Roam the narrow lanes of Cochin, set along the Arabian Sea and a favorite port of call in the spice trade for two thousand years. Then, in enchanting tropical Kerala, watch the pageant of traditional riverside life as you journey through tranquil waterways and overnight aboard a beautiful private houseboat (and enjoy the good life as your on-board chef serves you a selection of savory Keralan cuisine!).
Delhi / Cochin
Morning transfer from your hotel to the Delhi airport for the flight to Cochin, an intriguing old city set along the Arabian Sea, and an important stop along the historic spice trade attracting a mix of Arab, Christian, and Jewish settlers and traders from the Middle East. In the afternoon, enjoy a walk through the old lanes of Fort Cochin, a quiet European enclave that still contains some fine old British mansions and a few Dutch cottages, and sunset on a harbor cruise...L
Europeans arrived in Cochin in the early 15th century and were welcomed by the Rajas of Cochin who were keen to expand the spice trade. By 1800, Cochin was part of the British Madras Presidency. In your full day of guided explorations today (with lunch at a local restaurant), visit Mattancherry Palace, locally known as the Dutch Palace, built by the Portuguese and given as a gift to the Rajas of Cochin, a synagogue, and the spice market, and walk along the Fort Cochin waterfront to see the traditional Chinese fishing nets and fishermen's stalls selling their fresh catch. In the evening, witness the Kathakali dance performance, the elaborate and ancient dance-drama native to Kerala, which is traditionally presented in temple courtyards...BL
Kerala Backwaters Cruise
Head to the romantic port town of Alleppey (known now as Alappuzha), once one of the best known seaports of the Malabar Coast (1.5 hr drive). On arrival, board a private houseboat that is your overnight accommodation as well as your vehicle for a relaxing cruise through the tranquil “backwaters” of Kerala, a beautiful region sandwiched between the sea and the hills of Cochin. A journey through this quiet region reveals the picturesque rural life of Kerala people working their fields with water buffaloes, fishing with nets from traditional longboats, and washing their clothes at the water's edge. You may even see some school boats (no school buses here) transporting uniformed children. The natural setting ranges from brilliant green paddy fields to tropical canopies dense with banana trees and coconut palms. As you glide along the waters, you can catch a view through the trees of the small farms, homes, churches, and mosques that dot the canals and lakes. Lunch and dinner are on board, a selection of savory Keralan cuisine served by your on-board chef. Overnight on board…BLD
Kerala Backwaters Cruise / Cochin Airport / Depart
After breakfast, disembark at Alleppey for the transfer to Cochin Airport. After lunch at the airport, depart on return flight to Delhi...BL