River Escapes - alleppey, KERALA


RIVER ESCAPES Life on the backwaters has a different set of rules. First, since there are no roads we depend on canals, rivers and lakes for our travel routes. Most families have a boat of their own. Children often learn to swim at least as early as they learn to walk-you are likely to see kids splashing in the local equivalent of a playground. Their school buses float, as do the postal vessels delivering to homes here. Even the supermarket floats!

River Escapes provides an experience of the backwaters of Kerala in a vessel whose history harkens back to the ancient rice trade of this region while also providing modern comforts. These vessels are designed to balance authenticity and innovation. They are engineered to balance comfort and environmental responsibility we pioneered the technology now considered the gold standard of emissions reduction. Most importantly they are staffed by members of the local community who are proud to showcase their corner of God Own Country to visitors.

A unique set of waterways in our state central region allows us to showcase three districts that represent the rice bowl of Kerala all by boat. We started operating our houseboats in 2006 and are now the respected leader on the backwaters in terms of environmental responsibility, commitment to the communities where we bring visitors and in terms of guest satisfaction.

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Our traditional houseboats, called Kettuvallams, are designed to complement the beauty of the journey in the picturesque backwaters. They are built with wood harvested from local jackfruit tree plantations, hand-stitched by local craftsmen with coconut fiber rope (coir) and strengthened with fish oil tradition pre-dating industrial engineering techniques but proving stronger than modern alternatives. We are committed to keeping this knowledge and traditions alive, with your support.

Each is furnished comfortably and attractively while hewing close to tradition. The Goldstar-certified boats have one, two or three bedrooms. All have an open-air living area and a fully-equipped kitchen. Prior to sunset your boat will come to rest along the shores in a spot where you can watch the colorful sky closing out the day and transitioning into evening. If the sky is clear, the stars are normally brighter here than at other more populated locations because there are not many lights from human settlements. Before, during, or after dinner try turning off all the lights and admire the night sky from a unique vantage point.

The communities of the backwaters are maintaining their vibrancy thanks in part to the growth of the houseboat crafting and the subsequent visits of travelers from around the world. Our boats are staffed entirely by members of these communities, selected for their positions based on innate hospitality traits and fully trained in culinary and guest service skills. We hope you enjoy their company.


CARBON-PLUS ACTIVITIES Conservation tourism with the smallest local carbon footprint of all.

Canoeing Glide through the centuries old traditions of Alleppey village life in this one hour wooden canoe excursion through backwater canals.

Traditional fishing Watching the staff demonstrate traditional net fishing is a lovely experience. Trying your hand using a bamboo fishing rod during the evening halt only adds to the entertainment.

Indoor Games Tired of chess or backgammon? Try your hand at the Indian board game carom-our staff will teach you how!

Home entertainment A home theatre music system allows guests to enjoy a music-filled experience.

Village Walk Guests are encouraged to partake in a sinuous walk through the village. Visits include famous temples, churches, and other historical places during the course of the cruise.