Kerala Houseboat

Kerala Houseboat

Kerala Houseboat is unique for two reasons, firstly, the boat themselve has a long history as transportation vessels for goods, men and materials to travel on the backwaters of Kerala which is the second unique feature in the story

Kerala backwaters are a series of lakes, rivers and canals which interconnect along the coast to provide nearly 1000 km of navigable water which in past times were the only means for transport from one area of Kerala to another. Kettuvallam were built using wood and coir with bamboo roofs to carry rice, building materials, men and any other commodity along these waterways. With the coming of road and rail systems, these classic boats fell out of use until someone had the brilliant idea that with a few changes the Kettuvallam could become the Kerala houseboat, a tourist attraction to bring the beautiful backwaters to millions of visitors.

Today these attractive craft come in several shapes and sizes with one to five bedrooms, bathroom, lounge area and a galley kitchen where staff produce typical Keralan meals.

Nothing can compare to the peaceful scenery of paddy fields, gently waving palms and small villages for taking away the stress of everyday life, cruising the mirror smooth lakes, tranquil lagoons and lazy rivers takes you to another world.


Alleppey, Kumarakom and Kollam have developed as the main centres for Kerala backwater houseboat cruises. Houseboat of Kerala offers houseboat packages to suit every traveller with superb service and value for money, we look forward to serving you.

Kerala houseboats have a charm all their own derived from the fact that they have such a long and interesting history. For hundreds of years, since they were cargo boats called Kettuvallam, they have been built in the same fashion with wood planks and coir bindings made waterproof with a coating of resin manufactured from cashew nut shells. The original open area which carried huge loads of materials and men has been covered in planks to provide a floor for the present day houseboat and roofs have been added made with bamboo.

Literally a house on a boat, there is a lounge area, 1-5 bedrooms, bathroom and a galley kitchen all connected by a corridor. The lounge area behind the navigator is open and airy, just perfect for relaxing and watching the world of paddy fields, soflty waving palms and small villages that fringe the backwaters. 

Facilities on Houseboats of Kerala

  • Normally 3 crew members, a navigator, a chef and a guide, larger houseboats may have one more crew member.
  • AC in bedrooms 9pm-6am in deluxe houseboats.
  • AC in bedroom and lobby 24hrs in premium houseboats and Luxury Houseboats
  • Modern hygienic kitchen providing veg/non veg Keralan cuisine.
  • High quality bed linen and tableware.
  • Excellent service from your crew at all times.

Kerala Houseboat Destinations

Alleppey is a beautiful houseboat destination in Kerala on the famous Punnamada Lake. As this freshwater lake is below sea level it is best suited to cultivation. Most of the area is surrounded by paddy fields and other crops giving an emerald green backdrop to your backwatercruise.
As you cruise the Alleppey backwaters you will come close to small villages where you will see people going about their daily life. The 50 yr old Chambakulam church and Chavara Bhavan, the ancient home of a saint can be seen on the banks of beautiful Punnamada lake.

Kumarakom is a beautiful houseboat centre on Vembanad Lake on the backwaters of Kerala. Cruising the rivers and canals that flow into the lake will give pleasing views of rural life, small villages among coconut palms and bright green paddy fields. A Houseboat cruise through the enchanting Kumarakom backwaters is a delightful experience of stress free pleasure. 

Kollam, once a leading trade centre of the ancient world is now the gateway to the southern backwaters of Kerala. Ashtamudi lake and the rivers and canals that feed it make for beautiful houseboat cruises. The 8hr route from Kollam to Alleppey is the longest cruise in Kerala with lotuses and waterlilies on the waters surface and village life amongst paddy fields and coconut palms on the banks.