The Alleppey to Kollam tourist ferry is a public boat that’s operated by the Kerala state government, but the price tag is not as cheap compared to a regular public ferry in Alleppey.
This boat ride is catered towards tourists, compared to most public ferries that serve as a means of public transportation in Kerala for locals to get around the Alleppey backwaters for daily life activities.
For backpackers, the Kollam ferry is an alternative to taking the bus or train when traveling south from Alleppey.
Or if you’re headed in the opposite direction, when you’re traveling north to Alleppey!
It’s faster to take a train or bus, but this ferry is about the experience! As an example, you can see the quicker alternatives for getting to Varkala by public transportation.
And for more tips on public transportation in Kerala, see the guide on how to get to Alleppey.
If your travels will take you to other parts of India too, also see the guide to backpacking 2 weeks in North India.
Now for the ferry…
Is this full-day journey to head south slowly by ferry really worth it?!
First, some things to think about for why you WON’T want to take the ferry.
Then, some more things to think about to further decide if you want to go ahead and take the ferry to reach your next destination!
Reasons why you may NOT want to take the Alleppey to Kollam ferry
…aka the worst things about this boat ride!
- You already had your fill of the backwaters in Alleppey.
- You don’t really feel like sitting all day.
- You don’t want to spend more time in transit than necessary.
- You want to get to your next destination before sunset.
- You are backpacking around India on a serious budget.
So, are these things really that bad?!
Next is more to help you decide!
Also May 2019 note: The Alleppey to Kollam ferry will stop running for the season at the end of May, and it’s scheduled to start up again in the middle of August. So there will be no ferry at all in June or July.
What ferry rides in Alleppey are comparable to the ferry to Kollam?
Alleppey to Kottayam ferry
Alleppey to Kuttanad ferry (“See Kuttanad” ferry)
As with the ferry to Kollam and all public ferries, the ride to Kottayam and Kuttanad will stick to the main waterways.
What is NOT comparable to the public ferries?!
If you have plans to leave Alleppey on the Kollam ferry, or if you’re arriving to Alleppey on the Kollam ferry, you may feel that your backwaters activity is taken care of.
But there is a difference between taking a bigger boat (the government ferry) and taking a much smaller individual boat on the Kerala backwaters.
So even if you are taking the ferry from Alleppey to Kollam, or Kollam to Alleppey, I do think it is still worth it to go for a full-day village canoe backwaters tour in Alleppey that comes with Kerala breakfast and lunch!
I did my canoe tour through this guesthouse near Alleppey Beach.
How much does the Alleppey to Kollam tourist ferry ticket cost?
A ticket for the Alleppey to Kollam ferry is 400 rupees (US$6) although this is subject to change.
What is the ferry timing?
The ferry is scheduled to depart every day from Alleppey to Kollam at 10:30am.
Likewise, another ferry is scheduled to depart every day in the opposite direction, from Kollam to Alleppey, at 10:30am as well.
But confirm this with the guesthouse you’re staying at!
Also, there is NO ferry between Alleppey and Kollam during parts of the off-season.
I believe it doesn’t run in May, June, and July. But confirm this with the guesthouse you are staying at in Alleppey. They should be able to tell you for sure!
How long does it take to get from Alleppey to Kollam by ferry?
The ferry departs at 10:30am from Alleppey and will get to Kollam at around 6pm.
This makes it about an 8 hour cruise on the Kerala backwaters.
Are you really stuck on a boat for 8 hours?
Here’s what your day will look like on the Alleppey to Kollam ferry!
1. Get to the Alleppey ferry station to be on the ferry to Kollam by 10:30am
You’ll pay for your ticket once you’re on the ferry. The ticket conductor will come around once the ferry has departed.
2. Put your luggage in the designated area when you get on the ferry
3. Head up to the upper deck to get a seat with the best views!
Or you can choose the lower deck.
4. Take in the backwaters!
And steer the boat.
If a little kid has the skills, you do too. 😉
5. Take a rest by laying down on your back on the seat… and look up for the views!
6. Eat a Kerala lunch
Around 1pm, there will be a break for lunch.
This is an additional cost. The vegetarian option is 100 rupees. (US$2)
I think the fish option is 150 rupees. (US$3)
7. Get back on the ferry for some more backwaters!
8. Be on the lookout around 3:30pm when the ferry passes by the internationally known ashram
9. Eat some snacks
Around 4pm, there will be another break.
This time it’s for some small snacks. This is also an additional cost, maybe around 50 rupees. (US$1)
10. Be sad that your time on the backwaters is almost over.
Just kidding. You’ll probably be happy to be off the boat by the time you reach Kollam. 😉
11. Arrive at the Kollam ferry station around 6pm!
Where are good places to go if you want to take the ferry to Kollam from Alleppey?
Most people take this ferry when they want to leave Alleppey for good. These are some places that can make for a good next destination after Alleppey if you want to head south and take the Kollam ferry.
Alleppey to Amma’s ashram via ferry
That ashram that you’ll pass by? You can also get off there!
The ashram has a sprawling complex, and Amma is the spiritual leader of this ashram. She is known as the “hugging mother.”
She has followers all around the world who come and visit this ashram. There are also many people who live here long term.
The cost of Amma’s ashram is 250 rupees (US$4) a night, with 3 meals included.
Alleppey to Varkala via ferry
Varkala is a beach town in Kerala that’s famous for cliff-side restaurants and guesthouses.
Once you get to the Kollam ferry station, you can choose to go by bus or train from Kollam to Varkala. Both options can be worthy of consideration.
Kollam ferry station to Varkala by bus
The Kollam bus station is right across the street from the ferry station, and you can get from Kollam to Varkala by bus. You’ll likely have to take 2 buses to get to Varkala from Kollam because of the time the ferry arrives in Kollam.
Kollam ferry station to Varkala by train
There is a direct train from Kollam to Varkala.
The train station is is a 20-30 minute walk from the ferry station. By rickshaw, it will be a short 5 minute or so ride from the ferry station. With both the ferry station and bus station around, you should easily be able to find a rickshaw to take you to the train station.
There are a number of trains that can take you from Kollam to Varkala.
Alleppey to Munroe Island via ferry
Munroe Island is another backwaters destination.
This isn’t as well-known as Alleppey, and as a result, you may have a quieter experience with a Munroe Island backwaters homestay.
The island is also known for homestay-style accommodation where you can get delicious and safe Kerala food for every meal without heading to a restaurant.
Although Munroe Island is a 15 minute train ride from the Kollam train station, it may take close to an hour by rickshaw.
Still, the rickshaw may get you to your Munroe Island homestay quicker.
The trains to Munroe Island are more limited, and there’s always a possibility of train delays.
How to get back to Alleppey from Kollam
The Alleppey to Kollam ferry is typically taken by people who are looking to head south to continue to explore other parts of Kerala.
But if you want to take this ferry as a day trip from Alleppey, maybe because you don’t have plans to go further south after Alleppey, that’s possible too. You can basically consider it a DIY full-day tour.
Once you’ve arrived at the Kollam ferry station, you can head over to the Kollam bus station that is a simple walk across the street. You’ll be able to find buses to Alleppey.
Alternatively, there are also trains to Alleppey. The train station is a short rickshaw ride away, or you can walk the 20 minutes or so to the train station.
If you choose to make the Kollam ferry a day trip, expect to get back to Alleppey in the evening past sunset.
Where to stay in Alleppey and Varkala?!
When I was in Alleppey, I stayed at a guesthouse near Alleppey Beach.
When I was in Varkala, I stayed at a hostel/guesthouse near the Varkala Cliff.
Put in your travel dates below (partner website) and you can see the prices of hotels in Alleppey and hotels in Varkala!
Hotels in Alleppey
Hotels in Varkala
Be sure to take a look at the Best of Alleppey Travel Guide so you can plan the PERFECT trip to Alleppey!
HAPPY ALLEPPEY TO KOLLAM FERRY RIDE!
The need-to-know India travel tips!If it's your first trip to India, be sure to see these tips for getting around India on a budget, and more! You might wait until India to buy this mosquito repellent that works for many foreigners! Also be sure to see how to spend one month in South India and 2 weeks in North India, as well as tips for the Golden Triangle. And, overnight sleeper bus travel isn't so bad, and neither is traveling in general class on the train! Also see the easy way to get an e-visa. And this is the easy way to book train tickets online as a foreigner. I've used it, and it's simple! You can just show the e-ticket on your phone.
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Hostels in KeralaFor a hostel with international standards in Kerala, try Zostel!
More Zostels in Kerala:
Zostel is a top backpacker chain across India, and I've stayed at many Zostels in India! And outside of Kerala, if you'll be passing through Gokarna as you go from Goa to Kerala (here are options of how to get from Goa to Kerala!), then Zostel Gokarna is in an amazing location too! Here are pictures from the on-site cafe that overlooks the ocean.
Where to stay on the tourist trail in KeralaThese places basically go down the coast from north to south!
- Cochin: Try a homestay in the cute heritage area of Fort Kochi.
- Marari Beach: This is an "off-beat" location as Marari is mostly unknown to backpackers, but it can be a convenient stop to make between Cochin and Alleppey with chill laid back vibes. For an idea of what type of beach can be nearby, see my beach walk from Alleppey to Marari.
- Alleppey Beach:
- Funky Art Beach House again for chill vibes with a location among locals in a residential neighborhood
- And there's Zostel Alleppey too for another beach location to stay several days
- OR if Alleppey is a quick visit, try Dream Nest to be closer to town
- And see how to spend one day in Alleppey (short version: go for the backwaters village canoe tour instead of a houseboat!)
- Alleppey backwaters:
- Munroe Island: This is another generally kind of more off-beat location, and you can see a different part of the Kerala backwaters on a quiet island
- Varkala cliff:
Retreats in KeralaFor relaxation and rejuvenation for health and wellness, also see:
- Yoga retreats in Kerala
- Ayurveda retreats in Kerala - ayurveda is basically healthy living through natural herbs and remedies, and Kerala is the birthplace of ayurveda!
How to book India train tickets online as a foreignerIf you don't want to go through the complicated process of setting up an IRCTC Indian railways account as a foreigner...
Then the most convenient way to buy train tickets online is through this booking website. I've used it, and it's super simple! You buy the ticket, and then show the electronic version on your phone once you're on the train. Compared to buying directly through an Indian ticket booking website (IRCTC account required) or directly at the train station in India, there is a small convenience fee, as well as a less flexible cancellation policy, though!