The best way to soak in the unbound beauty and calming serenity of Kerala backwaters is to stay in one of the finest houseboats in Kumarakom. For those who want to enjoy a not-so-crowded holiday in Kerala, Kumarakom Houseboat cruise is a better pick over Alleppey. It is popular, but not as busy as Alleppey. And the natural beauty is as much if not more. With the nearby Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary that is home to exotic water birds, a boat cruise at this breathtaking tourist attraction will leave you speechless with wonder and excitement.
Kumarakom is a serenely beautiful and scenic backwater destination, a charming peninsula jutting into the ever-effervescent Vembanad Lake that is dotted with plenty of traditional rice boats and canoes, leaving a scene that is immensely pleasing to the eye.
When nature is all you need to recuperate, Kumarakom is undoubtedly one of the most invigorating and fascinating places to unwind in Kerala. The slender coconut palms standing here, there and everywhere, its never ending paddy fields, meandering lagoons and backwaters and mangroves with nestling birds of a hundred varieties will all serve to calm and inspire your mind.
Don’t you want to try the enchanting feel of experiencing the mesmerizing awesomeness of a Houseboat cruise across the tranquil backwaters of Kumarakom? People from all the over world visit Kumarkom every year to experience the awesomeness of these Houseboats that have emerged from the traditional concepts of Kettuvalloms, used for transportation across the backwaters, while they can catch a glimpse of the local lifestyle of the coastal areas. More than 200 Houseboats are already providing full-fledged services in and across Kumarakom backwaters owing to the sudden rise in the number of tourists. You can check out the Kerala Houseboats & cruises on the backwaters for Dummies – Part I-V here
If you are a tourist coming from a far off land to experience the inexperienced bliss of Kumarakom and its Kumarakom houseboats cruise, then here is a tip for you: Book your houseboats in advance to avoid any kind of complications that might arise when you directly walk over to the houseboats one fine morning and try to make your bookings. But, before you book an Kumarakom Houseboat, here are a few things you should know about these so that you enjoy your houseboat tour
The state, shape & order of Kumarakom Houseboat
Traditionally known as Kettuvalloms, made up of thatched roofs, now-a-days the Alleppey Houseboats have transformed in their appearance, style and services. These are being developed on innovative ideas combined with leisure design concepts ensuring there is enough space and sophistication to provide one of the best experiences to the tourists on their cruise holidays. Before booking your Houseboat, there are a few factors that you need to consider like the condition of the boat and how long it has been into use. Usually, these are made up of wood and require a maintenance service to be provided once in a year. These have an average lifetime of 6 to 10 years. Also, the quality of the construction materials is another factor that determines the condition of your boat. Try to get these details from your houseboat operator before booking it.
Kumarakom Houseboat cruise pricing
There is no standardized range of price for houseboats though depending upon certain factors the operators fixes the charge for these. You will be provided with 3 crew members on your Houseboat, a driver, engine operator and a chef. Usually, the running costs are quite expensive and also the charges are fixed depending upon the quality of the boat and the services that they offer. So, do not get carried away if you find a house boat with lower prices, as the quality of the boat or the number of services offered might be poor. Always examine the services as well as the condition of the boat before fixing it and paying the price. It is always a good idea to book the houseboats in advance as advance booking is less expensive when compared to on the spot booking from Jetty. The houseboat operators are not directly available for negotiation, so it will be handled by mediators and they might charge extra money.
Popular Backwater Routes on Kumarakom Houseboat cruise
Asking for the backwater cruising routes on Kumarakom Houseboats is as important as Kumrakom Houseboats rates. Usually, the cruising route takes a circular trip of Kumarakom, starting from Kumarkom Govt boat jetty, Kavanttinkara Jetty, Cheepunkal jetty or Kaipuzhamuttu jetty. You can catch the beautiful view of the canals, lakes, lagoons and the backwater areas and also you can catch a glimpse of the backwater villages and also the lifestyle and the culture of the people living across the coastal areas of Kerala. The cruising route that you choose also determines the rates of your Houseboat. For instance if you choose Kumarakom to Alleppey, & then to Quilon, and then back to Kumarakom and on to Cochin, then the route takes longer time and the charge is higher.
Backwater cruising time in Kumarakom
A typical cruise and night stay package houseboat starts at 12:00 hrs or once you board the Kumarakom houseboats and cruises till 17:00 hrs with break during the lunch hours. For Day cruise there is flexibility in timings and can be opted from 08:00 hrs till 17:00 hrs. After sunset no cruising happens, and you can enjoy the beautiful silence of the night accompanied with the murmuring of the flora in these lakes. The houseboat will be berthed at the banks of the Kumarakom backwaters. In some special cases on request the Kumarakom houseboat can be anchored on mid on lake if weather conditions are favourable The cruising will re-commence next morning after 07:00 hrs. .
Living environment aboard Kumarakom Houseboat
Two kinds of Houseboats are available, one with Air-Conditioning and the other non A/C. Most of the times, Houseboats offer A/C services during night starting from 9 pm to 7 am in the morning and extra money will be charged from the next hour onwards. Usually, the bedrooms are fitted with A/C as rest of the area is open space. The A/C is operated on generators.
Time of boarding & disembarking
Generally, all the houseboats maintain a standardized check-in time that is 12:00 hes and usually the check-out time is 09:00 hrs in next morning. The timings are relax-able by an hour or two in case of exigencies. All these factors are subject to change depending upon the houseboat operators that you choose. You can choose the boarding point at the time of booking as operators believe that it contributes to customer convenience.
An accredited or licensed Houseboat comprises of 03 competent crew one being the navigator and he is the senior most person or responsible person onboard. The navigator can in turn act us cruise guide for your journey. Then comes the chef, who is trained chef or professional chef specialized in local delicacies. Finally the deck hand cum steward whose duty is to assist both Navigator & Chef when requirement arises, The bigger the Kumarakom Houseboat the larger the number of crew.
F & B onboard
Most of the times people prefer to taste the local cuisines of the backwaters and Kumarakom has number of distinct varieties of finger lickering dishes[non-veg to be specific] to offer. Food is usually cooked and served inside the Houseboat. If you have any preferences with regard to the cuisine that is served here you can specify that in advance at the time of booking so that the necessary ingredients can be stocked in the kitchen. You can also cook your own food if you prefer it that way. Usually, the raw materials and food items are stocked in the kitchen to make it easily available during the cruise. If you desire to consume alcohol during the cruise, here is a tip for you carry wine or beer during the cruise as these are not available on the houseboats. Not all houseboat operators allow you to cook on the houseboat so make sure whether the service is provided before booking the Houseboat.
Add on services on board
Most of the houseboat operators provide the basic services of stay & cruise. But some houseboat operators go an extra mile and offer supplementary services like village life experience, ayurvedic massage, local arts show, Temple visits, canoe cruises and fishing. It is your interest to check which all services/ activities are complimentary & supplementary. Airport/Railway station pick up & drop are provided by most of reputed Houseboat operators.
Good time to hire a houseboat for cruise
The most common enquiry from most travelers and backwater enthusiasts are regarding Kumarakom Houseboat cruise would be about the best time to hire them. And the most common answer would be all time except the monsoons.
Well, it’s true that from November to February the weather will be the coolest, and can be the best time of the year to take a houseboat tour. Also in the months from March to May, the weather will be humidly hot, and it would be a great time to enjoy the backwaters in Kumarakom houseboat.
But we highly recommend you to hire Kumarakom houseboat cruise during Monsoons as well. Why because you will be witnessing the incredible view of the greenery and the long stretch of backwaters is a sight to behold.
In addition to this, Monsoon is the best time for ‘Karkidaka chikitsa’ or Monsoon treatment kickstarts which is deemed to keep your immune system strong for an entire year. So you’re not only bound to receive discounts and offers to undergo treatment or to pamper yourself with Ayurveda and spa, but also a reduced Kumarakom Houseboat rates for one day, if that is all your planning for.
Reputation & reviews of kumarakom houseboats
Like all service oriented industry Kumarakom houseboat cruises are also prone to lack of services. Some may not serve hot foods in sufficient quantities, then some may try to cut short the cruising hours. And there are some folks who persist you to activities like ayurvedic massage, curio shopping etc. Finally the most intolerable of all services you may face, rude behavior from staff. Before committing on Kumarakom Houseboat cruise please search online traveler’s forum like Trip Advisor Lonely planet, Holiday IQ & Google for reviews & feedbacks.
Booking & cancellation procedure
It is always advisable to book your Kumarakom Houseboat cruise in advance to avoid last minute hassles. Booking can be made both online and offline. Again Online booking can be made direct with operator or through reliable OTAs. Further terms & conditions of houseboat operators may vary with OTAs so double check with operators even after booking with OTAs. Clearly specify the no. of Adults & children, requirement of beds etc. Special requests had to be intimated in advance and surety for be obtained before boarding.
Same way check with your houseboat operator for the cancellation policies so that you do not lose your money in case you decide to cancel your booking. During the peak seasons, it is recommended that you make partial payment in advance & make your operator obliged to provide you a houseboat.
These are some of the simple things that you need to do before you book a Kerala Houseboat.
Backwater Routes is known for offering affordable Houseboats in Kumarakom .They provides travel assistance to tourists and travel lovers in India and abroad. You just need to specify the place and the number of days you want to treat yourself; they will organize your tour into a perfectly customized tour package that will be the most memorable trip of your life at affordable prices. Contact us and book your tour today!