Fringed by rolling hills on the east and the Arabian Sea on the west, lies this amazingly beautiful state in Southern India called Kerala - the land of green magic, a narrow, fertile strip on the South-West coast of India, sandwiched between the Lakshadweep Sea and the Western Ghats mountains. 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"
The Oberoi Motor Vessel Vrinda offers some of the most luxurious accommodation on the backwaters of Kerala with just eight king sized, Deluxe Cabins to guarantee the utmost privacy for the guests.
The Oberoi Motor Vessel Vrinda is the perfect way to experience the picturesque backwaters of Kerala one of India's most enchanting holiday destinations. The Three night luxury cruise take guests through the largest backwater stretch: Vembanad Lake, the vibrant waterways of Alleppey: "Venice of the East" to Discover its rich heritage and fascinating backwaters and includes nightly, traditional, cultural performances
Day 1: Arrive Cochin.
On arrival at Cochin International Airport, you are greeted and whisked away to the historic fort Cochin to check into Brunton Courtyard Hotel OR Beach Gate Bungalows. (Room Check in 14:00 hrs)
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 Koch 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.
Day 2: Cochin – Vembanad Boat Jetty – Motor Vehicle “Vrinda”
Morning after breakfast transfer by surface transportation to Vembanad Lake Jetty where you will be taken to your Luxury cruiser to begin your 3 Nights adventure aboard the Oberoi Motor Vessel “Vrinda”. Vrinda is docked at a private jetty on Vembanad Lake, at Pathiramanal, Kayyipuram, near Alleppey. The distance from here to Cochin is 70 km, approximately two hours- drive.
Once all guests are on board by 11 am, the motor vessel will set sail along the main waterway on Vembanad Lake and enter the Alleppey canal. You can actively participate with the local fisherman and understand the life cycle of "karimeen" also called as "pearl spot”. Lunch will be served on board.
“Vrinda” sails along the scenic waterways for four hours and returns to the Vembanad Lake in time to watch the sunset. Later in the evening, you get to 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 motor vessel will anchor for the night at the Vembanad lake jetty. Dinner and overnight on board. (B, L, D)
Day 3: On board “Vrinda” with rice boat excursion
Morning “Vrinda” will set sail from the Vembanad Lake jetty and head south, towards Alleppey. Breakfast will be served on board. Sailing through scenic backwaters, you 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.
After breakfast, you will be transferred to a traditional rice boat to navigate through the narrower sections of the backwaters. For the next few hours, you 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 Theravada (family residence).
Later in the day, return to the Oberoi 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". It will return to Vembanad Lake, where you can enjoy an evening listening to Vrinda Vadiyam a musical fusion of classical instruments. Motor vessel will anchor for the night at the Vembanad lake jetty. Dinner and overnight stay on board (B, L, D)
Day 4: On board “Vrinda”
Morning after breakfast, Motor Vessel Vrinda will sail from the Vembanad Lake jetty and head South, past Kanjippadam and will anchor near Chambakulam where you will be transferred onto rice boats for a pre-lunch sightseeing excursion.
You 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. You 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. Lunch, Dinner and overnight stay on board. (B,L, D )
Day 5: Departure “Vrinda” – Kochi –Departure
Morning “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 International airport.
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