Everything You Need To Know About Houseboats In Kerala & Backwaters Cruise

When God’s Own Country beckons, never say no !  Kerala takes the crown for the exceptional natural beauty that environs and backwaters is a splendid place to visit in Kerala. The houseboats in Kerala peppered across the marvelous & mesmerizing backwaters are inimitable and electrifying attraction for many around the world. But before embarking on amazing water bodies on earth these information will make you familiar to the landscape.

Why this hype about Kerala backwaters ?

One of the most visually appealing states in India deserves one of the most attractive destinations to match its caliber. The backwaters in Kerala prove to be just that. The Kerala backwaters are a network of interconnected canals, rivers, lakes, and such, forming a serpentine system of more than 900 km of waterways. Numerous historical towns and cities lie in the midst of this, serving as the starting and ending points of the backwater cruises onboard houseboats. The unique part of the backwater ecosystem is that freshwater from the rivers congregates with the seawater from the Arabian Sea.

Within and alongside these backwaters reside several species of aquatic life unique to backwaters such as Pearl spot fish, Mussels, Fresh water crabs, frogs, mudskippers, water birds such as terns, kingfishers, darters, and cormorants, and animals such as otters and turtles. The backwaters of Kerala have been known to be replete with peace, tranquility, and natural beauty.

Houseboats in Kerala

Palm Fringed Backwaters of Kerala

Also See :- Things To Consider If You Are Hiring A Small Houseboat To Stay in Backwaters

When is the best season to visit backwaters in Kerala?

The Kerala backwaters are ideal for a family visit at any time of the year. This flexibility quotient is yet another reason for them being a beloved destination. If you enjoy the still tranquillity of a destination, plan your trip between August to May and enjoy the calm and quiet to the maximum.

Monsoon is the best time to experience Kerala. It is very blissful, lush and peaceful to stay in a houseboat during this period and is first choice among the honeymooners.

Alleppey Backwater houseboat trips

One of the best ways to explore mesmerizing beauty of backwaters in Kerala embodying palm-fringed lakes, lagoons and canal is by sailing onboard a houseboat.

When you think backwaters, the first name that comes to mind is Alleppey. The Alleppey backwaters, popularly known as the Venice of the East, is a highly popular backwater destination. Abundant with natural lakes, lagoons, and freshwater rivers, a houseboat cruise would be the perfect solution to the perplexing problem of how to enjoy the Alleppey backwaters immensely! The best part of this whole deal is that the food provided on board a houseboat in Kerala is as authentic as can be, with the local fish and flavours. Of course, you can customise them to your tastes and likings, but when in Kuttanad… Eat as the Kuttanadan’s eat! A cruise in backwaters onboard Houseboats is hands down among the best things to do in Kerala.

Kumarakom Backwater houseboat trips

For those travelers who want an escape from hustle & bustle of urban life the mesmerizing  opt for something new and exciting in 2018 by spending it on the water with your family or closest buddies option is head to the backwaters of Kumarakom.

Houseboats in Kerala

Be it weekend holidays or long vacations backwaters of Kumarakom & its special Houseboats have all the ingredient to quench your wanderlust. Those who want a secluded backwaters opt Kumarakom because Alleppey is more crowded with these floating luxuries and can hamper your private moments. With less number of houseboats, undisturbed vast lakes, still virgin lakesides, and Thick vegetation & uninhabited farm lands it surely qualifies for the tinder hearts.

Nevertheless to mention the authentic cuisine of Kumarakom along with finger licking Toddy parlour delicacies which are prepared onboard houseboats in Kerala are another reason flocks are thronging to Kumarakom backwaters. The chefs onboard are gifted cooks who can make marvel of the backwater specials [ Non-veg] like, duck roast, mussels fry, Karimeen pollichathu, Crab curry, Lobster grills etc… A melting pot of culture and traditions, Kumarakom backwaters is paradise for anyone seeking adventures of the gastronomic kind. So give the calorie-counter a miss and sink your teeth into these delicacies instead on cruise on Houseboats in Kerala

Class and types of houseboats in Kerala

Houseboats in Kerala are made of eco-friendly materials and are available for hire for day cruises or night stays. Most of them have thatched roofs made of coconut leaves or bamboo peels. Even though the exteriors are made of natural and organic substances, the amenities and facilities they provide are quite modern, and mirroring those of a comfortable hotel! These houseboats host fully furnished bedrooms with a sundeck to enjoy the gorgeous weather. There are also separate rest rooms with televisions, in case the raw beauty outside gets monotonous (although, we don’t see that happening anytime soon). All these houseboats have the necessary safety measures and are in accordance with the Kerala Government and the Tourism department.

There are six main class of houseboat in Kerala

  • Standard Houseboats: These are basic houseboats  that have only the necessary amenities on board.
  • Deluxe/Superior Deluxe Houseboats: These have a few more luxuries as compared to the standard ones, such as air conditioners for 10 hours at nights.
  • Premium Houseboats: These type of boats have a glass enclosed living room with superior built quality, dedicated dining space & upper deck for privacy.
  • Luxury & Ultra Luxury Houseboats: These two types are the crème de la crème of houseboats. They have an entourage of uniformed butlers and 24-hour air conditioning services. Jaccuzi, sun & moon deck, glass pane windows for view of wide lake panorama are specialties.

Suiting every mood and age, these houseboats in Kerala are designed to keep your thirst for beauty and nature satiated!

Read more about the Kerala Backwaters – Overnight Cruise or Houseboat day trip ?

What to expect on a houseboats in Kerala ?

Houseboats in Kerala

Facilities & Amenities aboard houseboats

The above amenities, comforts and services include: American Meal plan [Lunch, Dinner and Breakfast] that will come with an afternoon snack, where you will have to make clear whether you want to have Keralan/ Kuttanadan cuisine or Western-style food; welcome drinks; drinks for the trip, including water, coffee and tea; a fruit basket; working fans in each room; towels; and toiletries, such as soap.

Keep in mind that these houseboats in kerala will not stock soft drinks and alcohol/beer for you, so you might want to stock up on these items or intimate houseboat operator in advance to procure & serve you.

After cruise time on houseboats in Kerala

The houseboats in Kerala usually do berths at evening after sunset till next morning and you should be not surprised to see that they kind of all berths up near each other in crowded Alleppey & here in Kumarakom all houseboats have their private berthing facilities nearby lake side. After sunset canoe cruise will be offered for those interested souls who want a sneak peek into the life around the inhibited backwater areas. Next one would be after the sunrise to the want tour of village by walk or by bicycle you have option to skip that if you are not a morning person.

Houseboat Experience

The lush green landscape, diverse backwater life, and houses and villages that line the backwaters make a voyage along these waterways seem like a ecstatic journey through another world. The sparkling emerald water and the caressing cool wind is a temptation too strong to resist. It is a unique experience as this is as close as one can get to feel the vibrant life in the countryside of god’s own country. No wonder the Great Backwaters is one of the must-visit tourist places in Kerala.

Don’t miss it!

Traveller Tips
  • The backwaters are best visited on a house boats / Shikkaras / Motor boats and  canoes. So, make sure you choose one that suit your cruising objective.
  • Life is much slow paced in the backwaters and it requires time to explore the place. So be prepared to spend a lot of time on the cruise.
  • Scheme out your plan well in advance and keep an entire day’s time to explore backwaters .
  • You have to stay put in a houseboat for many hours remember that. Always wear comfortable clothing.
  • Make sure you explore all the places in backwater vicinity in non cruising hours.
Things to Do
  • A leisurely house boat ride across the Backwaters & mighty lake and narrow canals are a must do in this region.Explore the villages and its people.
  • Stay overnight onboard a houseboat anchored in Middle of majestic Lake.
  • Moon lit dinner on deck of luxurious houseboat with your soul mate.
  • Relax in the ayurveda centres and detox yourself in the cradle of nature.
  • Enjoy the exotic flora and fauna of the place. Diverse migratory birds and regional exotic birds inhabit these small
    inlands. Watch out from them and unleash the photographer in you with exotic images.
  • Explore the intricate vegetation of the place – walnut, coconut, banana and mangrove trees.
  • Visit the nearby attractions and explore the natural history of the place.
  • Visit the local markets particularly the fish markets and know their ways of trade.
  • Taste some local cuisine / Backwater delicacies and toddy [brewed coconut sap] from a nearby Toddy Parlour.
For Backwater adventure activities [Kayaking, Paddling & canoeing], make sure the provider is experienced, first aid experts, and that there are lifebuoys, life jackets and buoyancy aids available for water activities. There is still no organisation supervising safety standards on the water, so a bit of research about dangers and use a responsible backwater tour operator.
All Houseboats in Kerala have good safety track-record and all houseboats should have trained lifeguards. But the backwaters had deep trenches formed my shell mining, so be careful, especially if non swimmers are on board. Swimming is not recommended unless there are lifeguards present.

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