Spice Coast Cruises Vembanad

Spice Coast Cruises offers glimpses of the backwater life in houseboats called ‘kettuvallam’. The kettuvallams were originally traditional rice barges that would also transport spices along the waterways many centuries ago. Today, these houseboats are floating hotels that seamlessly integrate luxurious comforts and are powered by solar energy and vegetable oils to reduce their impact on pristine water bodies. The crew consists of fisher folks who not only navigate the waters but also prepare and serve meals on board.

During the day, guests enjoy the sounds and sights of the backwater life along the canals, including interaction with the locals and enriching village visits. In the evening, the houseboat is anchored to catch stunning sunsets, while nights are spent with the rhythmic lapping of the water against your floating abode that lulls and relaxes. The distinctive traditional backwater meals cooked on board are as fresh as they can get, with a serving of the ubiquitous pearl spot fish caught fresh from the lake.


The cruises are spread across a 90-km expanse of the Vembanad Lake, a large inland lake in the backwaters of Kerala.

Things to know

  • The nearest airport is Cochin International Airport (2 hours/75 km)
  • Carry sunglasses and sunblock, and insect repellent if you want to spend most of the day on the boat’s deck; carry light cotton as the weather tends to be humid over the waters.
  • Catch the varied scenes of the backwater life at different times of the day. Early morning sunrise and fishermen casting their nets while you can see shellfish harvesters, toddy tappers, duck herding along the day farmers at the verdant paddy fields, and women going about their daily chores along the waters.

Rooms & Suites

The houseboats come as single or twin cabins with an en-suite toilet and shower. Mosquito nets are provided in the room. The deck area has comfortable seating to view the sights of the backwaters as you ride the waters of the lake.


Restaurants & Bars

Fresh meals cooked on board are served in the dining area next to the deck. Needless to say, fresh fish, coconut, and Kerala spices form the base of your meals. Although the menu is sparse, the distinctive dishes are packed with flavors, and care is taken never to repeat the dishes. Regional specials such as local fish marinated in spices and cooked in a banana leaf are served and sometimes the fish is caught fresh from the lake.

Spa & Wellness

No spa experiences are offered on the boat.


One gets to see, meet and interact with a lot of local people on the cruise. A lot of these people derive their sustenance from the lake. During the cruise, the boat will also pass along a number of villages, and guests can opt for a village visit.

Sustainability and Responsible Tourism

CGH aptly translates to ‘clean, green and healthy’ and every CGH Earth experience rests on certain cardinal principles that are the foundation of the brand’s core values: caring for the environment, working with local communities, and being one with the local ethos. A lot of care is taken to ensure that the lake is not polluted by duly treating the waste before being disposed of.