7 Nights Kerala River Cruise – North to South

Cochin to Alleppey

The river cruise boats of today are modified version of the traditional Kettuvallom or Rice barges of the past which had been in use for transporting of produces and goods from interior farms to the markets. Today they are comfortable cruising homes to unwind and relax, immersing in the pristine nature and inexplicable energy along the meandering network of the Backwaters.

Available Dates

S. No.

Boarding

Deboarding

1

08-Sep-2019 15-Sep-2019

2

22-Sep-2019 29-Sep-2019

3

30-Oct-2019 06-Nov-2019

4

11-Oct-2019 18-Oct-2019

5

27-Dec-2019 03-Jan-2020

6

10-Jan-2020 17-Jan-2020

7

27-Mar-2020 03-Apr-2020

8

10-Apr-2020 17-Apr-2020

9

24-Apr-2020 01-May-2020

 

 

Prices

Cabin

Tariff

Double/Twin Standard Cabin

USD 2639

Single Standard Cabin

USD 2316

5% Indian Government Tax not included.

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Day 1: Cruise from Cochin city

After watching Kalarippayattu, the traditional martial art of Kerala, we arrive at Maradu jetty in Ernakulam (the urban area of Cochin) to embark on the River Cruise Boat RV Vaikundam.

After having the traditional lunch on- board, we set sail to explore that magnificent network of waterways formed along the coastal belt by the rivers from the Western Ghats before draining into the Arabian Sea. Amidst the rapid development in the city, the Backwaters of Cochin remains placid, giving life to many island villages. The serene and scenic sights are heartening.

 

By evening we arrive at an old town Vaikom, in Kottayam–the land of natural rubber latex and spices.

Witnessing civil rights’ movement against discrimination for socially and financially under-privileged entering the temple or even using the public spaces around the temple, Vaikom got prominence in the history of Kerala during Indian independence movement when unity was of utmost importance.

We take a tour around the temple to get to know about its history and architecture. The architecture of temples in Kerala is unique. It is based on the ancient science of construction and geographical features of the land. As per the traditional architecture, each element of temple represents an element of the human body, and, a temple is not only the space for spiritual enlightenment but also the venue for harmonious social networking.

Meal Plan: (B, L, D)

Day 2Cruise to Vaikom 

After having breakfast on the boat, we visit the cultural center in Vaikom to watch traditional dance performance Kathakali, the traditional dramatic and mimetic dance form, which plays stories from epics. It is a unique blend of dance, music, action, literature, and make-up. Cruise to Chenganda village. We visit a rustic village along the Backwaters, where people are having a laid-back and peaceful life, occupied with coir making, fishing, and shell harvesting.

 

Meet the people, the coir weavers, the coconut harvesters and farmers and engage in conversation about the riparian life. Watch various indigenous techniques of fishing: using shore-based ‘Chinese nets’, by drifting nets and or by hand.

Return to the boat for lunch. Cruise through Thanneermukkom barrage. The barrage across the largest lake of Kerala divides the lake into two– one half with perennial salty water and the other with fresh water enriched by 5 rivers from hills. This helps in preventing the salt water from flooding the low-lying paddy fields of Alleppey-Kottayam region/Kuttanad). Arrive in Vechoor village. You may take a walk or relax on board.

Proceed to the farmhouse by evening.  This house is located on an island which was made by the men of the house, by reclaiming land from Backwaters. A walk in the farm will be educative. Experience the cordial living of a mother and her daughter-in-law. The hostess will demonstrate the preparation of traditional Syrian Christian cuisine. You may also try your hand at cooking and also ask for their story of the family of three generations of hard-working men, and equally strong women who supported their pioneering spirit.

Meal Plan: (B, L, D)

Day 3: Birding

Having an early and light breakfast, set out for the escorted canoe ride to watch the migratory, as well as endemic birds of Kumarakom-which, is a cluster of lagoons of Vembanad Lake at the backdrop of mangroves, paddy fields, and coconut groves.

Waterfowl, cuckoo, owl, egret, heron and the water duck are some of the endemic species seen here. Parrots, teal, larks, flycatchers, wood beetle, and other birds are seen here during their respective migratory seasons.

Return to the boat, refresh and while cruising elaborate breakfast will be served.

We cruise to the interiors of Kuttanad-the expanses of land reclaimed from the lake for paddy cultivation when the region was severely hit by famine during the colonial period. These paddy fields are at the lower altitude than the sea. Dykes are built around to protect them from flooding of saline water during the tides.

We watch a folk dance performance (Kaikotti kali) by the girls of the village.

Return to the boat and cruise till dusk, to further interior, to Veliyanad village. Relax onboard overnight.

Meal plan: (B, L, D)

Day 4: Cruise to Kainakari

This village in Kuttanad is of vast stretches of paddy fields, dykes, and narrow canals.

 

This day we cruise to another interior yet vibrant village. En route, we visit a traditional Ayurveda center. Interact with the doctor and get to know about this ancient knowledge on the holistic way of life. You may try any of the wellness massages, as per the recommendation of the doctor.

A short cruise ahead we arrive at Chavara Bhavan, the ancestral home of Saint Kuriakose Chavara, the first canonized Catholic male saint of Indian origin.

Saint Chavara was an Indian Catholic priest and social reformer. He was the co-founder of the first congregation for men, the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate (C.M.I.), and of a similar one for women, the Congregation of the Mother of Carmel (C.M.C.). The ancestral home of the Saint has now been preserved as a museum.

After having lunch, cruise to Pulinkunnu village. Get closer to the laid-back, yet harmonious, life along the way, paddling along the narrow canal by country boat, interacting with the villagers.

Meal Plan: (B, L, D)

Day 5:  Excursion. While having breakfast, we cruise from Pulinkunnu

On arrival at Nedumudy, we drive through the scenic expanses of greenery and waterways, to the village Mannar (1.30hrs). The village is famous for the traditional ornate locks, and lamps and vessels of different sizes and designs.   These items are being used in temples and also in the houses for ritualistic practices. Inspire the craftsmen, interacting with them and watching the indigenous method of casting of lamps, vessels, and locks.

Refresh, have lunch and relax. We cruise to Champakkulam village. Kerala’s old spice trade used to pass through this town en route to Cochin and other ports on the west coast. Settled more than 1000 years ago by Syrian Christian traders, who later converted to Roman Catholicism under the Portuguese, the people chose to keep their syncretic cultural heritage. This can be seen in the monumental St Mary’s Church on the riverside. Built in 1550, the foundations are said to be as old as 5th century AD. Architecturally, it is a mélange of several European styles, from the Levantine altar and structure to the Dutch arches that tower overhead.

You may visit an old church, a school, the local artisans (open on weekdays) who skillfully and passionately craft biblical heroes.

We come across the Snake boat (Chundan Vallom) of the villagers, gracefully docked on the shore. These types of boats, which are being used for races today in modern days, were once maritime war boats and their structure and design reflect the prowess of ancient Kerala architecture and are one of the icons of Kerala culture. Life in the village comes to a state of exuberance and enthusiasm during the annual Snake boat race, despite being celebrated at the peak of monsoon rains.

Cruise to Changankari village till dusk, passing through the serene canals. You may relax on board or take a walk around a temple, watching the evening rituals. You may interact with the devotees to feel the deep routed faith.

Meal Plan: (B, L, D)

Day 6Excursion to the midland.

After having early breakfast, we drive through a prosperous and picturesque, curvy, stretch of State high-way to Konni village. (You may have to wait near a railway cross), at the backdrop of the forest.

Spend time with elephants at a shelter at the backdrop of the forest. Elephants are an integral part of Kerala culture. It is the State animal and is featured on the State’s emblem. Pageant of caparisoned elephants accompanied with percussions is the high light of all temple festivals in Kerala.

 

Proceed to Aranmula village which is home to a family of craftsmen who are skilled at making the mirror out of a special combination of certain metals. The secret of the trade has been passed down through generations. These mirrors have the distinctive feature of 100% reflection, unlike the common mirror. Also, it is considered as one of the auspicious items that bring prosperity in-house. Visit the mirror makers and inspire them. The ancient temple of Krishna, Snake boat building, the mural art, the school of traditional architecture are the other high lights of this old village of heritage value.

On your return, we will be passing by small plantations of rubber, banana, and tropical trees, sawmills beautiful houses of contemporary design and traditional architectural elements, small and prospering townships. Lunch will be arranged at a local house of beautiful architecture, located on the bank of Pampa, the holy river of natives. The host will talk about the art of Snake boat building and the ritualistic annual regatta in Aranmula.

Drive back to Changankari. After refreshment, cruise to Thottappali spillway through canals of serene and splendid views of greenery. We take a leisurely walk to the beach. On the way, you may visit a toddy shop (humble village Bar). Toddy is a local alcoholic beverage made from the sap of tender flower of the coconut palm. You can see the favorite hot and spicy cuisines available for the day.  Return to the boat and relax on board.

Meal Plan: (B, L, D)

Day 7: Cruise to Champakkulam

Today we will have early breakfast and take a short drive to visit an ancient sacred grove where serpents are worshipped. You can take walk inside and see the rituals going on. Return to Thottappalli. Honoring your cruise with us,   we plant a coconut sampling for the village. The coconut tree is considered as the ‘Kalpavriksha ‘ or divine tree of Kerala. Every part of the coconut tree is useful in different ways. Coconut water is a healthy drink; the white meat is the edible and inevitable component of every cuisine; fiber from the coconut husk is used to make coir, mats, and geotextile; Coconut leaves are used for thatching. The wood is good for furniture. All dried parts make good firewood.

After breakfast, we arrive in Karumadi village. A sculpture of Buddha, belonging to the period of the dynasty of early centuries of Common Era, is protected here inside a small shrine. We talk about the history and culture of Kerala while taking a walk through this quiet and rustic village.

Cruise to Kanjippadom village to visit a dock where (on weekdays you can watch building or repair of wooden boats.  You might be able to see the art of building of the traditional Kettuvallom-the traditional wooden boat, made by joining wooden planks using coir rope and organic resins.

After lunch, cruise through Pallathuruthy village and arrive at a small lake (Vattakkayal) amidst paddy fields.  We take a relaxing walk along the dykes.  Interact with toddy tappers as they clamper up and down coconut trees as they have been doing for centuries. You may sample a sip of toddy! Return to the boat after beautiful sunset. Tonight we celebrate our sojourn over farewell dinner on board RV Vaikundam.

Meal Plan: (B, L, D)

Day 8: Departure
Cruise to Alleppey (Alappuzha)

Breakfast will be served while cruising. After checking out at the jetty in Alleppey town, you may take a guided tour to experience the heritage of this ancient port town and bustling trade center. Visit the old market, temples, churches and mosques, the beach and the oldest lighthouse of the country.

Meal Plan: (B)

Inclusions & Exclusions:

Inclusions:

  • Transfer, Excursion, Sight seen Safaris.
  • All meals and Accommodation on twin sharing basis.
  • Services off and on board, English Speaking Naturalist/ Destination Manager.
  • All Entrance fees as per the itinerary.
  • Navigation/Cursing servicing as per itinerary.
  • One Passenger free on 15 Paying pax on one Barth Basis.
  • One Bottle of water per day.

Exclusions: 

  • An expense of personal nature like laundry, telephone/fax calls, alcoholic beverages, camera/video camera fee at monuments and medical expenses etc.
  • Tips
  • Non-English Speaking Naturalist/ Destination Manager would on extra cost.
  • Any additional expenses due to Force Measure reason/ weather and river condition.
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