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Kerala Tourism: a Cruise in Houseboats During Holidays

Updated on September 8, 2017
radhikasree profile image

Radhika is highly passionate of traveling and keen in observing things for penning them into a travel article.

Kerala houseboat
Kerala houseboat | Source

The calm, breathtaking backwaters of Kerala are a paradise of water world embodied in its greenery. Alappuzha, the popular buzz of backwaters is credited with the title 'Venice of the East' and is thronged with tourists during season. Houseboats furnished with modern amenities become ready to accommodate its guests for a cruise of 2-3 days in these backwaters. The cruise gives a glimpse into the rustic beauty of Kerala with coconut groves on either side. A cruise taker would never forget the ambrosial worldliness that this trip delivers in the ethereal backwaters of Kerala.

Kerala houseboat
Kerala houseboat | Source
Small boat
Small boat | Source

About Kerala boats

As backwaters extend from Alappuzha to Cochin, traditional 'Kettuvalloms' were the only means of water transport in olden days. These boats are made by knotting huge planks of jackfruit tree (Anjili in regional language) with coir, a natural fiber produced from the husk of coconut. Cashew nut oil is used as the varnish for their maintenance. A part of the boat has a ceiling made of bamboo thatched with palm leaves. This cabin was used for storing the goods that were transported from interior villages to towns. These Eco-friendly houseboats (Kettuvalloms) form a part of the rich cultural heritage of Kerala.

Later, Kerala tourism department figured out the possibilities of expanding tourism. As a result, the present huge, luxurious houseboats were built for cruise. These decked barges are the mobile hotels in water with a living room, bedroom, balcony and a kitchen.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Present day Kerala houseboatFrontage of a houseboat
Present day Kerala houseboat
Present day Kerala houseboat | Source
Frontage of a houseboat
Frontage of a houseboat | Source

Houseboat tours

Houseboats have topped up the tourist packages prevailing in Kerala because of the cool cruise they arrange for the anticipated travelers who come from different parts of the world. In addition to coir villages, coconut groves and other natural scenery, several species of aquatic life also can be spotted from the houseboats while gliding past. Frogs, crabs, mud skippers and water birds such as kingfishers, darters and terns come across the eyes of natural explorers. Watching the tranquil backwaters from the balcony during the ply would be a miss if you don’t visit this exclusive region of greenery during the holidays.


More than 900 houseboats float over the backwaters in different routes. Double-decked boats also are included in this list with a stylish traditional built for the crazy traveler. Kumarakom, situated near the city of Kottayam in the backdrop of Vembanad Lake, is famous for resorts that offer houseboat cruise packages.

Head to Kerala and lure its sheer scenic beauty from these houseboats that is untouched by the passage of time during these holidays........

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Have you traveled in Kerala houseboats?

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Kerala houseboats

A markerKumarakom -
Kumarakom, Kerala, India
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© 2015 Radhika Sreekanth


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    • Anne Harrison profile image

      Anne Harrison 2 years ago from Australia

      What interesting looking boats! Thank you for adding another thing to my bucket list!

    • radhikasree profile image

      Radhika Sreekanth 2 years ago from Mumbai,India

      Kerala houseboats glide past the green, placid backwaters so gracefully that anyone would love to take a cruise in it. Thanks for the comment and vote.

    • lex123 profile image

      lex123 2 years ago

      Cruising in a Kerala houseboat is really an amazing experience. People say an overnight stay in the houseboat is wonderful (I have not experienced the night stay). Very informative hub. Voted up.

    • radhikasree profile image

      Radhika Sreekanth 2 years ago from Mumbai,India

      Thanks Ruby for that awesome comment. Just watching the houseboats moving through the video is also amazing.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      The houseboats are amazing! I know I will never get to go there, so it's nice to learn about the area through your hub. Voted up. Well done..