Kerala houseboat holiday, India

“Set yourself afloat amongst the tranquil back waters of Kerala on a one bed crewed houseboat that's designed for intimacy and comfort, not for large groups.”

Highlights

Vilakkumaram Canal | Thannermukkom | Kumarakom | Vechoor | Cheeppunkal | Rajapuram Kayal | village walk at Pulincunnoo | Mancombu | Akkathara Canal | Kainakary | Chavara Bhavan | Cherukayal | Mannar market | Karumadi Kuttan | Sree Krishna Temple | Pullangadi |

Travel Team

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
Tailor made tour:
All our holidays are tailor made which means we can create a unique holiday for your individual requirements. We offer a range of accommodation from guesthouses and homestays to the more luxurious hotels. Where possible we use properties that are heritage or characterful. Quality and value are the hallmark of our trips. We are licenced to sell flights from the UK.
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

Environment
Individual holidays have a lower impact on the environment as waste, power etc is minimal. Travelling independently means that our customers have the opportunity to interact with the locals. Because this cruise takes you way beyond the range of most houseboat trips, you will find yourselves visiting villages where tourists rarely go.

Our houseboats are operated by Lakes and Lagoons - one of the original and best houseboat companies. They are ISO 9001-2000 certified and were the first houseboat tour company to attain this. Kerala Tourism have a rating system for houseboats and we are pleased to report that the air-conditioned boat used on this cruise has been awarded a Silver Star. The stars are awarded based on safety, quality and service.

Lakes and Lagoons is a purely Indian owned company and all their staff are local people. Each boat has a crew of three a guide/cook and two boatmen. All the furnishings & equipment on board is sourced and purchased locally and all the food served is bought in the local markets and cooked on board. The food is ethnic home cooking (most recipes handed down through the family of the cook) and may include curries made from locally grown organic vegetables and fish caught in the backwaters themselves.

Kettuvallams are country boats and were originally used for the transport of goods. The advent of roads and bridges throughout the Kuttanad region of Kerala (known as the backwaters) meant that these traditionally made boats were being phased out. But tourism has brought them back and the artisan boat-makers are busy again. The boats are still made in the traditional way from natural materials - wood (mostly anjili), coconut and bamboo.

Teak House - this homestay is the home of Mr and Mrs Sunil Elias and their adult daughter. The house is set on a sizable plot of land adjacent to the Periyar River and is good for bird watching. Mr Elias is a keen bird watcher and photographer and is happy to share his knowledge with guests. There are two guest rooms and a swimming pool.

The ground handling of this tour is provided by our local agent and we supply him with 90% of his turnover. All of the drivers and staff are local people. Thus we have fifteen local families that are directly financially reliant upon us. Our drivers have a contract and are paid a monthly wage. This is very unusual in South India where most drivers are normally employed on a commission-only basis (not easy for such seasonal work).

All of our customers are supplied with detailed information about their holiday. We supply general advice relevant to all customers as well as more specific facts about your particular tour. These documents offer our customers lots of advice and guidance including how to obtain an Indian Visa, which immunisations are recommended, how much to tip people, how to dress appropriately and how to behave in National Parks. We support local charities and invite our customers to do so too (details are supplied with your travel documents).
Community
Climate

9 Reviews of Kerala houseboat holiday, India

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 16 Apr 2019 by

Just loved the peace of floating down the river, and watching life happen on the riverbanks. Read full review

Reviewed on 03 Dec 2018 by

We have been able to totally relax and let the world go by due to the lovely boat, the brilliant crew who looked after our every wish and the unspoilt area... Absolutely brilliant. Read full review

Reviewed on 30 Nov 2017 by

The houseboats in Kerala was my highlight. Read full review

Reviewed on 25 Oct 2017 by

Every aspect of our trip was memorable and it is impossible to select one particular feature that stands out. We particularly appreciated the houseboat in traditional style... Read full review

Reviewed on 25 Apr 2016 by

All of it. Every day was a new adventure. From the excellent food to the beautiful scenery and friendly helpful crew. Read full review

Reviewed on 27 Jan 2013 by

It was a wonderful holiday, and we would love to go back...The houseboat was run so professionally by Suresh and his team. Our room was spotless, the living accommodation at the front of the boat was comfortable and spacious, the food amazing (we were offered and enjoyed all manner of Keralan dishes) and plentiful, the staff genuinely friendly and helpful. Read full review

Reviewed on 24 Apr 2012 by

Each place we visited was like a new holiday. Brilliantly put together, great choice of places to stay. And of course Kerala was amazing, and the food to die for. Read full review

Reviewed on 28 Mar 2012 by

I would say that the most magical moment was waking up in the houseboat on the Kerala backwaters to see, way across a paddy field, an elephant trudging along the road amid the usual chaotic cacophony of cars, lorries, tuk-tuks, bikes, motorbikes and unaccountably still living pedestrians. Read full review

Reviewed on 15 Aug 2011 by

Our holiday was amazing, lots of fantastic places. Staying in treehouse overlooking waterfall, watching world go by from houseboat and trekking through Periyar reserve, just few of memorable moments. Read full review

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