Frequently asked questions about Day Cruise on Kerala Houseboat-2020

What is truly magical about a day cruise on Kerala Houseboat?  

CNN last year released their top list of 19 places to visit in 2019, and unsurprisingly, Kerala Backwaters featured in CNN places to visit list! It is the only place from South Asia to bag a spot. Kerala’s backwaters are famous for a reason: a nexus of waterways linking the regions’ villages and best explored via Kettuvallam — a traditional wooden houseboat. Further says it’s worth spending anywhere from a day cruise on Kerala Houseboat to a week on one of the many rental houseboats on offer, enjoying the sights and sounds drifting by.

Day cruise on Kerala Houseboat

What makes one want to go on this day cruise

A day cruise  on Kerala Houseboat beside the palm-fringed waterways is an unparalleled experience to feel the essence of rural treats all across the backwater creeks. In this no ordinary landscape you may drift past ancient Chinese fishing nets, remoteness of water lilies, lush paddy fields, virgin mangroves, uncharted backwater routes, scared temples and coconut groves. A relaxed, lethargic slow paced ride through these backwaters in a traditional Kerala houseboat will add on to a memorable chapter in your travelogue. Plus, its a perfect abode to have a romantic moment or two with a significant other amidst such a gorgeous setting.

Many first time tourists/ travelers inquire us on call and mail and frequently ask these question about day cruise on Kerala houseboats. You’ve logged on the right place ! Starting from the FAQs about the booking of day cruise on Kerala Houseboat to the safety issues, facilities aboard we’ve got it all covered !

Should one pre-book day cruise on Kerala houseboat in advance or can get on demand?

It’s highly recommended to pre- book day cruise on Kerala houseboats to avail best houseboat & indeed best experience. Even though houseboats are found for spot booking in off season, popular & highly rated houseboats usually gets sold out like hot cakes and it’s always wise to book in advance if you are opting for reputed provider’s houseboat. But if you are one of the person who is not online deals & particularly want to avoid the guilt feeling that comes with missing an bargain opportunity or better pricing.  Those travelers can check various houseboats directly on spot that are berthed on jetty, negotiate with operators to get best price and a best houseboat available. But make sure you reach bit early to check out houseboats.

If it says it is a 02 bedroom houseboat, how many people can we put on for a day cruise?

houseboat or (boathouse) is a boat that has been designed or modified to be as home, the sheer passenger capacity of 18 pax for a day cruise for most of 02 bedroom houseboats. Goal of day cruise on Kerala houseboat is to provide one with a houseboat for your group to enjoy Kerala Backwaters for their leisure. Houseboats never allow to have more people onboard houseboat than they can keep track of, if the responsibility is taken over by travelers itself then it is much more about weight and distribution than it is about number of people. The modern day cruise houseboats can easily & comfortably accommodate upto 100 persons with its spacious living spaces & much wider and open upper-decks. The contemporary built exotic houseboats with banquet hall offers guest the best atmosphere along the lap of Vembanad to celebrate family gatherings and guarantee the sweet memories of these rare occasion will never fade away from their mind.

If the purpose of the day cruise is quasi official there are bigger houseboats which can accommodate 350 persons on theater style and 100 in a round table.  There is enough space available to place a big TV or projector for presentation.  The houseboat is already equipped with PA system which is an added advantage for those looking for a good conference or meetings aboard Houseboat. The roof of the conference room is built with 8.0 ft height which is the best head room available on houseboats in Kerala backwaters.

What time of day do we start our day cruise on Kerala Houseboat and when do we need to return to the jetty?

Normal day cruise on Kerala Houseboat starts at 11:00 am & concludes at 04:00, but is flexible with fixed cut off period at 06:30 pm.  Houseboats are permitted to cruise the backwaters of Kerala from 07:00 am to 06:30 pm only, so travelers should choose a time slot in between according to their convenience.

What about kids on board Houseboat in backwaters?

Most of our houseboat vacationers are families. The houseboat that you hire will be equipped with enough life jackets for each individual who is on board. For those who have infants and toddlers, know that you need to be aware of the children’s location at all times, just as you would at the any water destination or water theme park. Also, assign an adult to be with the kids when they are outside, on top deck, using stairways, ladders, etc. Some security features that incorporated aboard houseboat includes the below:

Day cruise on Kerala Houseboat
  • Guard railings around the perimeter of the houseboat.
  • Sliding doors that lock from the interior.
  • Latching gates on the deck of the houseboat.
  • Life buoys

Common sense prevails here but you do need to be mindful of the kids on board.

Do Kerala houseboats have any GPS fitted on them for safety & security?

Yes, all the houseboats in Kerala are to fit GPS mandatory for operations on Backwaters of Kerala,  with SOS/panic buttons for timely emergency response. Besides tracking and locating houseboats on a Geographic Information System (GIS) map and timely emergency response, the backwater routes cruised by a houseboat can also be “geo-fenced” to receive alerts on any route violations. These systems will track houseboats and ensure the safety and security of tourists while they day cruise the backwaters.

Can we go swimming on backwaters while on our day cruise on Kerala Houseboat?

Yes, but who are proficient in swimming or under the watch of qualified life guards, however there are water plants & weeds under the water. Do not dive into the water unless you’re 100% confident of what’s below and the depth. The backwaters, lagoons & canals may have strong under currents so please beware. In winter the water is quite cold but it’s great in summer.

Do houseboats have air conditioning?

The authentic houseboat cruising is about experiencing backwaters in its natural tropical habitat & the ethnic houseboats doesn’t have A/C’s onboard. But modern Houseboats have air-conditioned bedroom in most of the houseboats, but those with air-conditioned living space or lounge are few and falls in premium category with premium prices. Generally if you sit on open to air living space, there is always nice cross breeze for relax during day cruise. In the event you get to experience temperature, you may want to keep the ceiling fans and A/C on for your comfort.

What happens if it rains during day cruise?

No problems at all for that venture out for day cruise on Kerala Houseboat, as its all weather activity & can adjust all weathers. First of all you & houseboat in Kerala Backwaters are safe because of the towering coconut palms that border the lake; weather forecasting around here can be inconsistent. Houseboat operators tell travelers to watch the sky. If it looks dark, or if the wind seems to be picking up, it is smart to move into landside and get tied up.  If the storm includes thunder and lightning, keep everyone inside the houseboat.  With an expansive window overlooking lake side and a spacious seating area, the … With plenty of space for relaxing, sharing a meal just stay inside, take a nap, play a game, read and enjoy the sounds of nature cleansing the earth. Rooftops or balconies on Kerala Houseboat have all the features you’ll need to relax in wet day & for a rejuvenating showering experience.

What Backwater routes are offered on day cruise on Kerala Houseboat, and which is the most popular?

Our houseboats ply the length & breadth of mesmerizing routes on Backwaters of Kerala. Vembanad Lake, creeks & its canals are deemed the ‘house-boating capital of the Kerala’ and is the largest and most popular backwater cruising destination. The popular & regular backwater routes are first 02 options on both Alleppey & Kumarakom, he most exotic routes & the last 02 options on Kumarakom & Alleppey round.

Day cruise on Kerala Houseboat

Boat cruise Routes on Alappuzha backwaters

Option 1 > Alappuzha – Pallathuruthy – Kanjipadam – Champakulam – Alappuzha

Option 2 > Alappuzha – Kainakary – Kavalam – R.Block – Chithira – Alappuzha

Option 3 > Nedumudy – Kattakuzhi- Venttukad– Pathilchira – Pallithodu – Nedumudy

Option 4 > Nedumudy – Munnattinmugham–Ayiravelly– Kainakary– Umbikaram– Meenakayal- Nedumudy

Option 5 > Nedumudy – Mancombu- Pulicunno– Manalady– Ramankkary– Kidangara

Option 6 > Kidangara – Kunnamkari- Veliyanad– Krishnapuram– Lisiuex– Kidangara

Boat cruise Routes on  Kumarakom backwaters

Option 1 : Kumarakom – Kavanttinkara – Pathiramanal – Kayipuram – Kumarakom
Option 2 : Kumarakom – Athikalam – Pallikayal– Chithirakanal – R.Block–Kumarakom

Option 3 : Kumarakom – Pathiramanal – Marthandamkayal– Chithirakanal –Kumarakom

Option 4 : Kavanattinkara – Pathiramanal – Kayipuram – Thanneermukkam –Kavanattinkara

Option 5 : Cheepunkal – Pathiramanal – Kayipuram – Thanneermukkam – Puthenkayal –Cheepunkal

Option 6 : Kaipuzhamuttu – Puthenkayal – Thannermukkam– Kayipuram–Pathiramanal– Kaipuzhamuttu

How many kilometers would the houseboat cover during day cruise ?

Backwater cruises are pottered as unwinding & relaxing activity, is a primary reason to be there. This region is irresistible for its variety of things to see and do, on and off the water. Everywhere you cruise, you will find virgin mangroves & coconut groves, clear water, rugged scenery and access to below water level landscape & living which makes one feel invigorated. Kerala Houseboats are designed to drift gently throughout the backwaters, allowing you to sit back and watch the undulating backwaters and coconut palms drift by. So the the experience is not measured in the number of kilometers covered, but by the quality time you spend on mesmerizing backwaters.

Its average speed is 4.5 knots, which is the maximum a Houseboat can attain in Alappuzha’s Kuttanadu or Kottayam’s Kumarakom backwaters.  A traditional houseboat can achieve a speed of 9 knots but then, no passenger boat can cross 6 knots in Kerala’s inland waterways, with hundreds of canoes and smaller motorized boats plying. This distance covered varies depending upon the backwater route one chooses for the day cruise. On an average, a day cruise on Kerala Houseboat covers 35-40 Kms for 6 hours of cruise.

Is Entertainment systems available aboard?

There is an entertainment center with a TV-Music system-DVD unit in the main lounge or upper deck   – for viewing movies and naturalist presentations – but broadcast reception is unavailable while day cruise on Kerala Houseboat.

Do one  share the Houseboat with others?

Most of the houseboats venturing in Kerala backwaters for day cruises are of private nature, which it is exclusively for you or your party.  The only people on the houseboat are you and your group and the crew. But there are Houseboat operators who offer shared houseboats for socializing folks & want company of folks with them to chit chat & share stories. The number of  houseboat crew varies between 3-4. Usually there is a captain,  a chef & a life guard cum oarsmen.

What time is lunch served for day cruise?

As highlight of a day cruise on Kerala houseboat is its sumptuous traditional Lunch which consists of Matta Rice, with Aviyal, Sambar, Pineapple curry, banana flower thoran, Kuttanadan mix veg curry, Long beans Thoran Vegetable Mezhukkupuratti, Kerala rice, sambar, Banana chips, Pappadom, Banana and Ada Prathaman !  and for Non vegetarians, backwater fishes, crabs and duck garnished with the distinctive aroma of pepper, cardamom, chillies, and cloves-spices  an allegory of Kerala food culture.

To prepare and serve thing lavish 10 odd course lunch it requires 1½ – 2 hours, so can expect the lunch be served 2 hours later after the commencement of Backwater cruise. In general practice it served between 13:00 pm and 14:30 pm, the exact time depending on the starting of cruise, cruise itinerary, number of travelers, sitting schedule, meal preferences etc.

Does the houseboats fill waters from the saline backwaters for onboard usage ?

Kerala Houseboat comes equipped with several convenient water management systems, all designed to help make sure travelers have enough clean water throughout the duration of their day trip in backwaters. The fresh water tank on your houseboat provides all of the clean, filtered water you will use in the sinks, showers, dishwasher, and ice makers. The capacity of this tank will vary depending on your houseboat type. Some houseboats[ Accredited Houseboats] plying backwaters has mini filtration plants which remove salt and impurities from sea water, rendering it safe for human usage, providing a much more pleasant cruising experience.

Even treatment units that are designed to remove pathogens from waters such as filter catridges ; water softeners  sediment filters; and aerators have been properly maintained onboard houseboats in Kerala.Your houseboat crew will explain the functions and limitations of this water system prior to departure, and will answer any questions you or your group may have about managing it.

But it is reiterated that for cooking, double filtered mineral water is strictly used and for drinking packaged water is served in houseboats.

Can we celebrate a special occasion aboard?

Yes.  Just let Houseboat operator know before you embark and the crew will be ready to help you celebrate in style.

Can we pre-book dining preferences for day cruise on Kerala Houseboat?

Special diet requirement such as Pure-Veg, Jain Diet, Lacto-Veg can be pre-booked with a minimum notice of a day prior to the cruise. If you have any dietary restrictions or allergies a day prior to boarding,  in most cases, we will do our best to accommodate special dietary requests and food allergies. The Houseboat board environment does have limitations that may prevent to adequately cater to rare dietary needs.

Is Booze allowed on day cruise onboard houseboat ?

The Kerala stringent law for sales & serving of alcohol, only Govt operated shops are authorized to vend or sale wine, beer & liquor. Further licensed hotels above 3* hotels/ clubs are allowed to serve wine & liquor baring these none is allowed to stock & serve. These conditions apply on Kerala houseboat which entertains day cruise to the extent that boats do not have a bar or stock alcohol although many buy in local beer to serve to adults. Houseboats have been ordered by authorities not to encourage tourists on board to have liquor parties from safety point of view.

Day cruise on Kerala Houseboat with beer

Kerala houseboats operators can make arrangements for beer to be available to you aboard houseboat while day cruise.  While weekenders can’t spend exorbitant amounts on expensive liquor in pubs & lounge bars, there are also houseboats that let you BYOB….Bring Your Own Booze, and drink on a reasonable budget.  Bring your own and enjoy – there is no law against that. But the new fine wining BYOB (Bring your own Booze) in Kerala houseboats has its own etiquette and rule No 1 is not to bring a cheap liquor, rule No 2 is to keep the decorum of floating home, rule No. 3 is limit the intake & rule No 4 is no water borne activities after intake.  As part of popularizing toddy among international tourists, the government has decided to allow serving the beverage in luxury cruisers and in houseboats so liquor onboard no longer a misdemeanour.

Why rates rise exponentially for day cruise on Kerala houseboat during holidays & peak season?

Houseboats in Kerala are limited in numbers & capacities and can’t change the supply of houseboat or day cruise timings, but only the price at which these services are offered. That’s why prices rise when demand is highest, such as the peak tourist season, summer vacation season, and fall during lean season, a commonly used strategy in hospitality industry to rationalise pricing.

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