Kerala Backwaters — overnight cruise or Houseboat day trip?

Houseboat Cruise – A Signature Experience at Backwaters

Travelling to Kerala, India without visiting and cruising the great backwaters in a Houseboat is a dearth. It is an outdoor recreation which celebrates nature and it’s inexplicable beauty. Cruising along the backwaters of Kerala is an remarkable experience. If you have not experienced it, gear up for that. You could get in any Houseboat day trip of your liking, saunter down the cool placid waters of our world-famous backwaters,through exotic locations. Palm fringed narrow canals meandering through river mouths, backwater creeks and the vast expanse of paddy fields may surely rob your heart. The neat tiny hamlets on either side of the canals lend an experience that one can never forget. The takeaway of this place is the calming village vibe and sights of people co-existing with nature. After spending the time aboard Houseboat one can get back home with tons of memories the same day or after spending a night as well out floating around in placid abode.

The National Geographic‘s book, ‘The World’s Most Romantic Destinations‘, which says the houseboats along the Kerala backwaters ‘are the height of comfortable cruising’, as places ‘offering perfect passionate escape to those who have just found love or are celebrating a lifetime of it’ be it Houseboat day trip or Overnight cruise.

The inconsistent aspect of overnight cruise & Houseboat day trip on backwaters

Travelers, weekenders & vacationers have been regularly researching of renting a perfect Houseboat cruise in the Kerala Backwaters. They usually get pretty exhausted from it owing to lack of genuine information available on various platforms or any authority to address their apprehensions !

Aside from the potentially high costs, it seems like it is a very hit and miss experience for most of first timers. Neither they are able to get comforts or luxury at par in comparison with same priced hotels/ resorts & in some case not able to sup the experience owing to lack of awareness about houseboat operations. Everyone not at all gather the information that all houseboats must dock by 6:00 p.m., and literally there is no overnight cruise possible in Backwaters. Due to that in many cases the passengers are effectively “trapped” from evening until morning in their small rooms or living rooms often with no activities baring some operators who conduct cultural shows or village excursions or canoe ride in evening or morning.

With all that in mind, travelers try to make much sense by simply by opting to stay in a nice hotel, and do Houseboat day trip instead? It seems like they think they’d have the same amount of time cruising on the water, but perhaps more enjoyable (and less claustrophobic) surroundings in the evening.

Our take on the restrictions on movement of Houseboat after Sun set

Yes, by local regulations imposed on backwater regions the boat engines have to be shut between 6:00 pm to around 7:30 am and cannot move/cruise due to night fishing session which is having the characteristics of traditional culture and customs of locals. Unequivocally every one would agree that, berthing at a fussy intruding point crowed of houseboats berthed one by one not of   will be a stifling affair for sure. Every one snooping one another and continuous movement of people on the land is less what one expects. But a quiet neighborhood mindful of others privacy and not obtruding nature will be different experience. Some travelers can’t digest the point of sleeping on a houseboat when one can enjoy the views a whole day and then go off and sleep more comfortable in a hotel.

Houseboat day trip

We found that berthing in a pacifying backwater location may give one very tranquil, pleasant and serene time to be with one self. But having a private berthing space is absolute bliss, where you are having privacy to pursue your leisure be it Yoga, walking, angling, sky gazing, moon lit dinner or waking up to the first light of dawn which can be never accomplished while in hotel or resort. Certainly travelers did not feel “trapped” as most of the day they would be sitting in the living or dining or sun deck area would be getting down is some villages or temples or churches which enthralls them and were in bedrooms only during wee hours.  Having said that a nice hotel near the lake/water should also be very enjoyable if you think you might feel restricted or claustrophobic on the backwaters boat.

Some people really like the idea of being pampered in different ambiance, with real life experience, more close to nature & its habitat. They think that it gives them an opportunity to live the local life & interact with local folks with less staged activities unlike hotels, far distant from worldly hustles. Overnight stay option provides one with opportunity to experience all the facets of backwaters & mood of the landscape from dawn to dusk in addition to backwater cruise, provided you get a private berthing space on quaint location, a decent houseboat and a bunch of professional crew.

More Insight on 7 Compelling Reasons to Choose Houseboat Stays Over Hotels in Backwater Destinations

Overnight cruise or Kumarakom Houseboat day trip
kumarakom houseboat day trip

It is worthy trying for both of the mentioned cruise depending upon your preferences & your theme. A Kumarakom houseboat day trip is suitable for the sunshine lovers to enjoy sunbathing, and plenty of activities such as sightseeing of spectacular backwaters, unearthing the history of Kayal lands [paddy fields reclaimed from lake], Island exploring, and village life experience. Or can get involved in below sea level farming and if couch potato can simply perceive the emerald water.

Whilst overnight cruise on board Kumarakom houseboat or Alleppey Houseboat could bring the exclusive feeling of the backwaters, give you a chance to contemplate the sunset and sunrise. In the dusk, you can enjoy the traditional Kerala or Kuttanad cooking demonstration as well as Happy Hour (Buy one, get one drink).  After romantic dinner, pamper yourself with the harmony of fresh air and evening sea breeze under the splendid sky or try your luck with angling or fishing. In the next early morning, do not miss the opportunity to observe the sunrise and Kalaripayattu demonstration on the sundeck.

Stay overnight onboard floating on the emerald water with your loved ones instead of your home bed could be one of the most memorable lifetime experiences.  Delicious meals such as melt-in-the-mouth baked snapper are served with an array of spicy side dishes. Staff will share their knowledge of flora and fauna, and cut the engine to let passengers photograph children larking in a stream or a toddy-tapper clambering up a palm tree to harvest fermented coconut sap on the Backwater Routes . In recent years, more and more travelers who just do a houseboat day trip often wish they had spent at least one night in backwaters of either Alleppey or Kumarakom.

If it is hard for you to cruise in backwaters again, we would strongly recommend choosing Alleppey 2 day 1 night cruise, it is enough to see the Bay. 3 day 2 night cruise in both Alleppey and Kumarakom is a perfect choice for a full experience.

Houseboat day trip or Overnight stay what gives you the most for your money

Price wise, Houseboat day trip will any how cost ¾ the cost of a overnight stay houseboat if a couple, by merely paying an ¼ extra you may get a place to stay with 3 course dinner & 2 course breakfast. By opting overnight stay you save a minimum of 33% of your travel & accommodation expenses on any single day.

If you are a kind of frisky & lively soul then may feel cramped in, as after halting for the day there won’t be any entertaining activity or hangout locations or food joints to explore, but can set out on your own to explore the local communities or markets.


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