Kerala Houseboat Packages Selection Guide:
How To Book Kerala Houseboats?
Many tourists asks us questions on call and mail that how they can book houseboats packages? Well before booking Houseboats packages in Kerala one should understand the basic requirements because in Kerala Houseboats have different boarding places and timings so they will not get it very easily from any particular place in their timings. Here are some detailed guide to book Kerala Houseboats boarding places, timings and some tips to book Houseboat packages.
Which are the places Houseboats are available?
Houseboat backwater tourism is concentrated mainly in Alleppey and Kumarakom. Apart from Aleppey and Kumarakom, one can also find houseboats at Quilon and Vykom backwaters.
Boarding Places of Houseboats:
Boarding places of Houseboat is also very important to save time, to make more sightseeing etc.
Houseboat Boarding Places in Aleppey – Aleppey Finishing point is the main area where houseboats are parked and guest can easily check in. The tourism department has made elaborate arrangements to help tourist to board the houseboat. A big reception area, waiting room, wash room, a prepaid booking counter, safe car parking place etc are arranged by the District Tourism Promotional Council, Aleppey. Finishing point does not have enough space to park all the houseboats. Therefore, adjoining places like starting point, Punnamada jetty are also used as boarding point. Moreover most of the big companies like lakes and lagoon, Rainbow etc have their own parking and boarding places. Therefore, the guest needs to check with their respective houseboat company to know correct boarding place.
Those who are coming from Thekkedy, Kovalam, Quilon, Verkala the easiest place to board the boat is at Pallathuruthy jetty or Nedumudy Jetty. Both these places are approx 6kms before Aleppey. Houseboat agencies like Lake Lands, Muthoot etc are operating from this point.
Those who are coming from Munnar or Kochi the nearest boarding point is Finishing Point and Punnamada Jetty.
Houseboat Boarding Places in Kumarakom – Compared to Aleppey, Kumarakom is a small place covering approximately 5kms. There are three main boarding points in Kumarakom. Kumarakom Govt Boat Jetty, Kavanatinkara and Cheepumkal.
Kumarakom Govt boat jetty is located north of Kumarakom which is very close to Aleppey Backwaters. Those coming from Kottayam, Thekkedy, Vagamon etc boarding this jetty is close and easier.
Kavanatinkara – This place where main hotels like Taj, Coconut lagoon, Water Scape resort etc are located and Kumarakom bird sanctuary is also located this place. It located middle of Kumarakom Govt Boat Jetty and Cheepumkal.
Cheepumkal – This is extreme end of Kumarakom towards south side. Those coming form Kochi, Vykom, Munnar etc this jetty idle for boarding.
In case if you are staying in a resort in Aleppey or Kumarakom and the hotel is located on a lake side or canal side, a houseboat can easily pick from the resort directly. It is also the fact that all houseboat agencies have their own place of permanent boarding. It is always recommend that the guest should contact his service provider to know and boarding place of the houseboat.
Houseboat Trip Routes:
This is an important thing the guest should know before booking the boat. The route of the trip is being considered depending upon how many days guests staying in houseboat, from which place (within Kerala) the guest is traveling etc. Most of the inbound guests are foreigners used to take the houseboat trip for more than 22 Hrs. Most of the domestic Indian guests are staying just for 22 Hrs. Below are some of the tips you can use to decide how many days you required experience Kerala Backwaters.
Kumarakom Backwaters – Kumarakom is located on the vembanadu lake side. Those who want to stay just an overnight stay in the boat, the boat can either cruise in the lake or it can move to Aleppey backwaters. This trip can cover Kumarakomm, Vembanadu Lake as well as some part of Aleppey. Kumarakom canals, which have many over bridges, cannot cover narrow canals or rivers by the houseboat. Just an overnight stay in houseboat can cover Kumarakom and part of Alleppey.
Alleppey Backwaters – Alleppey backwaters are all canals or rivers. The width is varied from canal to canal. Most of the canals width is about 100 ft. Most of the narrow canals, the guests are looking for, cannot cover by big boats. 22 Hrs stay in houseboat can cover hardly 30% of the Alleppey backwaters. Minimum 2 nights stay can cover considerable good canals and experience the Alleppey backwaters.
Which Backwater is Good, Alleppey or Kumarakom?
Most of the guests used to ask this question frequently. You yourself judge about this after the below facts.
- Aleppey is all canals and rivers. When you make a cruise, you can see lots of houseboats.
- Very good greenery.
- Kumarakom located basically on the vast Vembanadu lake side. In Kumarakom Houseboat make a cruise most of the time in the lake only, until unless specifically asked for a trip to Aleppey backwaters.
- Vembanadu lake is very beautiful and a sun set is amazing.
Srees Tours offers houseboat check in at Kumarakom Govt boat jetty and make trip to Alleppey backwaters. The night stay towards the vembanadu lake with sun set. We got many recommendations and repeated clients asking for the same trip. More information is available at trip advisor page of Lake View Houseboat, Kumarakom or visit Lake View Houseboat.
Which is the best short trip in Houseboat?
The best short trip in houseboat is the 22 hrs 1 overnight stay in houseboat. This will give a glimpse of Kerala backwaters and a houseboat experience. Below are the tips how best way to experience a 1 night stay in houseboat is below:
- Choose a check in at Aleppey and check out at Kumarakom (or vice versa).
- Choose a canal cruise by houseboat at least for 1hr during the houseboat trip.
- Visit a toddy shop on the canal side. Have a cut of toddy.
- Narrow canal by a country boat at least for 1 hr.
- Have a walk by villages located on the canal/river side for at least 1hr and experience a village life.
This overnight short trip can be planned based on the guest tour plan. Just for example, in case a guest is coming for houseboat from Kovalam and after the houseboat he is moving to Thekkedy, the best short trip is check in at Aleppey and check out at Kumarakom. Though this is little more expensive, the guest can visit more places and next day distance to Thekkedy is comparatively less.
In case the guest is visiting for Kerala for a short duration and coming from Munnar, Kumarakom is the nearest place and boarding at Kumarakom and proceeding to Aleppey makes a good trip.
Day trip in Houseboat – Some of the guests are also asking us for 1 hr or 2 hrs in houseboat. Truly mentioning here that this is just to experience a houseboat. In case some one looking for only two or three hrs in houseboat this will not give the real purpose. Minimum 5 hrs with lunch on board will make a good trip. This is very idle and economical for those guests who are traveling by group.
10 Most Important Tips While Booking a Houseboat:
- Choose a location where you need to board the boat depend on your tour package.
- Select a good operator by reading the reviews of previous guests.
- Always better to contact a local tour agent or a houseboat operator directly for booking a houseboat or tour package. A local tour agent has good knowledge of the boat rather than an online portal or a travel agent sitting in metro cities.
- Ensure that you get a photo of the boat before booking.
- Ensure that you got the same houseboat on your arrival.
- Ensure that your houseboat stopped not more than 1hr for the lunch.
- Check the cruise route offered and whether the boat follows the same.
- Ensure that you get a quilt with cover in the bed room, which is washed every day.
- Ensure that you get bed sheets, pillows and covers are without stain, torn etc.
- Ensure that minimum 2 towels for a couple along with basic toiletries are provided in the boat.
9 Things Not to Do When in Kerala Houseboat:
- In case staff is recommending, do not go for an ayurvedic massage in a massage centre.
- Do not buy prawns, crabs etc in case staff is recommending.
- Do not go for a swim in the lake or backwaters.
- Do not walk in the bushes after the sunset.
- Do not book a taxi through a staff in the boat.
- Do not allow the boat man park the boat on the road side during overnight stay.
- Do not allow the boat man park the boat on side of another houseboat during overnigh stay.
- Ensure during overnight stay in boat, you have road access in case you are a heart patient.
- Do not share your liquor with staff of the boat.
4 Must Do When in Kerala Houseboat:
- Visit a village when houseboat stops or ask the boat man to stop the boat for a village walk.
- Take a small canal cruise in a country boat of minimum 1 hr.
- Do fishing in boat, you will be surprised with small fishes.
- Must carry mosquito anti repellent creams.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- Can I get a houseboat at Kochi? – There is no houseboat operated in Kochi and nearby places.
- Can I hire a houseboat at Kochi and go to Quilon? – Yes this is possible but will be huge expenses.
- Will it cruise in monsoon? – Monsoon in Kerala does not mean it rains 24hrs. If it is not heavy monsoon, one can easy do a trip in houseboat.