The houseboats of Kerala are internationally known for the luxury and comfort that they put forth onboard. There are some fantastic cruises along the phenomenal backwaters of Kerala to experience and enjoy. These luxurious Kerala houseboats are a part and parcel of the Kerala’s tourism industry, pulling in a large number of tourists and travellers from far and wide. A houseboat cruise along the miraculous waters of Kerala is one’s chance of gaining an insight into the natural wealth, tradition, culture and cuisine of the state. It’s truly an experience of a lifetime!
Making of a Houseboat
The giant luxurious houseboats of Kerala are an inseparable part of the Kerala tourism industry. These houseboats are locally known as Kettuvalloms, measuring 80 feet in length on an average. The special structure of the houseboat comes into being as the bamboo planks are skillfully tied together with coconut-husk ropes. It is interesting to note that not a single nail is used in the construction of Kerala Houseboats.
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The Luxury A/C Houseboat & Accommodation Facilities
These houseboats, however, are available in various shapes and sizes depending upon the need and requirements of the visitors and travellers. The most popular accommodation type is a suite that has one or two bedrooms with attached bath, one living room, a small kitchen, an open lounge, deck and a crew comprising of an oarsman, a cook and a guide. Generally powered by a small outboard engine, these luxurious houseboats are an excellent means of exploring the natural riches, the seaside lifestyle and quaint villages lying along the sea shores. The Department of Tourism for Houseboats runs various luxury A/C houseboats that include the following facilities:
- Front living area and bedrooms with beautiful wooden ceilings
- Fibre optic lighting points to emulate the stars
- Additional lighting of terra cotta lamps to provide a romantic setting
- Glass windows stretching across 3/4th of the wall with backwater views
- Dressing mirror, luggage compartment, writing table, wardrobe, attached bathrooms
- One of the largest shower area and wash basin
- A large picture window for backwater views and natural lighting
- Well equipped modern kitchen with a 165 lt fridge
- Toilets with shower area and water heaters
- Air-conditioned rooms with proper split units
- Onboard game facilities like chess, scrabble, carom, playing cards etc.
- Fishing options
- Library and high end music system
Though a single houseboat is no less accommodating for two or three people, two or more houseboats can also be connected together to form a boat train. It’s great fun moving along the backwaters of Kerala in this so called boat train. It depends on the requirements of the visitors whether they are in need of getting two or more houseboats joined.
The houseboats offer delicious traditional cuisine for the guests to gorge on. The aroma, that fills the tiny kitchen of the boat, is enough to whet your appetite. The cook on board is well trained preparing you some mouthwatering local cuisine. Apart from that, the meal is served with a supplement of freshly caught fish. You would simply love the experience. These houseboat kitchens are the production centre of the best traditional Kerala cuisine. High standards of hygiene is observed during the preparation of the food. Fresh materials are purchased from the local sellers to uplift the economy of the villages.
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Houseboat Cruises & Tour Packages
A houseboat trip can range from one to ten days, putting together a number of splendid backwater destinations. The largest water body of the place is the Vembanad Lake while the second largest happens to be the Ashtamudi Lake. These lakes provide excellent houseboat cruises. There is a fair bunch of backwater destinations to explore like Alappuzzah, Kovalam, Kollam, Kumarakom, Kottayam, Kozhikode, Kuttanad, Thiruvallam, Cochin etc.