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7 Nights South to North Cruise

Kerala River Cruise

Alleppey to Kochi

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 fidhermen 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. Meet the elephants of Kerala and take a canoe ride through the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary. Experience how coir making is done and how, traditional wooden boats are built by stitching the planks of wood together with coir rope. 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 3,240$ per cabin

7 NIGHTS SOUTH TO NORTH CRUISE

Detail Itinerary

Day 1: Cruise from Punnamada village, Alleppey

Board RV Vaikundam this afternoon at Punnamada in Alleppey. Punnamada Lake is the venue of the annual Snake boat race which held on 2nd Saturday of August every year. People gather in large numbers to watch nearly 100 ft long boats compete against each other to the tune of old boat songs.

Our welcoming team on-board will help you with smooth check-in.

Unwind, as the boat leaves behind the bustling township and cruises gently to the villages interspersed along the tranquil emerald green water world of rivers, lakes, lagoons, canals and coastal estuaries, expanses of paddy fields, swaying tall coconut trees, banana plantations and variety of tropical fruit bearing trees. Enjoy the traditional lunch served on clean banana leaf.

As you relax on-board you can watch a presentation on Alleppey – the Green Venice of the East, its geographical, cultural and social significances.

We drop anchor at Kanjippadom, where we will explore the village by a leisurely walk. We will also visit the boat building yard to get to know about the indigenous method of building boat (Kettuvallom) using wooden planks, coir, cotton and natural resin. Return to the boat and dinner on-board.

Meal Plan: (L, D)

Day 2: Kanjippadom – Karumadi – Thottappalli

After breakfast,we set sail to a quaint village Karumadi. The small shrine preserving an ancient ruin of a sculpture of Buddha, speaks of legacy of the value creating Buddhist philosophy underlying the rich cultural heritage of Kerala. Buddhism prevailed in Kerala for around 8centuries, from 3rd AD onwards. On-board our boat we will watch a presentation and discuss in detail about the cultural heritage of Kerala.

We continue sailing to the calm coastal village, Thottappalli, passing by the spillway which prevents the saline water at river mouth from flooding the low-lying paddy fields. We get to know about indigenous practices of paddy cultivation on reclaimed land at lower altitude than the Sea.

We will drop anchor at Thottappalli and enjoy a walk to the to see the life along the coast.

Dinner on-board.

Meal Plan: (B, L, D)

Day 3: Thottappalli – Changankari

Early this morning we can enjoy a leisurely walk in the laid-back village.

Honouring your cruise with us, we plant a sapling of coconut tree. Coconut tree is revered as the ‘Kalpavriksa’ or the Divine tree of Kerala since all parts of the are useful to earn a livelihood; the coconut water is a healthy drink; the fresh kernel and the oil extract from dried kernel are inevitable components of South Indian cuisine; fibre from the coconut husk is used to make coir, mats and geotextile; the palm fronds are used for thatching roof; the wood suitable for making furniture and all the dried parts of coconut make good firewood. Last, but not the least, the toddy – the boost for the labourers toiling in the fields.

After breakfast, we take for a short drive (approx. 30 min) to visit an ancient sacred grove where serpents are worshipped, the only temple in Kerala having female priests. We will walk inside to see the rituals going on. The cult of snake worship in Kerala is closely interwoven with the life of the people and is a component of its rich cultural heritage.

We then continue our drive (approx. 45 minutes) to an ancient village Mannar (45minutes) which is famous for bell metal craft to watch casting of traditional lamps, ornate locks, bells, cauldrons and various types of vessels being used in temples. Fine clay, which is easily available on the bank of the river and rivulets flowing through the region, is being used for the lost-wax method of casting of these bell metal products (The workplace remains closed on Sundays and religious holidays).

Return to the boat. After lunch, relax on the boat, enjoying the serene rural landscape.

By evening we take a walk along Thottappalli beach.

Aboard our boat we will have an informative lecture by professional Ayurveda doctor to know about this 5000-years old Science of life – Ayurveda, which is still being practiced by the local people and across the world. You may give a treat to yourself with an authentic wellness massage by experienced therapists (male or female) will be available on-board.

We drop our anchors when we reach the remote village, ‘Changankari’.

Meal Plan: (B, L, D)

Day 4: Changankari – Champakkulam – Mankompu

Excursion to Aranmula

After early breakfast, we drive to an ancient village, Aranmula, 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 Parthasarthy 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 Pamba 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 drive back to board our boat 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 5: Mankompu – Kainakari – Kavalam

This day after breakfast we cruise to Kainakari. We will take the country boat to cruising through the narrow canals, get 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 the boat. Have Lunch onboard, while cruising to Kavalam, where the river 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 the members of the women’s collective-‘Kudumbha shree’.

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 6: Kavalam – Kumarakom

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.

This afternoon, we will 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, the laborious work of three generations of men and equally strong women who supported their pioneering spirit.

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

Meal Plan: (B, L, D)

Day 7: Kumarakom – Chenganda – Vaikom

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.

We drop the anchor at the ancient village, Vaikom. We visit a 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.

Experience a short tuk-tuk ride to the ancient temple of Shiva. The architecture of 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.

Return to boat where we celebrate our sojourn over farewell dinner.

Meal Plan: (B, L, D)

Day 8: Vaikom – Pallippuram

The filial church of St. Thomas – 2nd AD

We disembark at the ancient village ‘Pallippuram’, at the border of Cochin city.

The 7 Nights’ cruise concludes after watching the traditional Martial art (Kalarippayattu) at the nearby village. By road 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.

These 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 watching the performance, you will be transferred to the hotel in the city.

Meal Plan: (B)

RV Vaikundam Cruise

Cabin & Prices

September 2021 TO May 2022

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
3,640$ for 7 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
3,240$ for 7 Nights

Inclusion

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

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: At Alleppy

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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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Near Surajkund Faridabad - 121009
(Haryana) India
GMT + 530hrs
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