If you are planning a trip to Kerala, then it would be incomplete without a houseboat experience. The backwaters, the serenity, the green surroundings, along with amazing sunsets, are something that gives a surreal feeling. This is the proper relaxing holiday that one can hope for. A relaxing home on the waters – what more could one want!
Most houseboats are taken from Alleppey. It is called the gateway to the backwaters and is between Kollam and Kochi. If you take a houseboat from Alleppey, you will probably be taken around the backwaters and to places like Kottayam, Alinkadavu, and Kumarakom. There are many destinations from which you can choose various kinds of packages. These are not at all like the speedboats. Kerala Houseboats travel at their own leisure, giving you an eyeful of all the amazing surroundings and scenery. You also have stops depending on the package you choose. You get to look at the various farmers in action, villages along the banks, and if you are interested, you get to meet the locals and experience their local produce. Luxury hotels and resorts also have houseboats too, and they offer different packages as well as overnight or sunset cruises.
What kind of packages can you opt for?
Houseboats can be hired for only a day or even for a week-long. It completely depends on your destinations and your budget. If you take only a day trip, it would start around midday and will go on till 6 in the evening. Overnight hires involve a sleep time out on the water, and you are returned back by 9 in the morning. Sleeping on the water in complete silence is a completely different kind of feeling that cannot be replicated. You also have two-night packages. Generally, most tourists prefer the two-day package as it gives you ample experience of the houseboat and you get to see all major attractions.
As far as the costing goes, the packages vary depending on the kind of boat and the season. December to January is peak season, and hence prices can be a little steep. Also, during the peak season, the booking will need to be done in advance. This being said, some prefer hiring houseboats during the monsoon season as it gives you a real glimpse of wet Kerala.
Now, an overnight hire would start for about INR 5000 (without air conditioning). Accordingly, deluxe boats with air conditioning might cost you 10,000 INR or more. You have varied sizes houseboats too. You can even get the large ones which would be apt for families with living rooms and several bedrooms. Luxurious ones would have amazing décor and various extra amenities. These costs generally include cooked food which is made by a cook who is onboard.
Facilities provided on a Houseboat in Alleppey
The Alleppey houseboats are almost like mini resorts. This would, of course, depend on the kind of boat you hire. However, even the cheapest would have all the basic amenities. The good reputable houseboats of Alleppey would have a kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, sun deck, and lounge. Some of the houseboats would have multiple rooms with private balconies. Depending on the budget, they would or would not have air conditioning. Most of them also have a TV, fans, mosquito curtains as well as bathrooms equipped with both normal and hot water. The décor and furniture would be quite traditional and mostly made of bamboo and/or cane. Premium houseboats might also have ultra-modern décor and furnishings. High-end houseboats would give you newspapers, and they would have fishing rods and also facilities for business people so that they can conduct simple conferences. Sewage and waste are disposed of in eco-friendly ways. Some houseboats also have traditional lanterns, which creates a rustic and romantic atmosphere in the night times. In fact, if informed ahead, the premium houseboats can make arrangements for specific occasions like anniversaries, birthdays, and so on.
The luxurious ones would have in house bars, Jacuzzis, and so on. Also, the main idea behind the houseboats would be to have your own cook who provides you with sumptuous Kerala cuisine. Delicious seafood and typical Kerala food that would leave you finger-licking! This being said, if you have any specific dietary requirements, that too would be taken care of. You can specifically ask for vegetarian food, Jain food, or other kinds of cuisine if you are particular. In some houseboats, you are also allowed to mingle with the local fishermen. You can purchase their produce, and your houseboat chef will prepare the fresh seafood as you would like. Book Kerala houseboat now to enjoy the most fascinating vacation in a houseboat.
The crew is well trained and experienced. Usually, there would be a captain, cook, oarsmen, and a guide who will inform you about the various stops or surroundings. The entire team would ensure that you have a comfortable stay.