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Alleppey houseboat experience is unique and memorable. There is water all around, calmly floating houseboat in Alleppey, freshness in the air and company of either your life partner or the hobby you enjoy pursuing alone. Isn’t all this sounding perfect for a vacation? If you just answered a Yes then you should right plan a holiday in the houseboats of Alleppey, Kerala. There is no other way better than cruising in the houseboats to experience the Backwaters in Kerala. Though, travel agents and service providers of online booking services promises a lot about the services at Houseboat but only few of them can keep up.

Through this article Srees Tours, a local travel agent located near to Alleppey with 16 years of experience in backwater trip; is suggesting you eleven important points to be taken under consideration before finalizing your houseboat bookings in Alleppey.

Alleppey Houseboat

Here are the answer to all your queries and concerns regarding Alleppey Houseboat.

#1. Which is the Best Place in Kerala to Experience Houseboat?

In Kerala, except Western Ghats, there are many places have backwaters. If we take into consideration from Trivandrum (South) to Kasargod (North), Kerala have backwaters in Quilon, Alleppey, Kumarakom, Vykom, Kochi, Calicut and if we go further to North of Kerala, Neeleswaram etc. In most of these places Houseboats are available. But compare to all other places, Alleppey backwaters or Alleppey to Quilon backwaters are the best scenic spots during the trip one can experience.

But why Alleppey backwaters or river route from Alleppey to Quilon is the best? Before selecting the best place, we need to understand, what experiences you get when you stay in a houseboat. Main attractions during your stay in a houseboat are as below.

  • Alleppey backwaters where most of the villages are settled with narrow canals and paddy filed.
  • Alleppey to Quilon – The river is beautiful with paddy fields, local villages and many more attractions.
  • Quilon, Kumarakom, Vykom and Calicut  are more open lake than narrow canals.
  • Neeleswaram is a big river.
  • Altogether stay in a houseboat is a difference experience as usually we all stay in a hotel or home stay.
  • What you see when you stay in a Houseboat? Off course, narrow canals, villages, paddy fields, calm a quite backwaters, birds like kingfisher etc.!!!

Therefore, the Best Place in Kerala to stay or experience Houseboat is in Alleppey or locals call it as Alappuzha.

#2. Is the Houseboat Experience in Alleppey Worth?

There are many reasons we need to consider or compare to get a perfect answer to this question.

  • Privacy
    If you want to be alone, the experience is not worth. Because, a private houseboat is always having 3 staffs and they are always around you. But if you are a couple, want to experience small canals, villages, good food, its worth to stay in a boat rather than hotel.
  • Stay in Hotel and experience the houseboat
    In case tourist is staying in Hotel and wants to experience the Alleppey houseboat for only few hrs, it’s not recommended. Because, you are paying for hotel as well as houseboat which is more expensive.
  • If you want to experience Alleppey villages and backwaters on a relaxing trip, it’s worth to stay in boat.
  • If you want to experience different Kerala food, it’s worth to stay in houseboat. Because, the authentic taste you get from the houseboat will not get from a hotel or restaurant, because in hotels and restaurants, they store the stuff, cook in bulk and provide you. But in Houseboat, the same is purchased a fresh, prepare for you exclusively as per your choice.
  • If you are group and booking a bigger houseboat, the experience may not worth. Because, the big boats of 4/5/6 rooms will not go through beautiful narrow canals and they just make a trip through big rivers.
  • If you are a medium budget traveler, its worth to stay in Houseboat. Because taking a day trip in houseboat and staying in resort is expensive.
  • If you want to share a houseboat, that is called sharing houseboat, due to various reasons, its Not Worth to Stay. We have published a separate article regarding problems in sharing houseboats.

#3. What are the Houseboat Tour Packages Available?

Generally houseboat is being hired by guest for their private use and to experience the beautiful backwaters of Kerala. A tourist can choose either of the tour packages available in houseboat.

  • Overnight stay in Houseboat
    Check in at 12:00 PM and check out next day at 09:00 AM with sightseeing including full board is the first option available.  A minimum of 1 night and maximum number of nights as per the tourist wishes is the best overnight staying package in Houseboat.
  • Day Trip in Houseboat
    Few hours day tour or day trip in houseboat is another package available with lunch and refreshment included or excluded. This is for those looking for a houseboat experience with little backwater sightseeing. In this package one can choose minimum 3 hours and maximum 6–7 hours backwater trip with lunch and refreshments included.

#4. Should I go for a Day Trip or Night Stay in Houseboat?

We need to understand the Day trip and Night stay in a boat, before comparing the prices, value for money etc. Once you have decided to experience Alleppey backwaters in Houseboat, now it’s time to decide whether a few hours’ day trips or an overnight stay is worth.

  • Overnight or 22 hour’s package
    Normal Check in for an overnight houseboat trip is at 12:00 PM or 11:30 AM. It used to stop for an hour lunch and then finally halting at 5:30 PM or 6:00 PM (depend on the operator). In this case houseboat has a trip of 4.5 hours during the day. Next day all the houseboats give minimum an hour ride, making a total of 5.5 hours or 6 hours trip. The added advantage is the dinner included in the trip. Usually a single couple private houseboat will get at Rs. 7500, 2 room houseboat at Rs. 6000 per couple.
  • Day trip of 6 hours trip
    Usually a 6 hours houseboat trip with Lunch and evening refreshments, couple private boat will get at Rs. 8000 for 2 adults. In case of 4 adults, it will cost Rs. 5000 per couple(during the season).

When compare the above, Day trip is always expensive as one need to pay extra money to hotel also to stay for an overnight in Alleppey.

#5. How Much does it Cost for One Night Stay?

Various Alleppey houseboat packages for one night stay. You can check here 1N/2D houseboat packages.

#6. How much does it cost for a Day Tour or Day Trip?

We have published a separate article about the tour details and prices of day tour or day trip houseboat.

#7. Why you need a Good Houseboat?

As we all know, houseboat is not a hotel or resorts and have many limitations while staying in the boat.

  • Limited space availability either in bed room or in the lobby compared to a hotel or resort.
  • There is nothing to do after 6:00 PM to 7:00 AM, but when you stay in a hotel, you may have enough space to walk around.
  • Except in luxury segment, the AC is provided only after the dinner where as you will get a full time ac in a hotel or resort.

Below are the 4 important things as to why you need a good house boat.

  • Most of the tourist visiting Kerala would like to go for maximum available sightseeing places in each destination they stay. That means, most of the tourist use hotel to stay overnight except in few cases where they want to relax without any sightseeing trips. But in case of houseboat, you are staying almost 22 hours in the houseboat and the boat takes you for all the sightseeing.
  • Mosquitoes and insects are common in all these backwaters. A glass covered or at least partially covered boat is required, which is not available in deluxe segment.
  • Except for hand full of professional houseboat operators, all other boats lack quality in deluxe houseboats segment whether in bed sheets/towels, toilet cleaning etc.
  • Except for a hand full of professional houseboat operators, not a single houseboat whether in Deluxe or Premium segment give duet with duet cover in the bed room. All they provide either a woolen shawl or a woolen shawl with a bed sheet under the woolen shawl. This will be the dirtiest item in a boat as its being used by many guests. But if you book a professional houseboat, you will get all these in place without any request.

#8. What is the Food Available in Houseboat?

The best part of Alleppey houseboat experience is authentic Kerala food specially prepared for the guest in houseboat itself. Except few professional houseboat operators none of other houseboats provide Chinese and continental menu. Below is the common menu followed by all the houseboats in Alleppey.

Welcome DrinkTender coconut or lemon juice or fruit juice.
LunchVeg – Sambhar, Aviyal, Thoran, Veg Fry, Salad, Curd, Pickle, Papadetc.
Non veg – Karimeen Fish Fry 1 each piece
EveningCoffee / Tea and Snacks. Mainly Banana Fry as snack.
DinnerChicken Curry, White Rice, Chapati, Cauliflower Manjuri.
Veg – Dal Fry and Mix Veg Korma Or PaneerWith Mutter Or Aalu.`
B/FDosa or Idli with Chutney and Sambhar with Coffee or Tea.

Though this is a common menu followed by the Alleppey houseboat operators, you can always request for some changes or add extra food with additional costs. Just for example – Keralite use boiled rice and coconut oil which may not suitable for those from outside Kerala. In this case you can request them to use sunflower oil and basmati rice instead of big boiled rice. When a Luxury houseboat is booked especially from big operators like Spice Route, Blue Jelly, Lakes and Lagoon, Lake View houseboat, they have a different menu followed. You can always ask for a menu list before confirming the booking.

Kerala Sadya is a grand lunch or dinner served on special occasions like Hindu marriage, and Onamet. This is being served in banana leaf and its pure veg. On special requests this Kerala Sadya is available in Houseboat with extra costs.

Menu available by Houseboat booked through Srees Tours, check houseboat food menu.

#9. What is a Private Houseboat and Sharing Houseboat?

A couple of years ago, all booking of houseboats are private i.e. in a group or a couple books a boat, the occupants are booked guests only. Due to modernization of boats and the fact that there are many houseboats which have more than 3 rooms, the owners of houseboats are giving their 4 or 5 bed room houseboat for different families called sharing houseboat. We have already published a detailed article on sharing houseboats, its problems etc. – go for more details about private and shared houseboat.

#10. How to choose the family pack for the houseboat?

When a trip with family – like husband, wife and 2 grown up children, expenditure for single bed room house boat will increase many fold. Secondly putting two extra beds in one room houseboat is difficult due to space problems. See below details-

  • Average price of 1 bed room houseboat during season will cost approx Rs. 8000. An extra bed cost Rs. 1000.
  • In the above case, 1 room and 2 extra beds – the total cost will go up by Rs. 10000. But you can get a 2 bed room houseboat at a starting price of Rs. 11000.

#11. What you need to bring while staying in houseboat?

Below are the few items you can bring during your trip in houseboat.

  • Your favorite music, songs or movie in a pen drive. Most of the houseboats have DVD player or TV which compatible with pen drive.
  • Mosquito repellent – most of the deluxe boats is front open and prone to mosquitoes and insects.
  • Bring sufficient quantity of beer. Purchasing this through the boat staff is more expensive.
  • In case you want have liquor on board, bring your own brand. First of every month in Kerala is a dry day so; ensure you have your stuff with you.
  • Fewer luggage. Try not to carry unnecessary baggage in the houseboat for comfort.
  • Baby coat – most of the boat does not have this facility.

We hope above given information about Alleppey Houseboat will help you to find the answer of your all questions.