THE OBEROI VRINDA — a luxury motor craft, is one the best ways to explore the backwaters. Comprising a network of lakes, canals, estuaries and deltas, the backwaters suppart a self-sustaining ecosystem, and are a lifeline of the coastal villages.
Vrinda is an exclusive craft designed for comfortable sightseeing on the water. It has eight beautifully styled luxury cabins, all on the lower deck. like a well-appointed hotel room, each cabin is air-conditioned, and comes with an en suite bathroom, king-size bed, television and DVD player, and an electronic safe. The wooden floors and dark wood furniture lend a stately elegance to the cabins, while the large windows offer an unobstructed view of the backwaters and coastal vegetation.
Early risers are promised a spectacular kaleidoscope of color as the sun begins its daily ascent. Sunset promises an equally memorable display.
Breakfast is served in the restaurant on the upper deck. Guests on-board Vrinda have an extensive menu of international and regional cuisines to choose from. Located on the upper deck, the dining room offers guests a 360° view of the surroundings through large picture windows. After-dinner cocktails are served at the lounge and bar.
The well-prepared 4N/5D itinerary comprises one night in Cochin, and three nights on Vrinda, combining a traditional land tour and hotel stay with a unique on-board experience.
Day 1 Cochin / Vembanod Lake
The four-day Vrinda cruise brings guests across Vembanod Lake, the largest stretch of the backwaters. Surrounded by serene waters, the slow, scenic tour is an ideal time to take things easy, savour the peace and quiet, and enjoy the view. In the evening, guests will be taken to a traditional Haka dance performance on-board Vrinda.
Day 2 Alleppey / Kanjippadam
Vrinda will then sail south to Alleppey, passing one of the few areas in the world where farming is done below sea level. At Kanjippadam, guests will be transferred to a smaller, traditional rice boat, which will meander down the narrow waterways, showcasing a way of life unique to the region. Stops will be made to visit the Statue of Buddha at Karumadi, and a Keralan Tharavad (family residence).
Day 3 Chambakulam
Vrinda will head for Chambakulam, where guests will visit a historical church and temple. A highlight is the Mohiniattam performance on-board the vessel in the evening. This classical dance, distinctive to Kerala, will introduce guests to a slow, graceful style of dance made more intriguing by its traditional costumes.
Day 4 Chambakulam - Cochin
Sail back to Cochin on-board Vrinda. Overnight in Cochin.
Day 5 Cochin
Departure for home country.
KETTUVALLOM HOUSEBOAT is a traditional Keralan experience with a rather large twist. Beginning with the hull of an authentic Kettuvallom houseboat, it is a modern boat which is more chic and more environmentally friendly than the traditional models. An electric motor makes it considerably quieter and less polluting than a normal houseboat. The boat has one master bedroom and a sitting room which can be converted into a twin room if required. Glide through the backwaters enjoying the views from the shaded upper deck whilst your personal chef creates the next delicious meal. A one night stay will give you a taste of the region whilst a two-night stay allows plenty of time to relax and watch the world drift by. Ideal for those who want to explore the backwaters.
These beautifully converted Kettuvalloms (rice barges) are the perfect way to explore the backwaters. Shaded by a woven bamboo canopy and fanned by cool breezes, guests can just sit back and relax as they drift by tiny waterfront churches, temples and villages. Witness a way of life that has changed little through the ages with women washing clothes on the riverbanks while children play in the shallows and fishermen stand with water up to their necks, seeking out the day's catch with their feet. Your crew will look after you attentively and conjure up the most delicious food in the most incredible of surroundings. Spending a night on one of these houseboats is truly a magical experience.