxury resorts and the bird sanctuary while on cruise and can travel in less traffic. Heavy traffic is observed in Alleppey route. The longest house boat cruise in Kerala connecting Alleppey-Kollam may also be done. However the availability of houseboats in Kumarakom is less than Alleppey.
What are the varieties of dishes (Foods) available in a houseboat?
Usually Kerala cuisine is provided. A slice of fried Pearl Spot, Kerala Chicken curry and vegetable dishes are normally served. The lunch is served in a buffet style (LIMITED) and consists of only authentic Kerala dishes. Tea and typical Kerala snacks like Banana Fry will be provided in the evening.
However you may request in advance for special menus like Vegetarian, Jain, Chinese, North Indian etc and most operators will provide it. Lunch, Evening snacks, Dinner and Breakfast are served for overnight cruise while Lunch and Evening snacks are also provided for day cruise. You may request for honey moon cake, candle light dinner etc. in advance. Visitors can buy fresh fishes like Jumbo prawns, Pearl spot (kareemeen), Crabs etc directly from the fishermen and the chef will prepare it in the houseboats itself.
Is it possible to cook our own food menu in the houseboat?
YES. You can choose from the list of Food Menu available in the Houseboat. Food menu can be viewed online.
Is Vegetarian food serviceable in Houseboats?
Yes. Pure Vegetarian Food is available at all the houseboats featured in the Tour Packages.
How far can you make sure that travelling in Kerala is safe?
Kerala is comparatively a safe state to travel. Crime rate against foreigners remains low. However, especially for our female guests, we recommend not to be alone on the road after late evening just to be on the safer side. In case you need any help you can call the police (100) and Ambulance (102).
Is Houseboat stay safe and comfortable?
The houseboat crew takes special care to meet the needs of the tourists. They are also given special training in first aid and life saving techniques to meet, if any emergency arises. Hence there is nothing to worry about safety.
Why is there an increase in the number of criticisms against the houseboats?
Most of the people have many complaints about the houseboats.
One of the complaints is that, for a 22 hr overnight cruise, there is hardly 6 hours cruise.
As per the Govt. regulations, Houseboats are not allowed to move from 5:30 pm to morning 8 am, so as to allow the fishermen to work.
Also problems of mosquitoes arise only for deluxe boats while for premium boats chances of mosquitoes are very less. For deluxe houseboats a/c will be operated only from 9 pm to 6 am.
To sum up, if opting for premium houseboats of reputed providers, most of these problems are solved.
Is Houseboat cruise available in monsoon season?
Yes. The houseboats operate during Monsoon. But if it's pouring heavily houseboat cruise will not be possible.
What are the other inexpensive and affordable alternatives to relish in the backwaters?
Shikkara boat and Motor boat rides are available for approx. Rs 500 - 1000/- per hour (not per head) and it's an economical way to enjoy backwaters.
Capacity of Shikkara is 1 - 20 Adults and Motorboats is 10 - 60 Adults .Canoe ride is also a cheaper option. If interested to travel with locals, there are ferry services between Kumarakom, Alleppey and Kollam and it cost just a couple of rupees for travelling. During off season, houseboats can be rented on hourly basis.
Who all will be there in the Houseboat other than the guest?
There would be 3 crew members in the houseboat who are, the Captain, the Oarsmen, and a cook would accompany the guest.
Apart from those listed in the site, would any other personalized special packages be made available as per our needs?
Yes. We can create tour packages according to your requirements but only with the houseboats featured in our list.
Is your company approved by any Government Bodies?
Yes our company is approved by Ministry of Tourism Govt. of India and Department of Tourism Govt. of Kerala.
Should we book our houseboats in prior?
It's recommended to pre book houseboats during the Season time. Even though houseboats are found for spot booking in off season, reputed houseboats providers usually get booked and it's a good idea to book in advance.
Is there any advance payment required for the booking and how can I clear my payments later?
Yes, advance deposit is required. The amount to be paid depends on houseboats. This is to be sure that your booking is genuine and we can go ahead with the reservations. The rest of the due amount can be paid before your arrival in Kerala. On special request you can also make the payment after your arrival. This can be agreed upon as per the type of tour and the amount we have to pay in advance to the hotels and our other associate offices for making the reservations.
What about the refund system provided by Myhouseboats.com?
Cancellation has to be done at least 3 days before the check-in date. Please click here to see our Refund Policies
What are the different payable methods applicable?
Payment can be made by Cheque / Demand Draft / Credit/Cash on Travel or Debit Card online. Options are available for a list of credit / debit cards and net banking are also available.
Are there any further surcharges for making payments through debit/credit?
Yes, you will be charged 3% for credit card and 2% for debit as additional charges.