The Maldives + India

The Kerala backwaters are a chain of brackish lagoons and lakes along the Malabar Coast of Kerala in southern India. Innumerable lagoons, lakes, canals and estuaries, and the deltas of forty-four rivers, make up the 900 km backwater network of Kerala. The largest backwater body - the Vembanad Lake - flows through the districts of Alappuzha and Kottayam and out into the open sea at the Kochi port. Ashtamudi is the second largest lake and considered to be the gateway to the backwaters.

A cruise through the Kerala backwaters is a feast on the senses as you pass through beautiful lands of paddy fields and coconut groves, past coir villages, rustic homes and temples, on waters adorned with water lillies, and where ancient Chinese fishing nets are still widely used.

Why not combine your Maldives holiday with a relaxing cruise through the palm-fringed backwaters of Kerala in your own luxury houseboat.

Travel Information

Sri Lankan Airlines offer a superb service from London Heathrow that easily links a trip to the Maldives with a stay in Kerala. It is possible to do the Kerala add-on after the Maldives but this requires flight with longer connections that travel through the night. It is more convenient if you do Kerala first and the following is a sample 16nt round-trip itinerary travelling from London Heathrow:
Sample 16nts Itinerary for a Maldives and Kerala Combination Holiday:
Day 1-2

Depart Heathrow at 2135hrs for direct overnight flight to Colombo. Arrive Colombo at 1250hrs and transfer to overnight hotel.

Day 3 - 8

Depart Colombo at 0745hrs for Trivandrum, arriving 0845hrs. Enjoy a scenic four hour transfer by car to Alappuzha to board your private house boat for 6 nights cruising the backwaters & small canals of Kerala.

Day 9

Disembark Houseboat approximately 1000hrs and transfer to Trivandrum for your overnight accommodation.

Day 10 - 17

Depart Trivandrum at 0945hrs, arriving Male (via Colombo) at 1440hrs and transfer to MV Sea Queen/Sea Spirit for 7 days great diving!

Day 17

Depart Male 0925hrs for London Heathrow.

Where To Stay

Your holiday home in this tranquil world is a comfortably furnished houseboat.

Traditionally called a Kettuvallam, these giant 80 foot long houseboats are hand-built by binding together jackwood planks with coir rope and coated with a black resin made from boiled cashew nut shells. Not a single nail is used during the process!

A kettuvallam usually has one or two en-suite bedrooms, an open lounge, outdoor sundeck area, a kitchenette, and a crew comprising oarsmen, a cook and guide.

Price Guide

A Maldives/India combination holiday costs from £2600 per person plus departure taxes of £148 per person.

This includes 6 nights onboard your own Deluxe air conditioned Houseboat in Kerala, full board, all transfers and tours. Please note that entrance fees and guide charges at places of interest are not included in this price. Overnight hotel accommodation in Trivandrum and Colombo in a standard twin/double room including breakfast and airport transfers.

In the Maldives this includes 7 nights onboard Sea Queen / Sea Spirit, airport to Liveaboard transfers, full board accommodation in a twin or double en-suite, air-conditioned cabin, canned soft drinks, drinking water, teas, coffees and snacks, all diving, use of tanks and weights and various excursions and economy class flights with Sri Lankan Airlines from London Heathrow to Male and India.

With flights operating most days of the week you can be very flexible with your itinerary. Please contact our experienced sales team for the latest and most up to date prices and advice and for a detailed itinerary to suit your requirements. Just choose your ideal dates from our liveaboard schedules and we will take care of the rest to combine the two for the perfect escape.

Activities

Your cruise in the backwaters of Kerala will include visits to Muhamma to watch the fasinating coir making by the villagers with the help of weaving wheels, the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, Chavara Bhavan - the ancestral home of the blessed Kuriakose Elias Chavara and now a holy shrine where thousands of devotees gather for prayer, Mannar Market - famous for its household utensils made from copper and brass, the Sree Krishna Temple in Ambalappuzha, and many other places of interest.

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