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5 Nights North to South Cruise

Kerala River Cruise

Kochi to Changankari

The river cruise takes you through wide lakes, flowing rivers, narrow canals and tranquil lakes with many villages on its banks that are only connected by water. Life is all on these waterways with people commuting in wooden dugout canoes where school children, traders and fishermen all mingle together to make the voyage through the bustling waters both colourful and very exciting.

Visit temples, churches, market places, traditional dance and martial art schools and ayurvedic medicine centres. Take a canoe ride through the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary. Experience how coir making is done. A really delightfully tropical river cruise on warm waters with a lot of sun bathing and lazing as you sail towering twenty feet above the paddy fields in canals held together by dykes or, along the Arabian Sea where the setting sun splashes the endless waters with a bright orange glow.

Fare Starting 2,350$ per cabin

5 NIGHTS NORTH TO SOUTH CRUISE

Detail Itinerary

Day 1: Embarkation at Marad, Cochin

We Transfer from the hotel in Cochin to the embarkation jetty at the ancient village ‘Pallippuram’, at the northern border of Cochin.

Enroute, we visit a Kalari – the traditional training centre for authentic Martial art (Kalarippayattu). Kalarippayattu in Kerala has its origin from the ancient Indian scripture, Dhanur Veda.

This training helps to understand the 107 energy points in human body, learn the practices to maintain the normal flow of the energy and to heal ailments by Marma therapy. The exercises help to gain stamina, flexibility, calibrated functioning of body and mind, and quick reflexes required for self-protection.

The south-west corner of a Kalari houses the guardian deity of the Kalari. The seven tiers symbolise the seven abilities that each person must possess: Strength, Patience, Power to command, the posture, the expression and the Sound. Flowers, incense and water are offered to the deity every day. Before starting the day’s practice, it is the norm for practitioners to pray to the deity. There is also a Guruthara inside all Kalari, where a lamp is kept burning in reverence to all the gurus (masters) of the Kalari.

After the performance, we drive to the embarkation jetty.

The filial church of ST. Thomas – 2ND AD, Pallippuram.

Our welcoming team on-board will help you with smooth check-in, give a briefing about the facilities on-board the safety measures to be familiar with. Relish the Sadya, the traditional freshly cooked complete meal served on clean Banana leaf. Unwind as the boat leaves behind the bustling township and cruises gently to the remote villages. By evening we arrive at the ancient pilgrim town Vaikom and drop anchor.

We will have a short walk to visit local cultural centre to watch 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.

We will experience the short tuk-tuk ride to the ancient temple. The town is centred at the ancient temple of Lord Shiva. The town made an indelible mark in the history of Casteism in Kerala, when the feudal ban on u nderprivileged communities from entering temples and their premises, was abolished due to a massive protest of the public. This incident had set in motion the social reformation in Kerala.

The architecture of the temples in Kerala is based on ancient science of construction and geographical features of the land. As per the traditional architecture, each element of temple represents an element of human body and, a temple is not only the space for spiritual enlightenment but also the venue for harmonious social networking. Even the devotees from far off places come all the way down to Vaikom for ritualistic ceremonies such as the first meal of babies, marriage and thanks giving offers such as meal for the poor, cultural performances and specific rituals prescribed by the Veda.

After watching the ritual by sunset, we return to boat and relax. (The pompous 12-days’ long annual festival of this temple is vibrant with ancient Vedic rituals and cultural performances of devotees.)

Return to the boat and relax.

Meal Plan: (L, D)

Day 2: Vaikom – Chenganda – Kumarakom

After breakfast we sail to Chenganda village. The people of this rustic village are having a laid-back and peaceful life.

We visit the village spending time with the coir weavers, the shell harvesters and farmers, engaging in conversation with them about the riparian life, and watching various indigenous techniques of fishing. Coir, one of the major exports of Kerala, is of much relevance today than ever before when plastic has become a global menace. People of Chenganda are major suppliers of this cottage industry.

Return to our boat and cruise to Thanneermukkom.

Cruise to Thanneermukkom. The barrage at Thanneermukkom built across Vembanad, the largest lake of Kerala, divides the lake into two; one half with perennial salty water and the other with fresh water enriched by rivers. The barrage at Thanneermukkom built across Vembanad, the largest lake of Kerala, divides the lake into two; one half with perennial salty water and the other with fresh water enriched by rivers.

Relax on the boat, enjoying the soothing breeze and the exuberance of the energy that the majestic lake is spreading around. Dinner on-board.

This afternoon, we visit the house of a Syrian Christian family for a home hosted lunch. 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. The hostess will demonstrate the preparation of traditional Syrian Christian cuisine. You may also try your hand at cooking and listen to the story of her family, of three generations of laborious men, and equally strong women who supported their pioneering spirit.

We continue the cruise till evening.

Meal Plan: (B, L, D)

Day 3: Kumarakom- Kavalam

By early morning, we set out by country boat to explore the migratory and endemic birds of Kumarakom, which is a cluster of lagoons of Vembanad wetland eco-system at the backdrop of mangroves, paddy fields and coconut groves. It is home to Waterfowls, Cuckoos, Owls, Egrets, Herons, Moor hens, Cormorants, Gulls, Terns, Skimmers, Storks, Vultures, Storks, larks, flycatchers, wood beetle, and many more.

Return to the boat, refresh and have breakfast.

As we cruise on the majestic Lake -Vembanad- its expanse, the calmness, the soothing breeze, the interspersed coconut groves and long stretches of vast expanses of paddy fields lying below the sea level by 2-6ft, give a treat for our eyes. Lunch will be served while cruising. We arrive in Kavalam where river Pampa reverses its course and drain into Lake Vembanad.

You may take the ferry to explore the region, walk along the dykes surrounding the expanses of paddy fields and interact with the farmers and members of ‘Kudumbha shree’ -women’s collective for women empowerment and poverty alleviation in rural villages.

As we cruise, along the way we interact with toddy tappers and watch how they collect the sap of coconut palm and make the alcoholic beverage – Toddy. We continue the cruise till dusk, through the remote interiors of Kavalam.

Dinner on board.

Meal Plan: (B, L, D)

Day 4: Kavalam – Kainakari – Mankompu

After breakfast cruise to Kainakari village. We will explore the narrow remote canals by country boat, cruising closer to the laid-back, yet harmonious, life along the way.

Stop by Chavara Bhavan, the ancestral home of the Saint Chavara, the first canonized Catholic male saint of Indian origin, the co-founder of the first congregation for men, the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate – C.M.I, and of Congregation of the Mother of Carmel C.M.C. He had dedicated his life for the upliftment of the poorest among the poor. Now this house is preserved as a museum.

Return to boat. After having lunch onboard, we continue the cruise to Mankompu village, which is home to the State Rice Research centre.

While cruising, we will have an informative lecture by an Ayurveda doctor to know about this 5000-years old Science of life – Ayurveda, which is still being practiced by the local people. Cruise to Mankompu village where we will witness a cultural performance. During harvest festivals such as Onam (August/September), , Thiruvathira ( middle of December) and the annual festival following Vishu (middle of April), the village comes alive with various rituals and cultural performances.

Meal Plan: (B, L, D)

Day 5: Mankompu – Champakkulam – Changankari

Excursion to Aranmula

After early breakfast we drive to an ancient village ‘Aranmula’ which is famous for its metal mirrors. The technical know-how behind the making of this unique metal mirror is confined to only some households of master craftsmen in Aranmula. These mirrors have the distinctive feature of 100% reflection unlike the common mirror. These mirrors are unique to this locale and haven’t yet been replicated anywhere else in the world.

We will then visit the ancient temple of Lord Krishna “Aranmula Sree Parthasarathy Temple”. The story goes that the temple had its idol brought here in a raft made with “Aru (six)” pieces of “Mula (bamboo)”. This is what gave the place Aranmula its name as well. Dedicated to the Hindu Deity Lord Krishna, the temple is situated on the banks of the Pampa River.

We will have a traditional lunch at a beautiful house of a local family, situated along the bank of Pampa River.

Post lunch we will visit the institute of Kerala Architecture and Mural Painting.

We drive back to board our boat and sail to Champakkulam village. Kerala’s old spice trade used to pass through this town enroute to Cochin and other ports on the west coast. Champakkulam settled more than 1000 years ago by Syrian Christian traders, who later converted to Roman Catholicism under the Portuguese. We will visit the St. Mary’s Church, one among the oldest churches in Kerala, the St. Mary’s Church or Champakkulam Church in Alappuzha is believed to be one of the seven established by St. Thomas in AD 427.

As you stroll along you get the chance to interact with the school children, local small-scale entrepreneurs and the local artisans (open on weekdays) who make biblical heroes. Continue cruising to the remote village –Changankari, passing through the serene canals.

Dinner on board.

Meal Plan: (B, L, D)

Day 6: Changankari

Arrive in Changankari. After having breakfast check-out to proceed to your next destination.

Meal Plan: (B)

RV Vaikundam Cruise

Package Price For 5 Nights

Deluxe Cabin

Uncover the secrets of magical Kerala, an adventures land with immense ancient and must-watch attractions.

  • 140sqft
  • 1 Cabins
  • Bathroom
  • Windows on 3 Sides
2,640$ for 5 Nights

Superior Cabin

Uncover the secrets of magical Kerala, an adventures land with immense ancient and must-watch attractions.

  • 130sqft
  • 8 Cabins
  • Bathroom
  • Windows on 1 Side
2,350$ for 5 Nights

Inclusion

  • Entrances: Entrance Fees
  • Naturalist/Destination Manager: English speaking
  • Internet: Available with Wifi Dongle
  • Land Transport: By Air-conditioned Vehicles and Local Tuk-tuk
  • Meals: Breakfast Lunch and Dinner

Exclusion

  • Airfares: International or Domestic Airfares
  • Taxes: 5% Government Tax. Or any other tax levied in the future.
  • Evacuation Charges: For medical emergencies or any other reasons
  • Personal Expense: Laundry, calls, extra liquor, camera fee, medical, spa etc
  • Insurance: Any travel insurance or personal insurance.
  • Force Majeure
  • Assisted Transfers

Available Departure Dates 2022

Sno.Boarding DateDe-boarding DateStatus
114-Jan-202219-Jan-2022Available
205-Feb-202210-Feb-2022Available
301-Apr-202206-Apr-2022Available
415-Apr-202220-Apr-2022Available
514-Oct-202219-Oct-2022Available
625-Nov-202230-Nov-2022Available
709-Dec-202214-Dec-2022Available

Available Departure Dates 2023

Sno.Boarding DateDe-boarding DateStatus
130-Dec-202204-Jan-2023Available
213-Jan-202318-Jan-2023Available
327-Jan-202301-Feb-2023Available
410-Feb-202315-Feb-2023Available
524-Feb-202301-Mar-2023Available
610-Mar-202315-Mar-2023Available
724-Mar-202329-Mar-2023Available
807-Apr-202312-Apr-2023Available
921-Apr-202326-Apr-2023Available
1013-Oct-202318-Oct-2023Available
1127-Oct-202301-Nov-2023Available
1210-Nov-202315-Nov-2023Available
1324-Nov-202329-Nov-2023Available
1408-Dec-202313-Dec-2023Available
1522-Dec-202327-Dec-2023Available

Available Departure Dates 2024

Sno.Boarding DateDe-boarding DateStatus
105-Jan-202410-Jan-2024Available
219-Jan-202424-Jan-2024Available
302-Feb-202407-Feb-2024Available
416-Feb-202421-Feb-2024Available
501-Mar-202406-Mar-2024Available
615-Mar-202420-Mar-2024Available
729-Mar-202403-Apr-2024Available
812-Apr-202417-Apr-2024Available
926-Apr-202401-May-2024Available
1011-Oct-202416-Oct-2024Available
1125-Oct-202430-Oct-2024Available
1208-Nov-202413-Nov-2024Available
1322-Nov-202427-Nov-2024Available
1406-Dec-202411-Dec-2024Available
1520-Dec-202425-Dec-2024Available

Updated: 26 June 2021

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OTHER INFORMATION

  • All bookings are subject to availability and terms and condition.
  • Cruise Check-In 1400 hours, Check-out time 1200 NOON
  • As the first operation on this itinerary will be undertaken in end Sep 2019. The itinerary might need to be amended with minor modification post the first launch, exploratory cruise departure.

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(Haryana) India
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