My budget houseboat cruise on Alleppey backwaters in Kerala was one of the memorable experiences. It was fantastic cruising around on the Keralan backwaters. During my solo travel in Kerala, India I’ve stayed one night at Soma Houseboat and enjoyed the Kerala backwaters tour on a budget. The top highlights of the Alleppey houseboat day cruise were the amazing landscape beauty of the largest Vembanad Lake and the tasty Kerala food.
Alleppey or Alappuzha is a popular tourist destination for day cruising on the backwaters of Kerala. There are more than 1000 houseboats in Alappuzha. Many deluxe-to-budget houseboats are always available to stay. You’ll find here many traditional houseboats in different shapes, sizes, and ranges to hire for a cruise trip.
I pre-booked Soma Houseboat from Booking.com and just spent 95 USD for staying one night including all meals. Many tour company offers Kerala backwaters tour packages, and mostly those packages’ price is too high to afford. I recommend booking houseboat online. It is possible to get a reasonable price rate, and you can enjoy even a standard budget that stays within 90 to 100 USD.
Ever thought to stay in a houseboat alone? Alleppey houseboat day cruise is a perfect romantic gateway for couples as well as families. It was even interesting to experience solo for the first time. I was all alone with the rest of the three helpful staff from Soma Houseboat. For one night the entire houseboat was mine. It was safe and had fun throughout the journey.
Table of Contents
- 1 When to Visit Kerala Backwaters?
- 2 How To Visit Alleppey?
- 3 How is it to Stay in a Houseboat of Backwaters in Kerala?
- 4 Top Things to Do in Kerala Houseboat
- 5 Is it Worth Visiting Alleppey Backwaters?
- 6 Are You On Pinterest? Click To Save These For Later Read!
When to Visit Kerala Backwaters?
Winter is the best time to enjoy a family and romantic holiday on the backwaters in Kerala. During this time (November-February) you can expect pleasant weather to stay in a houseboat. However, winter is also the peak season to visit Alleppey. To avoid the high booking price, you might like to consider visiting Kerala backwaters in the summer season (March-May). The highest temperature during this time is 32 degrees Celsius.
Houseboat of backwaters in Kerala
Luxury houseboat in Alleppey
How To Visit Alleppey?
Alleppey is very close to Cochin (Kochi). The distance is just 53 km and possible to reach by taxi within one and half hours. I visited Alleppey from Munnar by road. It was a bit far away, but the journey was scenic.
How is it to Stay in a Houseboat of Backwaters in Kerala?
Alleppey Houseboat Review – Soma Houseboat
Soma Houseboat is located nearby Nehru Trophy Finishing Point in Alleppey. The Soma Houseboat check-in started at 11:30 AM and check-out at 9 AM. They also have a deluxe houseboat. The room types are comfort double room, deluxe double room, superior double room, superior king room.
The Dining and Sitting Area at Soma Houseboat Alleppey
Comfort Double Room inside the houseboat
Soma Houseboat is 83.5 km away from Kochi International Airport. Free parking and airport shuttle service are also there. Alappuzha Train Station is just 3.9 km away from the houseboat.
Houseboat Amenities and Hospitality
My One Night solo stay at Soma Houseboat was cozy and exciting. I booked their budget houseboat entirely for me, but it was actually for eight passengers. The room type was the double comfort one with a private bathroom. The bed was comfy and perfect for two persons. There is a kitchen, the food cooked by the houseboat chef. The dining and sitting area are there with a flat-screen TV. It is possible to enjoy the landscape view from the room windows or by sitting on the top terrace of the houseboat. However, there was no Wi-Fi facility, and the houseboat interiors were too simple.
The Top Terrace of the Houseboat
Houseboats in Vembanad Lake
The lunch, snacks, dinner, and next day breakfast included with the one night stay. You can select the food menu according to your choices. I loved the taste of delicious and healthy Kerala cuisine. The menu for lunch was Keralan veg items, papad, salad, mango pickle, and curd with a fish fry and rice. Dinner time chicken curry with dal, veg fries, rice, roti, and slices of pineapples. Breakfast with sandwiches, omelet and also idli with sambar, fruit juice. Tea and bottled water were also provided.
Lunch with Kerala Food in Houseboat
The hospitality from the houseboat staff was remarkable. The three crews were houseboat captain, chef, and boat engine operator. They were friendly and cooperative. I didn’t feel uncomfortable at all. It was fun to learn many things from them during this houseboat cruise on Alleppey backwaters in Kerala.
Top Things to Do in Kerala Houseboat
Our houseboat cruise began from Jacobs Island towards Vembanad Lake at 12 PM. It took a lunch break after 2 PM. After that, the journey continued until the evening at 5:30 PM. The next day again started from the early morning to the check-out time.
Jacobs Island in Alleppey
Enjoy the Beauty of the Largest Vembanad Lake
I loved the breathtaking landscape view of the largest Vembanad or Vembanadu Lake while cruising around on the backwaters in Kerala. Vembanad Lake is also the longest one in India. I found many migratory birds in the lake; the water is so still and beautiful. There are many coconut trees on the bank of the lake, many paddy fields, local houses, and a lifestyle possible to view from the houseboat. Public ferries are there for transportation. There are hotels nearby the lake; many prefer to stay in a hotel and enjoy canoeing on the village canals. Farther you’ll look more you’ll feel tranquility and peacefulness.
The largest Vembanad Lake in Kerala
Ice cream with a view from the houseboat
The breathtaking landscape of Vembanad Lake
Enjoy the Tranquility of Nature
I found many houseboats were having high volume sound systems and passengers were having fun like a party. I think I was lucky enough while enjoying alone the sounds of water and nature. I was happy to be away from Wi-Fi at least for one night. It was the most awesome time to lose yourself in the serenity and the beauty of nature.
Watching Sunset/Sunrise in Alleppey Backwaters
In the evening they halt in a nearby village. I had a village walk, enjoyed watching the sunset and the next day sunrise.
Beautiful Sunset in Alleppey Backwaters of Kerala
Fishing/Canoeing in Alleppey
Fishing is also possible if you want, you can also buy fish from the market. The fish fry they served for lunch caught from the lake itself, and so it was too fresh and delicious. Afternoon if you have time you may also like to enjoy canoeing through the village canal in Alleppey backwater.
Canoeing in a village canal
A bit rained at night, and it was good as the temperature was high. However, the air conditioner was provided in the room from 9 PM to the next day morning 6 AM. I had a sound sleep and after a healthy breakfast came back with sweet memories.
And lastly, don’t miss having Kerala food in a houseboat, they are not only tasty but also nutritious.
Breakfast in Kerala Houseboat
Idli with Sambar
Is it Worth Visiting Alleppey Backwaters?
I read many negative reviews on Alleppey before a trip here but wanted to explore myself. I’ll say if it is the first time for you then worth to visit. Not every day you’ll get the chance to stay in a houseboat. Yes, not everyone can afford a luxury stay in a houseboat but a standard budget stays even possible if you’re all alone, no point in expending so high for a night.
If not Alleppey then you might like to explore Kumarakom to get the experience of the backwaters of Kerala. Kumarakom is 48 km away from Kochi and is also a backwater destination. The top attraction is Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, and you can also stay in a houseboat.
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Disclaimer: Soma Houseboat review based on my one-night stay here. Every opinion is entirely my own.
Have you stayed in any houseboats? Share your favorite things to do in the Kerala houseboat.