princess is our tribute to the Kettuvallom. While its
graceful lines are inspired by this traditional barge of
the backwaters, the Princess goes several steps beyond.
This 36 seater cruise boat takes the traditional craft to
a new level. Not many Kettuvollams, afterall, can boast of
a lounge cum dining hall and live performance area. Not to
mention an upper observation deck. And last but not least,
a dance floor!
She cruises at a gentle 2-8 knots, powered by a silent,
low pollutant engine, that complies with 2005 regulations.
In fact Emerald Princess is one of the few vessels in the
area that complies with all safety regulations.
So you can be sure of a perfect journey, both for yourself
and your family. Looking after your comforts is an 8-10
person crew. So you can enjoy the wonders of the waters in
Kettuvallom (literally ' boat of knots') - is the
traditional wooden boat
of Kerala. The boat gets its name
from the unique rope techniques used in its making. Only
natural materials are used. There is no metal used in the
building of these boats. Not so much as a single screw!
Instead, planks of seasoned 'Anjili' wood are meticulously
tied together using coir rope, handmade in the little
villages that dot the banks. In between are layered
coconut fibres arranged so expertly, they make the boat
completely watertight. No rubber seals, no tar is needed.
These boats are steered by
means of oars, and bamboo punts are used in shallower
waters, like the rivulets. Notice the elaborate bamboo
rigging all over the sides. These help the oarsman as
footholds, when he's punting or rowing in tricky spots
along the narrower canals.
Inspiration is provided by traditional songs and chants,
that serve also to pass the time on those long cargo
In a traditional Kettuvallom, cooking is done on the lower
racks, with storage on the upper ones. Fresh water is
stored in earthenware pots, which keeps it cool and fresh.
Food and necessary items are stored on in built shelves.
Sleeping quarters are usually on the uppermost decks,
which have the best ventilation and accessibility.
Witness a kettuvallom making its stately progress through
a canal at dawn, and you'll be struck by its marvellous
harmony with the backwater environment. Once everything
from houseboat to ambulance to rice barge, this queen of
the backwaters can now be experienced in its new
incarnation. On an Emerald Princess cruise.