Houseboat Cruises are usually overnight. Cruise options are available, namely, Alleppey Round, which covers the Alleppey area, Kumarakom round which covers the Kumarakom area and AlleppeyKumarakom Round which does a short synopsis cruise of both areas. Houseboats cruises are also available from Thottapally, further south to Alleppey. Most travellers book an overnight cruise but many do more than a single night, which would mean covering more of the lagoons and the lake. Usually these cruises have two stops, a stopover after lunch for a short while and a longer night stop.
The journey is at a leisurely pace and is a great way to explore the area and life of the people who live around the backwaters. Children running to school, women making their way to the local market, temple or church, men working in the paddy fields, country boats carrying items of everyday use across the lagoons and the Cormorant sunbathing are vistas which set against a green, palm fringed background make this a journey of a lifetime.
Alleppey Kumarakom Round – One night
The AlleppeyKumarakom package provides a wonderful kaleidoscope of life beside the backwaters, between its main towns, Kumarakom on the eastern side of Vembanad Lake and Alleppey on the western side.
The cruise begins at 12 noon from Alleppey and reaches MeenapallyKayal by noon where you anchor for lunch. After a sumptuous Kerala lunch, the cruise moves leisurely winding its way through lagoons into the vastness of the big Vembanad Lake and anchors at dusk at Rani Kayal. The next morning, after breakfast, the houseboat heads for Kumarakom, reaching Kumarakom by 930am, in time for you to check out and continue your journey across Kerala, Gods own country!
Sights & Sounds
- MeenapallyKayal – A wonderful area to see backwater life ebbing on its own; women washing clothes, half naked men working in the fields, a lone oriental darter basking in the warm sun and children splashing in the water.
- Kumarakom Mangrove forests – By houseboat, one could see a bird view of the last remaining mangrove forests but you would have to visit the bird sanctuary at Kumarakom to do a walk thro.
Alleppey Round – One night
The Alleppey round package is a cruise for 10 full hours and starts from Alleppey, the heart of what is known as Kerala backwaters. The cruise begins at 12 noon and journey meanders around the lagoons and canals around Alleppey finally anchoring within the huge Vembanad Lake by dusk, around 6pm.
The following morning the cruise begins again by 6 am and moves across the placid waters to finally end by 10am.
Sights & Sounds
- C Block Kayal – the area wherein you can see green paddy fields grown below sea level, one of the wonders of the backwater area.
- Champakulam – Visit the local village market, the church and also see the famed Champakulam Snake Boat, the modern replica of which is used during the annual Nehru Trophy Boat Race
Alleppey Round – 2 nights
An ideal way to explore the Kerala backwaters, perhaps also the finest honeymoon package in Kerala, that assures privacy, togetherness and a lifetime full of memories.
The Alleppey Round cruise begins by 12 noon from Alleppey and proceeds to C Block Kayal, the heart of Kuttanad, where paddy is grown below sea level. After lunch proceed to Mancombu. Alight at this sleepy village and go on a village walk. Proceed from there to Onnam Kara to anchor and rest for the night.
Soon after a Keralan breakfast, depart for Champakulam, the area known for its passion for boats and boat races. Visit the local church, walk through the streets and check out the 100ft Champakulam Snake Boat, a ChundanVallam , a long boat with an upward snout, the replica of which is usually used for the annual boat race, the Nehru Trophy Boat Race. Alight onto the houseboat and depart for Karumadi through the villages of Thakazhy and Thottapally. Visit the statue of KarumadiKuttan or the reclining Buddha and then anchor for the night nearby.
The cruise begins again after breakfast and reaches Alleppey by 0930am.
Sights & Sounds
- C Block Kayal – the largest area of paddy cultivation in the Vembanad wetland area below sea level. A must visit / see during a trip to the Kerala backwaters.
- Champakulam – the 100ft snake boat, a ChundanVallam, the kind used for the annual boat races, mostly the Nehru Trophy Boat Race. (Picture)
- KarumadiKuttan – The statue of the reclining Buddha, a must visit, a remanant of the influence of Buddhism in Kerala possibly during the time of Emperor Ashoka.
Alumkadavu – Alleppey – 2 nights
A wonderful, houseboat journey, starting from Alumkadavu, near Quilon in the south, to Alleppey in South – Central Kerala, covering the Kerala backwaters.
At 12 noon, the houseboat cruise starts from Alumkadavu, a quiet village on the banks of the Ashtamudi Lake, home to houseboat building yards. The boat moves through the lagoons to reach KayamkulamKayal, a peaceful and placid lake area. Proceed to Trikkunapuzha and visit a coir weaving cottage industry. Proceed to anchor at Thottapally.
After breakfast depart for Alleppey through Karumadi, home to the statue of the reclining Buddha or KarumadiKuttan as it is locally known. Visit also Ambalapuzha Temple, a few kilometres away before returning to resume the houseboat cruise.
Proceed after lunch to Champakulam; see the Champakulam Snake boat, walk through the village and the local market, then alight to proceed to Cherukayal for dinner and anchor for the night.