Houseboats are a prime attraction to all those visiting Kerala, a cruise through the backwaters of Allepey and Kumarakom is a unique and peaceful experience. Over the years, houseboats have evolved to provide all forms of luxury. The boat cruise includes seafood cuisine, on board entertainments, furnished rooms, cozy living rooms etc. These boats are the modified versions of ‘Kettuvallams’ of the olden times. Kettuvallams were used to transport rice and spices, a standard Kettuvallam is said to be able to transport 30 tons of goods from Kuttanad to Kochi port. They are now as many as 500 houseboats in Alleppey alone due to the flocking in of both foreigners and natives to enjoy the scenic backwaters. Houseboat cruises are now available at Thiruvanthapuram, Kollam, Kottayam, Allapuzha, Ernakulam, Thrissur and Kasargod. The Kerala boat houses explore the lesser known parts of rural Kerala and the tourists feel at peace while on the Kerala backwaters tour.
A Thriving Business and an Abundance of Job Opportunities
When road transport started to takeover and kettuvallams were close to being extinct, the idea of tourist houseboats emerged and along with it many job opportunities also surfaced. The houseboats, with time, has become a popular tourist attraction and many people in Alleppey and Kumarakom make their living through this business. From people who operate the cruises to the chefs, entertainers, boat mechanics and small travel agencies, businesses and job opportunities have flourished in the area. The houseboats also help in keeping traditional art forms alive, Kathakali and other dance forms are performed for foreign tourists who enjoy viewing and learning about Kerala’s culture.
The KTDCS Houseboat Packages
The Kuttanad Tourism Development Co-operative Society (KTDCS) offers a wide range of packages that cater to the needs of all types of tourists. The KTDCS website also allows users to customize their tour to their liking. The three packages they offer include:
Day Cruise and Night Stay in Houseboat: This package starts off at 11:30am from Alleppey, the day’s itinerary revolves around the cruise through the backwaters with lunch, snacks and dinner. It also includes toddy shop and paddy field visits. The cruise ends the next day at 9am, check-out will be at Alleppey.
Day Cruise in Houseboat: This package is best for family get-together, and other groups of people who do not wish to spend the night. It is also less expensive. This cruise begins 11am and the check-out is at 5pm. Lunch and snacks are included in this Kerala Houseboat tour.
Night Stay in the Houseboat: This is a simple package that has check-in at 6pm and the check-out at 9am the following day. The tour also includes snacks and dinner.
Houseboats are also booked for conferences and other birthday parties.
Kerala Boathouse Honeymoon Packages
There are many honeymoon packages offered at the Alleppey backwaters. The Alleppey houseboat tariff for honeymoon packages starts at around Rs. 9000 to around Rs. 25,000. It is also advisable to book the houseboat prior to the visit as the honeymoon boathouses are of great demand. The type of houseboat and the itinerary can be customized by the couple as there are numerous options available.
Many Five star properties like Taj also capitalizes on this trend with their super deluxe luxurious floating mansions. Price ranging from Rs.30,000 to Rs.1,00,000 these houseboats boasts of luxuries and facilities one cannot imagine.
The houseboat prices however vary in accordance to the season. During monsoon with relatively less tourists is the off season, however they garner the lost months by hiking the rates in the peak season. The peak season would be from September to April when the weather is pleasant for the ride.
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