Blessed with unique geographical and cultural features, its overpowering tropical greenness with 41 rivers and countless waterways, fed by two annual monsoons, intoxicates every newcomer. Equally, Kerala's arcane rituals and spectacular festivals stimulate even the most jaded imagination, continuing centuries of tradition that has never strayed far from the realms of magic. No wonder it is also called "God's Own Country".
Day 1: Arrive Cochin. On arrival at Cochin International Airport/Railway Station, you are greeted and transferred to Brunton Boatyard Hotel. Afternoon. Accompanied by a well-qualified Guide, explore this ancient harbor, with its rich colonial past. Visit the old spice market at Mattancherry, the antique shop on Jew’s street, the Synagogue, the Dutch palace, St. Francis Church, the oldest European church in India. The Santa Cruz Basilica originally built in 1557 by the Portuguese and of course, the famous Chinese fishing nets which are huge cantilevered fishing nets believed to have been brought to Kochi by the Chinese traders, few centuries back. Finish your tour with a visit to Wellington Island, named after Lord Wellington, now the headquarters of the Southern Naval Command of India. Evening enjoy a harbor cruise. Return to hotel for overnight stay. (Check-in 1400 hrs)
Day 2: Kochi - Vrinda Jetty at Vembanad Lake. Morning after breakfast depart by surface for Vembanad Lake Jetty. On arrival board your cruise boat for an unforgettable experience. Once all guests are on board, Vrinda sets sail along the main waterway on Vembanad Lake and enters the Alleppey canal. Guest could actively participate with the local fishermen and understand the life cycle of "karimeen" also called as "pearl spot". Lunch will be served on board.
The cruiser sails along the scenic waterways for four hours and returns to the Vembanad Lake in time to watch the sunset.
Later in the evening, guests enjoy a performance of the highly ritualized "Kathakali" dance which tells stories from the ancient Hindu epics - Ramayana and Mahabharata. Performances begin with the application of elaborate makeup which is based in traditional Ayurveda principles. The vessel will anchor for the night at the Vembanad Lake jetty. Dinner on board.
Day 3: On board Vrinda, with a rice boat excursion. Motor Vessel Vrinda will sail from the Vembanad Lake jetty and head south, towards Alleppey. Breakfast will be served on board.
Sailing through scenic backwaters, guests can observe life along these "water highways" while passing through one of the few areas in the world where farming is done below sea level. Guests will be transferred to a traditional rice boat to navigate through the narrower sections of the backwaters.
For the next few hours, guests will observe and experience a way of life unique to this region, accompanied by a guide. This section of the cruise includes a visit to the half-statue of Lord Buddha at Karumadi and a traditional Kerala tharavad (family residence).
Later in the day, guests return to Motor Vessel Vrinda where lunch will be served as the boat passes through picturesque stretches of the backwaters on the way back to Alleppey, known as the "Venice of the East". Motor Vessel Vrinda will return to Vembanad Lake, where guests can enjoy Vrinda Vadiyam a musical fusion of classical instruments. Motor Vessel Vrinda will anchor for the night at the Vembanad Lake jetty. Dinner on board
OR (Option). On board Vrinda, with a rice boat excursion. Motor Vessel Vrinda will sail from the Vembanad Lake jetty and head South, past Kanjippadam. Vrinda will anchor near Chambakulam where guests will transfer onto the rice boat once again for a pre-lunch sightseeing excursion.
Guests will visit St. Mary's Church, established by St. Thomas in 1721 and Sree Bhagavathy Kshetram - a 100-year old Hindu temple to Mother Goddess - at Nedumudy. Guests can also explore the Chambakulam snake boat yard, which displays one of the traditional long snake boats used in races.
To further the understanding and appreciation of this experience, a qualified guide will be present on board for the full day after cruising through the backwaters in the afternoon, Motor Vessel Vrinda will return to Vembanad Lake, where guests can enjoy a "Mohiniattam" recital on board. This classical dance form, distinctive to Kerala, is also called the 'Dance of the Enchantress'. Dancers attired in beautiful traditional costumes perform with slow, graceful movements and highly emotive expressions. Dinner on board.
Day 4: Departure. Motor Vessel Vrinda will sail North along the main waterway channel on the Vembanad Lake and head South, past Pallathurathy.
Breakfast will be served on board; following which guests will check out at 10 am and will be transported by air-conditioned vehicle back to Cochin airport/ railway station. An extra night on the Vrinda cruise vessel can be extended on extra cost.
Accommodation for 2 persons, all meals on board, sightseeing excursion with a guide, evening entertainment, transfers to and from Cochin airport to Vembanad Lake jetty and all applicable taxes.
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