Tailor made houseboat cruise in Kerala, India

Soak up the sights and sounds of the Kerala backwaters with a relaxed Kerala houseboat vacation exploring areas tourists rarely visit. Your one-bed boat cruises in the day and moors up at peaceful spots every night, an onboard guide / chef preparing delicious meals from ingredients sourced at local markets.
Houseboat tour of Kerala backwaters Fort Cochin Vembanad Lake Cruise starts and finishes near Alappuzha (Allepey) Visit bird sanctuaries, beaches, coconut plantations, and village markets Calm, scenic anchorages every night Explore at a pleasantly relaxed pace Local crew, and food sourced from local markets Enjoy fish caught fresh in the backwaters
£1575including UK flights
10 Days
More info
Price per person based on 2 adults including accommodation, flights, car transfers, trains, activities shown, current taxes and local assistance.
Valid from 1 Oct 2022 - 30 Sept 2023.
During peak season (approx Dec to Feb) the price will be higher.
Make enquiry

Description of Tailor made houseboat cruise in Kerala, India

Kerala houseboat vacations offer a luxurious opportunity to soak up the sights and sounds of life along the riverbanks in the Kerala backwaters, one of the most peaceful and attractive regions of southern India.

This particular trip makes use of a traditional one-bedroom rice barge (kettuvallam). Made from natural materials, due to its smaller size it is capable of cruising away from the normal tourist routes while providing comfortable, exclusive accommodation for up to two passengers. You’ll be accompanied by a crew of three, including a guide / cook who will prepare sumptuous Keralan cuisine throughout from ingredients sourced at local markets and perhaps even fish caught fresh. Many recipes will have been handed down through the cook’s own family over generations, so you can expect to eat very well.

Over six nights you’ll explore lesser-visited waterways of Kerala, including numerous narrow channels and low bridges. This Kerala houseboat vacation is a tailor made trip, so as well as having the freedom to choose your travel dates, you can adapt the suggested itinerary as you please.

Days are spent gently cruising along, pausing to wander bird sanctuaries, coconut plantations, ancient shrines, markets and villages. In the afternoons, your crew will anchor in a quiet place and even when it’s warm you’ll be very comfortable in your air-conditioned cabin.

Disembarking on day 9 and bidding your crew farewell, you’ll spend the final night of your Kerala tour at a welcoming, family-owned home stay with a swimming pool and land that is exceptional for birdwatching. It’s a lovely way to bring your trip to an end, however there is plenty of scope to continue on through Kerala and beyond.

Please note: If you’re interested in taking a larger group on this sort of houseboat vacation in Kerala then the route would need to change. A larger craft would be required that wouldn’t be able to navigate the narrower waterways and the lower height of the bridges featured on this suggested itinerary.


Price information

£1575including UK flights
Price per person based on 2 adults including accommodation, flights, car transfers, trains, activities shown, current taxes and local assistance.
Valid from 1 Oct 2022 - 30 Sept 2023.
During peak season (approx Dec to Feb) the price will be higher.
Make enquiry

Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements

Travel guides

Kerala is like opening up a lucky bag of surprises. The first thing most people pick out is the western coastline that unfurls along the Arabian Sea. ...
South India

Vacation information

Tailor made tour:
All our vacations are tailor made which means we can create a unique vacation for your individual requirements. We offer a range of accommodation from guesthouses and homestays to the more luxurious hotels. Where possible we use properties that are heritage or characterful. Quality and value are the hallmark of our trips. We are licenced to sell flights from the UK.


8 Reviews of Tailor made houseboat cruise in Kerala, India

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 30 Mar 2023 by

Arriving to the houseboat tour in a different location than Allepey was very nice. It was a quiet turn in the river where no other houseboats were visible for an entire day. It felt very special. Read full review

Reviewed on 20 Mar 2023 by

The perfect getaway for someone who wants a relaxing vacation away from the hustle and bustle. Read full review

Reviewed on 30 Dec 2022 by

10/10 Read full review

Reviewed on 16 Apr 2019 by

Just loved the peace of floating down the river, and watching life happen on the riverbanks. Read full review

Reviewed on 03 Dec 2018 by

We have been able to totally relax and let the world go by due to the lovely boat, the brilliant crew who looked after our every wish and the unspoilt area... Absolutely brilliant. Read full review

Reviewed on 30 Nov 2017 by

The houseboats in Kerala was my highlight. Read full review

Reviewed on 25 Oct 2017 by

Every aspect of our trip was memorable and it is impossible to select one particular feature that stands out. We particularly appreciated the houseboat in traditional style... Read full review

Reviewed on 25 Apr 2016 by

All of it. Every day was a new adventure. From the excellent food to the beautiful scenery and friendly helpful crew. Read full review

Responsible Travel

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) vacation so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.

Planet and people

Individual vacations have a lower impact on the environment as waste, power etc is minimal. Traveling independently means that our customers have the opportunity to interact with the locals. Because this cruise takes you way beyond the range of most houseboat trips, you will find yourselves visiting villages where tourists rarely go.

Our houseboats are operated by Lakes and Lagoons - one of the original and best houseboat companies. They are ISO 9001-2000 certified and were the first houseboat tour company to attain this. Kerala Tourism have a rating system for houseboats and we are pleased to report that the air-conditioned boat used on this cruise has been awarded a Silver Star. The stars are awarded based on safety, quality and service.

Lakes and Lagoons is a purely Indian owned company and all their staff are local people. Each boat has a crew of three – a guide/cook and two boatmen. All the furnishings & equipment on board is sourced and purchased locally and all the food served is bought in the local markets and cooked on board. The food is ethnic home cooking (most recipes handed down through the family of the cook) and may include curries made from locally grown organic vegetables and fish caught in the backwaters themselves.

Kettuvallams are country boats and were originally used for the transport of goods. The advent of roads and bridges throughout the Kuttanad region of Kerala (known as the backwaters) meant that these traditionally made boats were being phased out. But tourism has brought them back and the artisan boat-makers are busy again. The boats are still made in the traditional way from natural materials - wood (mostly anjili), coconut and bamboo.

Teak House - this homestay is the home of Mr and Mrs Sunil Elias and their adult daughter. The house is set on a sizable plot of land adjacent to the Periyar River and is good for bird watching. Mr Elias is a keen bird watcher and photographer and is happy to share his knowledge with guests. There are two guest rooms and a swimming pool.

The ground handling of this tour is provided by our local agent and we supply him with 90% of his turnover. All of the drivers and staff are local people. Thus we have fifteen local families that are directly financially reliant upon us. Our drivers have a contract and are paid a monthly wage. This is very unusual in South India where most drivers are normally employed on a commission-only basis (not easy for such seasonal work).

All of our customers are supplied with detailed information about their vacation. We supply general advice relevant to all customers as well as more specific facts about your particular tour. These documents offer our customers lots of advice and guidance including how to obtain an Indian Visa, which immunisations are recommended, how much to tip people, how to dress appropriately and how to behave in National Parks. We support local charities and invite our customers to do so too (details are supplied with your travel documents).

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