GROUP ESCORTED TOURS

Cruising The Kerala Backwaters

An enchanting journey along emerald waters.
GROUP ESCORTED TOUR

ABOUT THE TOUR

Join an enchanting tour in Southern India beginning in Chennai (Madras), the sprawling capital of Tamil Nadu and birthplace of the East India Company in 1639. Travel on via the dramatic ‘Shore Temples’ of Mahabilipuram, overlooking the Bay of Bengal, to the former French city of Pondicherry and explore the charming colonial quarter and famous Ashram of Auroville.

Then commence a pioneering cruise through Kerala, from the modern port city Cochin (Kochi) to the ancient port town of Alleppey (Alappuzha) passing through Kottayam, land of rubber and spices. Travel aboard a traditional nine-cabin wooden rice barge on what promises be an enlightening as well as an extremely relaxing holiday.

Kerala has an extensive network of waterways that lace its interior coastline, stretching along almost its entire length of around 600 kms. It is a land of copious rainfall which flows from the hills and mountain passes in freshwater canals and streams to join the 40 odd rivers in the state. This labyrinthine network of canals, streams and rivers, which converge to form lagoons, make up the Backwaters and give rise to a unique eco system which is a haven for nature. The area has been named by National Geographic as the ‘Green Venice of the East’ due to the green coconut trees which turn the backwaters a vibrant emerald green, with the setting sun adding splashes of red, all contributing to the serenity of this tropical destination. The waterways teem with life as wooden boats are the only way of travelling between villages. Along the way visit temples, churches, marketplaces, paddy fields, beaches and boat yards. Learn about and experience the vibrant culture of the region including coir handloom weaving, snake boat regattas, traditional toddy tapping, local dances, martial arts and festivals.

The tour will be accompanied throughout by popular and experienced local guide Shagzil Khan.

RV VAIKUNDAM (ABODE OF GODS)

The river boats of today are modified versions of the traditional Kettuvallom or rice barges, which in past years were used for transporting produce from farms in the interior of Kerala to the markets. Today they are comfortable cruising homes allowing guests to unwind, relax and immerse themselves in the pristine nature and captivating local activity along the meandering network of the Backwaters.

RV Vaikundam has nine well-appointed cabins, with en suite bathrooms, on its lower deck and a well-appointed kitchen, an air-conditioned and exquisitely furnished dining room and an open-air lounge on its upper deck. The wooden hull of the boat has been fashioned by joining planks of local ‘Aanjili’ wood, using strong coir rope on the sections above the waterline while, below the waterline, copper tacks are used for added strength in keeping with traditional methods. The wood is coated with caustic black resin made by boiling cashew kernel and fish oil and is periodically treated with neem oil and fish oil. The rooms are made using wooden panels, bamboo poles and bamboo mats, following the traditional practices.

THE PRICE BREAKDOWN
16 days from $7,600 per person

TOUR DATE: 5 MARCH 2025 – 20 MARCH 2025

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: $2,270

Price Includes

  • Accommodation throughout as
    shown in the itinerary
  • Breakfast daily; 14 lunches; 13
    dinners
  • All entrance fees, visits and
    excursions
  • Group airport transfers and
    transportation as per the itinerary
  • Domestic flight Chennai / Cochin
    and Cochin / Chennai
  • Porterage
  • Gratuities in restaurants for
    included meals
  • Gratuities to driver/s
  • Gratuities to guide/s
  • The services of a local national
    guide throughout

Price Excludes

  • International flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Visas
  • Items of personal expenditure (e.g.
    Telephone calls / laundry etc.)
  • Government levies or taxes
    introduced after costing and
    publication of this programme on
    02/04/2024
CLIENT TESTIMONIALS
“BEAUTIFULLY ORGANISED AND PERFECT RECOMMENDATIONS. ”
“What a fantastic trip organized by Ultimate. They listened to what we wanted and set up perfect destinations for us. Everyone was friendly and professional from the office in London through to on-the-ground support. The organization of pick-ups, connecting flights and so on, went like clockwork.”
CLIENT TESTIMONIALS
“MY FIRST PORT OF CALL FROM NOW ON. ”
“Efficient, friendly and helpful throughout. made everything a million times easier, Ultimate Travel Company will by my first port of call from now on.”
CLIENT TESTIMONIALS
“FANTASTIC!”
“Sophie went above and beyond to ensure we had a fantastic honeymoon. We had 0 stress relating to planning and everything was taken care of from the moment we stepped off the plane. Sophie anticipated what we wanted when we didn’t even know ourselves. We will certainly be booking with Ultimate again.”
CLIENT TESTIMONIALS
“PROBLEM FREE EXCELLENCE.”
“Efficiently organized, everything went like clockwork. This is all the more remarkable since the tour involved considerable complexity.”
CLIENT TESTIMONIALS
“AN EFFICIENT AND RELIABLE COMPANY.”
“We have continued to ask Ultimate Travel to make our distant overseas travel arrangements for many years and they have always given us great service.”
Day 1

London / Chennai

Suggested flights (not included in the tour cost) British Airways BA 35 departing London Heathrow at 14.05 hrs.

CONTACT

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