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Houseboat Advise

India
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Houseboat Advise

My husband and I are planning a trip to Kerala this December.

We are more or less sorted, but would like to know some good and reliable operators for Houseboats.

We are confused between :

a. Spice Coast Cruise

b. Soma Houseboats

c. Rainbow Cruises.

We'd like something comfortable with plenty of windows. Could someone please help!

62 replies to this topic
Mumbai
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1. Re: Houseboat Advise

There has been some unhappiness with Rainbow Cruises on this forum. There have a couple of favourable comments too. Scroll back just a few days and you will come across it. That being said, I never know whether to fully trust some of the posts on the Kerala forum of late. Competition in tourism sector in Kerala seems to be really strong now.

We have booked our houseboat cruise for December through Deepak_Dayanandan, DE here. He gave me a very competitive quote. He is local to the backwaters area. Even though I have never met him and spoke on the phone only recently, I feel comfortable having booked through him, since I have been following his posts on the Kerala forum for nearly two years now. Well, he too is taking a chance with us I guess, having come to know me only through the forums :0)

India
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2. Re: Houseboat Advise

Thanx a lot .. yeah, I read those reviews as well.. and am compeletely confused to say the least!

Yes, I've followed Mr Deepak's posts as well am thinking of approaching him for advise as well.

Hmmn... not too keen on soma cuz i did not like the pics online and Spice is quoting almost 16k for a kumarakom to kumarakom houseboat, so dont know where else to go!

India
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3. Re: Houseboat Advise

Also, whether, Alleppey - Kumarakom houseboat cruise is more scenic or Kumarakom-Kumrakom is better.

We are staying at Kumarakom for 4 days so would like to know what will be more convenient and scenic.

Kochi (Cochin...
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4. Re: Houseboat Advise

Before you choosing the route for houseboat cruise, check any satellite map like Wikimapia of google earth and see where Kumarakom, Alleppey and kollam are. Most of the houseboats are based in Alleppey.

The "spice coast houseboats" are my favourite. They are of good taste, simple and elegant. They are not "luxurious" but, expansive.

Tourindia's houseboats are based in Alumkadave. They are the pioneers in houseboat cruise. They are not air conditioned. But, simple and the trips are professionally done with good guides.

There are many “luxurious” houseboats as good as five star rooms. For 1 night cruise, Alleppey around or Alleppey – Thottappally is good. The best route to choose would be Alleppey – Alumkadave for 2 / 3 nights. Backwaters south of Alumkadave are dull, dry and the lake is not calm. High waves in the lake.

Off the beaten tracks there are non Ac houseboats in the Trichur backwaters moved by man power. Not by horse powered engine.

Cruised in the first trip in the first houseboat of kerala. - 17 years ago. :-

Edited: 19 November 2010, 17:16
Kochi (Cochin...
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5. Re: Houseboat Advise

Backwater traffic Jam in Alleppey.

keralaindiatravel.net/wp-content/uploads/201…

Kerala
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for Kerala, Kumarakom, Alappuzha, Kochi (Cochin), Munnar
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6. Re: Houseboat Advise

with the peak season around and the leading operators all booked up , for their own boats , what the normal practise is to hire boats from other lesser known operators, single boat owners and provide to guest who makes enquiries through the leading operators

the most demand is for single bed room ( for a couple or 2 pax ) boats and for 3 bed room boats ( for 6 pax ) as they are lesser in number to 2 bed room boats ( for 2 couples or 4 pax)

the normal ( asking rates at the boat terminal here ) for a single bed room standard ( silver categories) boats would be approx INR 6500 - 7500 /- till December mid ( weekends this goes up by a 1000 or more ) and then there on in the range of INR 7500 - INR 9000 /- ( remember dates like Dec 24 , dec 31 are highly highly un-predictable( no mechanism to monitor these or control this) and i have heard about INR 15000 /-..!!!! on one of the peak days for single bed room boat , during last year

( there is only one classification system to my knowledge for houseboats , that is by the government , which classifies it as Silver and Gold. there is another classification upon Gold called Gold with GREEN PALM , for their eco friendliness.. see the link for details on calssification of houseboats.

http://www.keralatourism.org/classificationofhouseboats/Houseboat.htm#class)

for Gold categories boat the rates could be another INR 3000 - 4000 more than that of a silver category boat , some call it luxury boats , some say it as premium , some call it super deluxe etc

The above rates are based on day to day information from sources at the boat terminal and may 'widely' vary depending on the day and the rush that is witnessed on a particular day from walk-in clients ( more from domestic tourists )

both the cruise - kumarakom - Alleppey or Alleppey - Kumarakom are scenic covering the lake portion, the backwater canals , vast stretch of paddy fields,coconut groves, villages ,the difference is only with the Check- in( Check - out point ) .All the houseboat travel in a limited portion with in the lake vembanad , and in season( even other wise) as some have started to point out here on TA forum , that you see a chain ( a train ) of houseboats. as this cruise of houseboats happen in area of 40 - 50 sq km of the entire lake portion.

and i would also say , dont believe the pictures ( always ) some of the pictures might be even years old or taken when the boats were build

happy holidays

Kerala
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for Kerala, Kumarakom, Alappuzha, Kochi (Cochin), Munnar
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7. Re: Houseboat Advise

yeah! the picture above says it all ..

it is heavy traffic on the backwaters here

soon are the days, when boats will be given token to go for the cruise with guests , else you have to bring in some innovation where boats can also take the (narrow) roads in the backwater region

Kerala
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for Kerala, Kumarakom, Alappuzha, Kochi (Cochin), Munnar
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8. Re: Houseboat Advise

here is a list of some operators ( the list is quite small)

i hope travelers will keep adding to this and more and more operators / houseboats are reviewed here on TA (by travellers, ofcourse!! )and wish that the scene is not just managed by hand few operators , as is happening now

pulikkattil - www.pulickattil.com

Minar De lake - www.minardelake.com

Welcome cruise - www.welcomecruise.com

ATDC - www.atdcalleppey.com

River and country - www.riverandcountry.com

Aqua houseboats - www.aquaholidayskerala.com

Marvel cruise - www.marvelcruise.com

Ever green - www.evergreen-kerala.com

Guardian houseboats - www.guardianhouseboat.com

Coco houseboats - www.cocohouseboatskerala.com

Grandeur Houseboats - www.keralahouseboat.co.in

Kerala Tour company - www.ktchouseboat.com

Indraprastham houseboats - www.indraprasthamholidays.com

maveli - www.mavelihouseboats.com

JCT houseboats - www.jcttours.com

The Deam boats - www.thedreamboats.com

Northumberland...
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9. Re: Houseboat Advise

Hi Deepak - we have a reservation with Lakes and Lagoons. How likely is it that they will not give us the boat we have booked? (Lake Royale) What classification do they have? I booked this company because I had read posts about them having more luxurious boats - is this correct?

Out of interest I wonder why you do not list them in the above list?

Sorry for so many questions.

Many thanks again Deepak.

Edited: 19 November 2010, 19:32
Mumbai
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10. Re: Houseboat Advise

Deepak,

I like your honest assessment. As I have always mentioned on this forum, I would personally prefer taking a smaller canoe and touring the narrower canals as I have done long ago, more than 17 years ago, when all the boats were boats and not houseboats. I have cruised some of the areas covered in the cruise originating from Alleppey.

My arm has been twisted on this trip and I am going with an open mind - to enjoy the cruise - I have been told by recent visitors that it is enjoyable even with the limitations.

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