We booked with Peter and his company for a full day excursion in Cochin when our cruise ship called into this port.
Correspondence with Peter throughout was prompt.
Our van and guide were waiting at the port when we disembarked which was an excellent beginning because our group was half an hour ahead of the scheduled start time for the tour.
The van was very comfortable, water was provided for the day. It was a long one hour or more drive to Allleppey and the guide gave us a running narrative of the countryside and of all things of interest in the state of Kerala.
At Alleppey, we stopped at Lakes and Lagoons, from whom the houseboat was chartered, to complete some admin work at their office (needed a copy of passport and Indian visa) and use the bathroom. You could also buy some cold drinks here.
Then it was onto a motor boat for a short transfer to the houseboat.
The houseboat was very pleasant with an undercover open air lounge deck, a couple of bedrooms (with ensuite western toilets) for overnight trips, and a kitchen at the back.
Journey down the waterways was relaxing. Along the banks, colorful rural scenes of fishermen and local folk getting on with life, some tropical crops, rice paddies and some bird-life.
Lunch was served on board the houseboat - freshly cooked and aromatic kerala cuisine. There were three vegetable dishes ( cabbage with fresh grated coconut, long beans and a vegetable stew), a fresh side salad, fried chicken ( a little spicy) panfried fish fillets, pappadams, and brown rice.
Then came a very sweet dessert of vermicelli in hot milk with a hint of cardamon, some fresh fruit and tea and coffee to follow. All very tasty.
The houseboat trip ended back at its mooring, and we tipped the captain, cook and assistant (bring small change for tips) and were transferred back to land to continue the tour in Cochin.
The sights for the rest of the day included dhoby ghat, a stop at a government shop (for a bathroom stop) chinese fishing nets, the ancient fort, St Xavier church and a half hour stop at Jewtown (for souvenir or other shopping if desired).
Our guide Tommy was great, well presented, knowledgeable and professional, and considerate of our welfare especially when crossing the street.
We were delivered back to the port at 5.30pm.
A lovely day's excursion.
Auckland Central, New Zealand
Celebrity Constellation - Mar 31 2018
Very professional. Our guide and the driver were the first in line with my name in a bold printed card when my group got down from the cruise ship. The guide was well informed on any subject and communicated well. The boat crew and the boat accommodation was great. My group consisted of health and state inspectors and they observed that the food prep and the boat were acceptable standards. The food served were prepared well and food were excellent. Compared to the other boats carrying passengers from the cruise ship...we had the boat to ourselves 14 in one group versus the excursion boats that had all the chairs and seats occupied. For the price, it was the best excursion we had in our trip.
We had a truly wonderful day with Sebastian , our guide, and Martin our driver! They were there to meet us us as soon as we left the ship and had a lovely Toyota 4x4 with super air conditioning and very comfortable seats. Seb chatted to us throughout our journey to the houseboats .....this for me was definitely better than being on a coach, as I am very deaf! At the houseboats we watched as the coach loads of our cruise companions were herded onto a houseboat, while we were taken to another houseboat. What a lovely surprise to find we had the whole houseboat to ourselves!!! A lounging area at the front, a dining table, armchairs, a bedroom and bathroom, and a chef in the kitchen preparing our lunch!!!! I am very difficult with food as I don't like spicy food, but the lovely cheerful chef said that was no problem, and he made us a superb lunch of fish and chicken, rice, lentils, chickpeas etc, all without spice!! Followed by dessert then banana fritters then fruits ...it went on and on!! Seb travelled with us and answered all our questions. Afterwards we drove through areas past beautiful Catholic Churches etc and then to the sea where we saw the Chinese fishing nets. As he could see we were intrigued by these, he took us onto one of the Nets and after a chat with the fisherman, we were allocated ropes to pull to bring in the next catch!! Seb took my phone and took photos and a video of us pulling the ropes until the job was done! What a wonderful experience! I was concerned because I had no rupees as you can't get them on the ship or take them into India, and I wanted a few to be able to give tips and buy souvenirs, so Seb and Martin went out of their way to drive around Kochi to find an ATM...the first one didn't work, so they drove around some more until we found one that did work. Seb helped me to understand all the instructions. Our day with Seb and Martin actually lasted about 2 hours longer than advertised and I was worried we were making them late, but they were charming and said they just wanted to be sure we were having a good time.
Great private tour of Kochi. We had a great guide, Kumar, who was very helpful and informative. Started with a walking tour of the local shopping area in the newer part of town. Thoroughly enjoyed the Harbor Cruise. Saw many small islands where fishing villages were. Better than I expected! Old Kochi and Chinese fish nets were fun to see, too. Overall, a very nice tour. Also, stopped at a wonderful cafe, Kashi Art Cafe I think for lunch. Lovely place and the food was delicious. He added a stop at a Dhobi Ghat laundry that was very interesting, too. The weather was extremely hot...that was the only detriment.
On April 25th a group of us from The Azamara Journey enjoyed a five hour day tour of Kochi with Carnival. Our guide was excellent and driver got us to all the places of interest without mishap. Service was outstanding, guide was very knowledgeable of the local history, small bus was clean, and the price was right. $90.00 per person for a backwater tour the day before and half day tour on the 25th. The cruise line charged $249..00 for the back water cruise alone.
Picked up from ship (Inside Port) in groups of 14 to a minibus wit A/C. Guide very informative from the start described trip, History and landmarks + local driving habits (all horns accelerator but no road rage!). Each Coach group placed in own Houseboat with a crew of 4 (Inc. cook) + Guide. Driven through very picteresque area of backwaters and fed a freshly cooked delicious banquet for want of a better word. Whole trip was very enjoyable we were shown all the sights promised - the Peaceful boat trip in great contrast to (to us) the hair raising drive there and back though our driver was very good and eventually we arrived safely back at the port. An excellent day out we would recommend to everyone.
What a fantastic day thanks to a brilliant tour guide and a great driver. The trip on a traditional houseboat included a meal cooked on board that was very enjoyable. We had a very full day, getting back to the ship in good time for sail away. The highlight was the houseboat trip but we also had time to visit a church and see the Chinese fishing nets. Great value compared with the ship excursion price.
Extremely well-organised. Like the official cruise line excursion we expected to be on a large motor boat, with lunch at some hotel somewhere, but no! There were 2 groups of us - 14 and 16 - on 2 houseboats lazily sailing round the idyllic backwaters while two chefs prepared our delicious, Keralan-style lunch. Our houseboat had 2 en-suite bedrooms, a galley, and lounge/dining area. The whole was spotless, and our guide was friendly and informative. We couldn't believe that not only was the whole trip almost half the price of the official Celebrity Constellation excursion, but listening to Celebrity excursionists, twice as enjoyable!
Christmas Day on a house boat in kochi was so different ,no sprouts our potatos to peel.just gliding along on the back waters with local families doing there washing our washing themselves our doing as we were ,day out on a boat wishing us happy Christmas and waving happily.our coach was on time very clean and good air conditioning,our guide spoke very good English and was very pleasant,the house boat was charming,the crew friendly,the food they cooked was delicious.our boat driver,was a character who loved to blowing the boats horn using his big toe ,a wonderful Christmas to remember
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