Who doesn’t know about the popular Alleppey backwaters in Kerala? Probably all those who love travelling have somehow at some point, heard of this paradisiacal land we call Alleppey. If you are planning to visit Alleppey, I would say hire a houseboat. If you are looking for the best way to enjoy Alleppey, it is a houseboat for sure. A trip to Kerala, the so-called “God’s own Country”, is never complete without an Alleppey houseboat tour. Hop on to a wooden houseboat, and cruise through the Alleppey backwaters in style.
Who wouldn’t love floating along the lake, with lush greenery on both side of the backwaters, and that too in a “house like boat” with all the amenities you would find in a hotel. Also depending on your budget you can choose between standard houseboats to luxury houseboats. It depends on your travel style.
About the cruise experience
For me, personally, I love houseboats. I have had an Alleppey houseboat tour a couple of times with my family. For an overnight houseboat cruise, the check-in time is 12 pm noon and check-out time is 9 am the next day. The houseboat guys come to receive us on road and lead us to the houseboat boarding point. The houseboat crew is really welcoming and helpful. As we hop into the houseboat they help us with a refreshing welcome drink, mostly a fruit punch or tender coconut.
Next up the cruise starts and your Alleppey houseboat tour begin as well. Alleppey starts to slowly reveals itself to you. Enjoy every scene of the Alleppey countryside. As the houseboat captain steers through narrow canals and remote village sides, you could see the day to day lives of Alleppey people, churches, schools, toddy shops, fish markets and more. The paddy fields, coconut farms, the people, every sight is a delight for a traveller. By noon, you will be provided with a sumptuous Kerala lunch with the local special Meen curry [fish curry] and other dishes. Evening the crew serves you Tea/Coffee along with local Kerala snacks, such as Banana Fry, Uzhunnu Vada etc.
The cruise duration varies as per your boarding time. Generally, the timing is 12 pm to 5:30 pm and after that, the houseboat will be anchored by the side and rest of the night you spend inside the houseboat. Due to safety reasons, the houseboats are not allowed to run after dusk. Meanwhile, you can have a short evening walk through the Alleppey villages on your own which are pretty interesting and enjoyed by all.
At night, a delicious dinner is prepared for you on board by the houseboat crew. If you wish to taste any particular freshwater fish, you have options to buy it on the way. The crew will help you pick your favourite fish and cook exclusively for you as per your preference for your meal. Enjoy! Kerala food is simply great to try. if you are a vegetarian? No worries, do let your tour operator know it beforehand and you will be served some mouth drooling Vegetarian Kerala food as well.
Category of houseboats
Houseboats are of different categories to suit different types of guests and their budget. Basically, there are 3 categories-
Standard houseboats have all the necessary amenities that we need and it is enough to enjoy the stunning Alleppey backwaters.
Premium houseboats are more aesthetically appealing with glass covered fully air-conditioned interiors.
Luxury houseboats, just as the name suggests, they are pretty grand and luxurious.
Note: There is one bedroom to 4 bedroom houseboats available as per the number of persons travelling, let it be your family or a group of friends, you can enjoy your Alleppey houseboat tour together. There are very few large houseboats which can accommodate large groups as well.
Type of cruises
There are 2 type of houseboat cruises you can choose from.
- Day cruise
- Overnight cruise
Day cruise is a 4 to 5 hours houseboat cruise through the backwaters. It starts at 12 noon and ends at 5pm. If you are not interested staying on a houseboat, I would recommend you to opt for a day cruise. However, there is not a big price difference between a day cruise and an overnight houseboat cruise. Considering the fact that you got to book a hotel for your night stay in Alleppey, If you are comfortable staying on a houseboat, an overnight houseboat cruise is a better option. Again, it depends upon your travel style and preference.
Choose an authorised and reliable tour operator
Now, this must be noted. There are thousands of houseboats in Alleppey and hundreds of houseboat providers, but to find a reliable one is not an easy task. Often it happens the local houseboat operators charge you a heavy prize and provide you with a very cheap houseboat, sometimes very dirty and odd looking. Do remember to do a lot of research on finding the best houseboat operator.
It is always better to book your houseboat with your trusted tour operator who customizes and arrange the whole Kerala trip for you. In that case, you get a great houseboat as well. You can always ask them to book the best boat suiting your budget and style. You can also tell them your recommendations on how you want your food to be cooked, any extra amenities you need or whatever it is. Tell them and they will make sure everything is perfect for your Alleppey houseboat tour prior to your arrival.
We can help in this regard. The South Tourism Houseboats are all well maintained, classy and have a great houseboat crew who will see to it you enjoy every moment of your Alleppey houseboat tour. We have a great range of customized houseboats of various categories. A dedicated houseboat branch in Alleppey ensures a hassle-free and memorable houseboat tour to all our clients.
Choose your pick and enjoy the most popular backwater destination in the world in a customized South Tourism houseboat.
For bookings log onto- South Tourism Houseboats