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Kerala Houseboat

Kerala & South India

Rating: Mid-range    

Kerala Houseboat overview

The best way to see the backwaters of Kerala is to take an overnight cruise aboard a traditional Kerala kettu vallam or houseboat. Originally used to transport goods from the isolated interior villages to the cities on the coast, the houseboats are still built using traditional materials but now feature modern convinces such as bathrooms and air conditioning. Each houseboat has from one to three bedrooms, and has a three man crew, a driver, chef and cabin assistant. A modern kitchen at the rear of the boat allows the crew to prepare traditional Kerala meals, including local fish and prawns straight out of the backwater.

There are several start and end points for a houseboat cruises with many different routes through the backwaters. A popular choice is to start or end your cruise at one of the resorts on the shores of Lake Vembanad.


Open: Kerala houseboat cruises operate all year. The peak season lasts from December to the end of January.

Location: The houseboats are located in the backwaters of the southern state of Kerala

Rooms: The houseboats are based on the design of the kettuvalloms which were used to transport goods around Kerala before the advent of road transport. They vary in size and have between one and three bedrooms. They have bathrooms and are air conditioned.

Activities: Relaxing while cruising through the lagoons, canals and rivers of Kerala, passing villages, Chinese fishing nets, paddy fields, temples and coconut groves.

Facilities: The houseboats have a crew of three comprising a captain, chef and cabin assistant. The food is traditional Keralan and includes fresh seafood. There is an indoor lounge and an outdoor seating area on the deck.

Dining: Meals are taken communally.

Children: Please check with us.

Health: We recommend malaria prophylactics for travel to India.

Communication: There is no internet access.

Map for Kerala Houseboat

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Guy Marks
Paul Cook
Alex Neaves
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customer rating

96% from
20 reviews











client reviews

Mr. Philip Messent


Janet Gillon
"Food was excellent, houseboat was quite tired throughout"
Kerry O'Donoghue
"The food here was the best we have eaten in India!!"
Maureen Panton
"The staff could not be faulted although we did not do justice to the meals. However, we were not sure that spending the night on the boat added anything to the experience; we would have preferred another night in Cochin. "
Mr. Geoffrey Gates
"The men were very helpful and we bought kingfish which they cooked and it was delicious"

Read more reviews



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