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11 Best Things To Know Before Booking A Houseboat In Kerala, South India

Alleppey, popularly known as “Venice of the east”, is one of the most beautiful places in Kerala well-known for the serenity of its exotic backwaters, and also the houseboat cruise is a pleasant experience that attracts tourists from far and wide across the globe. An amazing fact about Alleppey is its geographical location and physical features, being land that lies in between the sea and a network of rivers that flow into it, the very reason why the place came to be known as “Alappuzha or Alleppey”. Alleppey houseboats are a delightful experience and usually, these boats are hired from Alleppey, as it forms the intersection point between Cochin and Quilon.

Don’t you want to try the enchanting feel of experiencing the mesmerizing awesomeness of a houseboat cruise across the tranquil backwaters of Alleppey? People from all the over world visit Alleppey every year to experience the awesomeness of these houseboats that have emerged from the traditional concepts of Kettuvalloms, used for transportation across the backwaters, while they can catch a glimpse of the local lifestyle of the coastal areas. More than 800 houseboats are already providing full-fledged services in and across Alleppey backwaters owing to the sudden rise in the number of tourists. You can check out the complete guide on Kerala houseboat tour here.

If you are a tourist coming from a far-off land to experience the inexperienced bliss of Alleppey and its houseboat cruises, then here is a tip for you: book your houseboats in advance to avoid any kind of complications that might arise when you directly walk over to the houseboats one fine morning and try to make your bookings. But, before you book an Alleppey houseboat, here are a few things you should know about these so that you enjoy your houseboat tour.

The Condition Of The Kerala Houseboat

Traditionally known as Kettuvalloms, made up of thatched roofs, nowadays the Alleppey houseboats have transformed in their appearance, style, and services. These are being developed on innovative ideas combined with leisure design concepts ensuring there is enough space and sophistication to provide one of the best experiences to the tourists on their cruise holidays. Before booking your houseboat, there are a few factors that you need to consider like the condition of the boat and how long it has been into use. Usually, these are made up of wood and require a maintenance service to be provided once in a year. These have an average lifetime of 6 to 10 years. Also, the quality of the construction materials is another factor that determines the condition of your boat. Try to get these details from your houseboat operator before booking it.

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Price Range Of Houseboat

There is no standardized range of price for houseboats though depending upon certain factors the operators fix the charge for these. You will be provided with 3 crew members on your houseboat, a driver, engine operator, and a chef. Usually, the running costs are quite expensive and also the charges are fixed depending upon the quality of the boat and the services that they offer. So, do not get carried away if you find a houseboat with lower prices, as the quality of the boat or the number of services offered might be poor. Always examine the services as well as the condition of the boat before fixing it and paying the price. It is always a good idea to book the houseboats in advance as advance booking is less expensive when compared to on the spot booking from the jetty. The houseboat operators are not directly available for negotiation, so it will be handled by mediators and they might charge extra money.

Cruising Route

Before you make your bookings, ask for the cruising routes. Usually, the cruising route takes a round trip from Alleppey to Alleppey. You can catch the beautiful view of the canals, lakes, lagoons and the backwater areas and also you can catch a glimpse of the backwater villages and also the lifestyle and the culture of the people living across the coastal areas of Kerala. The cruising route that you choose also determines the price of your houseboat. For instance, if you choose Kumarakom to Alleppey, & then to quilon, and then back to Kumarakom and on to Cochin, then the route takes longer time and the charge is higher.

Cruising Time

Once you board the Alleppey houseboats, the cruising will start occasionally stopping during meal times. At night, no cruising happens, and you can enjoy the beautiful silence of the night accompanied by the murmuring of the flora in these lakes. The houseboat will be docked at the banks of the Alleppey backwaters. The cruising will begin the next morning.

Air- Conditioning

Two kinds of houseboats are available, one with air-conditioning and the other non a/c. Most of the times, houseboats offer a/c services during night starting from 9 pm to 7 am in the morning and the extra money will be charged from the next hour onwards. Usually, the bedrooms are fitted with a/c as rest of the area is open space. The a/c is operated on generators.

Check –In & Check- Out

Generally, all the houseboats maintain a standardized check-in time that is 12 pm and usually the check-out time is from 9 am to 10 am in the morning. All these factors are subject to change depending upon the houseboat operators that you choose. You can choose the boarding point at the time of booking as operators believe that it contributes to customer convenience.

Crew Members

Crew members consist of 3 people including the drive, an engine operator and a chef. You can also request for a guide to help you along with your trip to know the history of the area in depth.


Most of the times people prefer to taste the local cuisines of the area and Alleppey has a wonderful sumptuous number of varying varieties of dishes to offer. Food is usually cooked and served inside the houseboat. If you have any preferences with regard to the cuisine that is served here you can specify that in advance at the time of booking so that the necessary ingredients can be stocked in the kitchen. You can also cook your own food if you prefer it that way. Usually, the raw materials and food items are stocked in the kitchen to make it easily available during the cruise. If you desire to consume alcohol during the cruise, here is a tip for you carry wine or beer during the cruise as these are not available on the houseboats. Not all houseboat operators allow you to cook on the houseboat so make sure whether the service is provided before booking the houseboat.

Other Services

Most of the houseboats provide complimentary and free services and depending on the houseboat operator, you will be taken on village trips, coir factory trips, church visits, canoe village rides, and fishing. Some operators charge extra money for these services.

Best Time To Hire Houseboats

The most common enquiry from most tourists regarding kerala houseboat packages would be about the best time to hire them. And the most common answer would be all time except the monsoons.

Well, it’s true that from December to January the weather will be the coolest, and can be the best time of the year to take a houseboat tour. Also in the months from March to May, the weather will be hotter, and it would be a great time to enjoy the backwaters in a/c houseboat.

But we highly recommend you to hire houseboats during monsoons as well. Why because you will be witnessing the incredible view of the greenery and the long stretch of backwaters is a sight to behold.

In addition to this, the monsoon is the time when ‘Karkidaka Chikitsa’ or monsoon treatment Kickstarts which is deemed to keep your immune system strong for an entire year. So you’re not only bound to receive discounts and offers to undergo treatment or to pamper yourself with Ayurveda and spa, but also reduced Alappuzha houseboat rates for one day, if that is all your planning for.

Booking & Cancellation

It is always a great idea to book your houseboat tour in advance to avoid last moment complications. Usually, you can book online via your bank account or via an online payment system. Check with your houseboat operator for the cancellation policies so that you do not lose your money in case you decide to cancel your booking. During the peak seasons, it is recommended that you make the complete payment in advance.

These are some of the simple things that you need to do before you book a Kerala houseboats.

Tours in India is known for the provision of houseboats in Alleppey .they provides travel assistance to tourists and travel lovers in India and just need to specify the place and the number of days you want to treat yourself; we will organize your tour into a perfectly customized tour package that will be the most memorable trip of your life at affordable prices. Contact us and book your tour today!