“Eco-friendly houseboat with contemporary design and silent electric motors for exploring the quieter backwaters (sleeps 2-4)”
They took a traditional kettuvallam (stitched hull) and added a well-insulated aluminium-plywood superstructure, an energy-efficient LPG engine and two silent electric motors (front and back). A battery bank allows these to be charged during the day and is used for light and power at night. And, as the boat is narrower, it can slip through the backwater hinterland away from the standard (and now crowded) Alleppey cruise. Inside, it's stylishly decorated and surprisingly roomy for such a slim boat - the perfect setting to relax in after dark, with a friend or partner.
- This is an eco-friendly houseboat with all mod cons, including air conditioning
- The design is simple and classy
- It cruises undiscovered parts of the increasingly busy backwaters to ensure tranquility and privacy
- You'll find excellent staff and service
- There's lots to see en route: temples, dance displays, farms, bustling markets...
- You have to start (or end) at Privacy on Vembanad Lake, as it shuttles between there and Alleppey
- It's not as pretty as the traditional riceboats
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Luxury Houseboat
- All meals included
- Over 2s welcome
- Open all year
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Sun deck
The bedroom and living room lie in the double-glazed lower deck, built with an insulated sandwich of aluminium, rockwool and plywood. They are protected from direct sunlight by a system of pretty louvred windows and sun sails, meaning a low energy output is required to keep cool.
The contemporary tropical interiors are streamlined and sleek, with white walls, polished dark wood floors and crisp lines. The comfy queensize bed is clothed in 100% cotton which feels cool to the touch, while the 2 L-shaped sofas in the living room can be made up as children's beds. Jewel-coloured silk cushions and a few carefully chosen pieces of artwork provide stabs of vibrant colour.
The bathroom is small but stylish, with piles of fluffy towels and white tiles that contrast beautifully with dark wooden units. It has a shower with hot water provided by the engine's cooling system.
The 3 staff sleep in separate quarters with their own shower and cabins.
- Air conditioning
- Extra beds
- Internet access
The boat moors every few hours for meals, prepared by the onboard staff and served outside on deck to the sound of lapping water. Canopies shade you from the sun during the day; in the evening you dine under the stars, with candles lending a warm glow.
Breakfast can be fresh fruit and eggs or local fare such as idli (steamed rice cake) and dosa (a savoury rice and lentil pancake) with coconut chutney and banana.
Lunch and dinner feature high-quality Indian cuisine, with a focus on freshly caught seafood. Specialities include delicious fish and spicy prawns, as well as zingy salads and dishes with a Mediterranean influence. One stop will include a traditional Keralan lunch served on banana leaves and staff are always on hand to provide refreshing drinks or rustle up a snack or two.
The boat has two fridges, a cooler and kitchen appliances, all run by a separate compressor coupled to the engine, which also produces ice for chilled water. The 2000-litre freshwater tanks ensure a plentiful supply.
- All meals included
- Vegetarian menu
- Take in the ever-changing vistas as the barge makes stately progress at a speed of about 6 knots through open backwaters and narrow canals. You'll pass local boats and small villages where children play, mooring every few hours for a chance to stretch your legs and dip into local life
- Visit Vishnu temples, watch martial dance displays, see a brass manufacturing town and explore a rubber tapping farm - all including on a standard itinerary
- You'll also visit a gorgeous ancestral home where you feast on a traditional Keralan lunch, served on banana leaves
- Alternatively, you can take a tuk-tuk ride inland to visit Kerala's vibrant shops and market stalls
- Or just relax on the sunny deck, read a book and watch the world float serenely by
- Don't forget to keep an eye out (and your camera present) for flocks of exotic birds flying past, or migratory Siberian storks
- When the boat is moored at Privacy, you can use the swimming pool or explore Lake Vembanad in its canoe, sail boat or motorboat
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Boat trips
- Historical sites
- Plantlife / flora
- Shopping / markets
- Traditional cultures
This is an ideal family holiday with lots to do and see as the boat explores the backwaters.
Children stay free until the age of 5 if they do not need an additional bed. For older children (or those under 5 requiring their own bed) there is a charge. The sofas in the living room can be made up into extra beds.
Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)
Family friendly accommodation:
Extra Beds Available
Kids Activities on site:
- The backwaters up close
- Swimming at Privacy
Families Should Know:
You're on the backwaters, so care is needed
- Airport: 2.5-3 hours
Discovery is moored at Privacy on Lake Vembanad, 65km (1.5 hours) from Cochin and 28km from Alleppey in Kerala, southern India.
Cochin (Kochi) International (75km away) is the closest airport but Trivandrum (200km away) is served by a bigger range of airlines and is easily accessible by car or train.
From the Airport
Limousine transfers are available from Cochin airport or from Alleppey (28km), Trivandrum and other nearby towns. Please enquire when you book. Motor boat transfers can also be organised from Malabar House in Fort Cochin.
You can travel by rail from Delhi, Bombay, Madras, Trivandrum and other towns on the Malabar Coast to Cochin and Ernakulam (both 1.5 hours away). Transfers from the station can be arranged on request.
Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.com.
More on getting to Kerala and getting around
- Cochin (Kochi) International 75.0 km COK
- Thiruvananthapuram International 200.0 km TRV
- Beach 16.0 km
- Shops 2.0 km
- Restaurant 6.0 km