One of the main attractions for tourists in Kerala is the Kerala houseboat tour. People from all parts of the country go on a luxury holiday in South India to be on a Kerala backwater cruise and witness the majestic natural beauty that is there in the backwaters of Kerala. But there are a lot of options available in Kerala when it comes to houseboat rides. The most popular ones are the Alleppey houseboat and the Kumarakom houseboat tours where you can find some of the best houseboats in Kerala. But that does not mean that it is easy for a person to choose a houseboat. Alleppey and Kumarakom just serve as the starting points for these houseboat rides. When a traveller reaches one of these spots, he or she will find a wide variety of options to choose from. So, it is very easy for a tourist or a traveller to get confused and sometimes, in this confusion, they make the wrong decision which hampers their whole experience. So, there are certain things that you should keep in mind before booking a houseboat. Following is a list of things that you should consider while making your decision to book a houseboat:
- Booking the Houseboat
It is advisable for the tourists to book the houseboat in advance as, during peak season, it gets really difficult to book a houseboat and the rates are much higher. Naturally, the weather is most appropriate in the peak season with cool evenings, but the off-season rates allow you to stay longer and not be in a crowd of tourists, You can book the houseboat online and make the payment in advance. Before online booking, one must go through all the terms and conditions regarding the booking and cancellation of a houseboat.
- Starting Points for Houseboat Rides
The most popular places for luxury houseboats are the designated jetties and boarding points in Alappuzha and Kumarakom. These are the most scenic backwaters of Kerala and one should preferably book from these points. The common boarding areas can be quite busy, so choose personalised boarding points, like the in the case of Spice Routes Luxury Cruises. We have a 7 acre farmhouse and a 150 years old home on the banks of the Pampa River, from where you can start the cruise. There is air-conditioning from check-in to check-out and this gives you a chance to see an old heritage homestay as well. But there are also other places like Cochin, Varkala, Kuttunad, Kottayam, and Alinkadavu from where people can get ultra-luxury houseboats in different parts of the state.
- Best Season for Houseboat Rides
Any time of the year is great for an Alleppey backwater cruise except during monsoons. At this time, many of the premium houseboats in Alleppey halt their operations due to constant rains. The best time for the Alleppey luxury houseboats is considered to be during December and January as the weather is cool for the tourists to travel around and appreciate nature.
- Price Range
The prices of the Alleppey houseboat packages range from 5,000 rupees to 50,000 rupees. The Kerala backwaters houseboat rates differ due to various factors. Sometimes the prices are different because of the different times of the year. The quality of the houseboat also has an impact on the prices. The prices are also different for 1 bedroom houseboats, 2 bedroom houseboats and 3 bedroom houseboats. The amount of luxurious amenities is another reason why the prices may vary, but the luxury houseboats are like veritable floating mini-hotels and offer a great price for the once in a life-time experience.
- Houseboat Packages
The Alleppey houseboat packages are usually of three types. First is the overnight cruise package where people can spend a night in a houseboat and the total duration of the stay is about 22 hours. The second is the Alleppey houseboat day cruise which lasts for around 6 hours and people are provided with snacks and refreshments. Then comes the morning Alleppey houseboat day cruise which is for people who are in a hurry as the ride lasts for just 3 hours.
- Check-in Time
The usual check-in time for a Kerala backwater cruise is around noon and since the ride lasts 22 hours, the check-out time comes to around 9 or 10 am of the next morning.
- Types of Houseboats
The most common categories of houseboats are premium or luxury, deluxe and standard. Luxury houseboats are considered to be the best houseboats in Kerala and the standard houseboats are the ones with the basic facilities. These have air-conditioned rooms and common places on the boat. The rooms are nothing less than staying at a hotel, and the food is excellent – and also cooked right on board. In addition, you will find tailor-made activities for the travellers.
The food available in the houseboats gives the tourists the taste of the local cuisines of Kerala. Fish fry, rice sambhar, Kozhi curry, Banana Kalan are just some of the many dishes that are available for the tourists on these houseboats. You can also buy or catch fresh fish with the help of the local fishermen who cast their lines in the backwaters.
A person must know about the luxury houseboats Kerala has to offer before he or she books a houseboat. This article provides just that information and helps you in making the best choice while booking a houseboat.