The Oberoi Motor Vessel Vrinda
Two or Three Night Cruises of the Backwaters of Kerala
The Vrinda is operated by the luxury hotel chain Oberoi. The motor vessel sails in one of India's most enchanting areas the backwaters of Kerala which is a series of scenic canals on Vembanad Lakes. This is a peaceful and interesting journey as you see the local farmers and residents living along side the canals.
The Public Areas of the Ship
The air conditioned dining room offers international and regional cuisine from a menu that offers choices rather than a set menu. The bar is located at the head of the dining room. Outside is a lovely open air lounge with comfortable chairs and seating areas to view the scenery. Massages are available onboard.
Sample 3-Night Itinerary
Day 1 - At 1 pm, once all guests are on board, Vrinda sets sail along the main waterway on Vembanad Lake and enters the Alleppey canal. Lunch will be served onboard. 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 Mahabarata. Performances begin with the application of elaborate makeup which is based in traditional Ayurvedic principles. The vessel will anchor for the night at the Vembanad Lake jetty. Dinner onboard.
Day 2 - At 7 am, Motor Vessel Vrinda will sail from the Vembanad
Lake jetty and head South, towards Alleppey. Breakfast will be served onboard.
The vessel will enter the waterways of the Pamba river
through the Alleppey canal. 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. The
vessel will anchor near Kanjippadam and guests will be transferred to a
traditional rice boat to navigate through the narrower sections of the
For the next few hours, accopmanied by a guide, guests will observe and experience a way of life unique to this region. 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 anchor for the night at the Vembanad Lake jetty. Dinner onboard.
Day 3 - At 7 am, 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 onboard 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 onboard.
Day 4 - At 8 am, Motor Vessel Vrinda will sail North along
the main waterway channel on the Vembanad Lake.
Breakfast will be served onboard following which the vessel will return to the Vembanad Lake jetty.
Guests will check out at 10 am and will be transported by air-conditioned vehicle back to Cochin.
The eight air conditioned cabins are really quite spacious and are nicely decorated with attached bathrooms. Each cabin features a DVD and electronic safe. The cabins are better than many cabins featured on mainstream American cruise lines.
Website: The Oberoi Motor Vessel Vrinda
Routemap and 2-night Itinerary: Itineraries