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Serenity At It’s Best With A Houseboat Vacation In Alleppey

Do you wish to get away from the daily hustle-bustle of your busy life and take a relaxing vacation in the lap of nature? Whether you are planning for a rejuvenating trip with your family & friends or a romantic honeymoon or getaway with the significant other, meandering through the scenic and peaceful backwaters of Alleppey in a houseboat is an experience of a lifetime. Picture yourself on the deck with a refreshing drink in hand, floating on the interlinked water canals and lakes amidst coconut trees swaying gently in the breeze. It definitely makes for a pretty picture!

These houseboats not only provide all essential amenities for the guests but also cater to various budgets from pocket friendly to opulent and luxurious options. They are a must visit for anyone looking to experience the true essence and magic of God’s Own Country.

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Houseboat routes and activities

Houseboat routes and activities

You can choose from a large variety of houseboats in Alleppey depending on your budget and the number of people in your group. Generally, private houseboats are of four types- standard, premium, luxury and premium-luxury. You can also book a shared boat, which is becoming increasingly popular, where a large houseboat is shared by two or more families or groups. This is a great option if you are looking for an affordable cruise or a unique hotel room on the water for a short stay.

However, no matter which type of houseboat you select, they all have mostly similar routes and timings due to the regulations by the Kerala Tourism Board. The most popular routes are the Alleppey and Kumarakom areas with trips to and from Vembanad Lake, Alumkadavu, Nedumudi, Champakulam, Chennamkary and Kainakary. If you want some more adventure, venture into a more offbeat route with lesser crowds. Some of these include the south end of Alleppey like Thakaarhi and Thottapally.

From a one day trip at Alleppey to a week-long vacation, exploring the backwaters and surrounding areas is always a treat! And don’t worry! The cruise is not just limited to languidly floating through the water canals. A host of activities such as tours into native villages, exploring churches and temples, fishing expeditions and canoeing sessions are sure to keep you thoroughly entertained by all means!

Prices and Other Facilities


Why is Alleppey such an alluring tourist destination? One of the main reasons is that this sublime experience of living on a houseboat can accommodate several budgets. In peak season (September to February) budget houseboats with one bedroom and one living room start from just INR 6000! These are comparatively simple & have minimal décor yet provide all basic facilities and offer gorgeous views. If you can spend a little more, standard houseboats cost about INR 8000-12000 and have one to two bedrooms with a living room and are comfortably furnished. They also have ACs, modern bathrooms and large windows and decks letting you unwind and rejuvenate.

There are a large selection of these standard houseboats in Alleppey and these are perfect if you are couples on honeymoons or are visiting with a small family. The luxury houseboats can go up to INR 40,000 and boast of exquisitely furnished interiors, spacious decks and large windows with wide views of the backwaters.

Don’t forget about the mouth-watering food preparations consisting of local specialty cuisine! Finally, if you desire an out of the world experience on the houseboat and are willing to spend a hefty amount, the premium luxury houseboats have it all. Priced mostly over INR 1, 40,000, these architectural marvels offer every imaginable luxury and are also called glass houseboats as they have wall to wall glass windows offering unparalleled views. Just imagine the picture-perfect scenery of emerald backwaters, charming villages by the water canals and large expanses of paddy fields. Viewing sunsets and moonlit waters or star gazing with your partner through these houseboats is undoubtedly one of the most romantic experiences there ever will be.

You can pick Alleppey backwaters day tours as well as cruises with night stays. The check-in for almost all houseboats is at 11:30AM and they have early 9:00 AM check-out times. Do remember that the boats stay anchored at night from 5:30 PM to 7:30 AM because of government regulations.

The meals provided are often included in the package and are traditionally South-Indian, though some houseboats have the provision for customizable meals. Most houseboat companies offer welcome drinks, breakfast, lunch, evening tea, snacks and dinner. As Kerala is a pre-dominantly non-vegetarian state, if you are a vegetarian, do inform the houseboat staff beforehand. 

Getting to Alleppey & Booking a houseboat

You can reach Alleppey via several modes of transportation.  The Cochin International Airport is located closest to Alleppey (75kilometres) and is connected to major Indian and international airports. From Cochin International Airport, you can easily take a taxi to Alleppey. The Alleppey Railway Station is well connected to Cochin and Trivandrum by train and you can take a bus, taxi or rickshaw to access the same. Alleppey can also be accessed through Government buses which also ply from Coimbatore, Mysore, Bangalore and Chennai. If you enjoy long drives, you can always drive down the National Highway 47 to reach Alleppey.

Selecting a reliable houseboat company is very important during your planning process. Some of the most reputed companies include Spice Coast Cruises, Lakes and Lagoons, Kerala Houseboats, River and Country Cruises, Morning Mist Cruises and Ayana’s Houseboats. The booking process is mostly done online.

Some Tips for your houseboat sojourn


While most photos depict houseboats on secluded and isolated stretches of water, that is often not the case and you are sure to pass several houseboats steering on the same route. They are also anchored quite closely at night.

Because houseboats move through cool water and thickets of greenery, there are plenty of mosquitoes present. Do not forget to pack an insect repellent and a good sunscreen as well.

When docked for night, instead of staying on the boat for the entire time, you can visit nearby villages and markets and sample local cuisine and handicrafts.

So, if you are looking to put your feet up, feel the cool breeze and enjoy the mesmerizing beauty of Kerala’s backwater lagoons, lakes and canals, pack a bag and plan your Alleppey houseboat vacation now!

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