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Reviewed 7 February 2016 via mobile

We took two enjoyable tours with Carnival during our stay in Cochin. The first was a day excursion on a traditional house boat on the peaceful backwaters around Alleppey. One of Carnival's courteous drivers took us on the hour and a half trip from our hotel to the jetty. And after a short wait in the booking office (where alcoholic and soft drinks were sold) we were introduced to our three-strong crew for the four hour round-trip.

After about an hour, a delicious Kerala lunch of differing curries, fish and chicken was served to our table on the private front deck of our house boat. The food was prepared in a small on-board kitchen and tasted as good as that prepared at a decent restaurant.

After we had finished eating, we retired to the comfy seats on our private deck (covered, but with open sides) and enjoyed the serene waters, where everyday life unfolded on the river banks. Locals washed pots, clothes and sometimes themselves in the murky waters in the wide canals. There were some luxury villas, but mostly we saw simple shacks and open green fields.

The crew took it in turns to steer the boat at the front, while the other two operated the engine at the back (communication for more or less power was made via a bell attached to a cord) and served us our cool drinks (and later freshly grilled banana snacks, a local speciality).

While our trip was a day cruise, the boat was equipped for overnight stays. There was a bedroom with a double bed and a shower room, with proper flushing toilet. All areas were clean and well looked after.

Before returning back to the jetty, we made a short stop at a village on the river bank. It was fairly touristy in that there were lots of souvenirs on sale, but we didn't get the hard sell that you often find in other places around the world. In a small workshop where religious figurines were made by hand for the local Catholic church (and others in India) my friend bought a teak tray.

The next day, the same driver picked us up for a half day tour of Fort Cochin. En route we were met by our local guide who was well versed in the history of the area. He gave us an overview of colonisation by the Portuguese, Dutch and finally the British inside the plain white Anglican church of St Francis (the first built by Europeans in India). Explorer Vasco da Gama lived and died in this town and he body was initially buried here before being returned to his native Portugal.

We we shown the famous Chinese fishing nets (depicted on many a postcard of Cochin) which need several men to haul them out of the water given they are so large. The fresh fish is then sold at stalls along the promenade along the edge of the harbour.

Our guide then took us for a walk along the old streets of Fort Cochin where we had time to visit the local shops (my friend bought some traditional local lace, a dying art). And we also made stops at a local community laundry and the Dutch Place museum (actually built by the Portuguese and depicting the history of the local area).

I would thoroughly recommend booking a tour with Carnival. Peter, the owner, was very prompt at replying to emails and helpful in making suggestions for our two trips. A great way to see Cochin and the surrounding area!

Date of experience: February 2016
1  Thank Mark G
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CarnivalToursTravels, Guest Relations Manager at Carnival Tours & Travels, responded to this reviewResponded 17 March 2016

Dear Sir,

Thanks for the excellent review about us on TripAdvisor .

Happy to know you had a great tour and satisfied with our services

Looking Forward to serve you many more times in mere future

Regards

Team Carnival

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 February 2016

Peter Dalglesh at Carnival Tours is brilliant. Between us we put together a fantastic trip around Kerala, he quickly replied to my many emails at the planning stage, he kept me informed along the way in order for us to get the best out of out 3 week stay. Out of our 7 stops only one did not reach expectations and that was a new accommodation for Carnival ( and it was not terrible just disappointing as some of the facilities is should have had it did not) the others all by far exceeded our expectations. Our transport and driver were very good and spacious. We enjoyed our holiday so much we are already thinking about returning. Peter is first class at his job he even got up to see us off at 5.45am. I do not know of any other tour operators who would that. I have no hesitation in recommending him and Carnival Tours

Date of experience: January 2016
Thank Obsessiveplanner9
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CarnivalToursTravels, Guest Relations Manager at Carnival Tours & Travels, responded to this reviewResponded 17 March 2016

Dear Madam,

Thanks for the excellent review about us on TripAdvisor .

Happy to know you had a great tour and satisfied with our services

Looking Forward to serve you many more times in mere future

Regards

Team Carnival

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 February 2016

Pretty much a faultless trip, Peter arranged everything we requested, and the drivers and cars provided were all excellent, even on very long journeys. Will use again when I come back to Kerala!

Date of experience: March 2015
Thank anthonysS6976PK
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CarnivalToursTravels, Guest Relations Manager at Carnival Tours & Travels, responded to this reviewResponded 17 March 2016

Dear Sir /Madam,

Thanks for the excellent review about us on TripAdvisor .

Happy to know you had a great tour and satisfied with our services

Looking Forward to serve you many more times in mere future

Regards

Team Carnival

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 February 2016

Our homestay recommended Carnival when we inquired about booking transport to Goa-we were not disappointed. This was our first experience of booking with an agency and it was really easy! So much so that we bought tickets for 5 trains and 1 bus. The alternative was getting to Ernakulam from Fort Cochin but from experience in stations, the ticket sales people there do not have the time or patience to figure out alternative routes for you if your desired train is booked up. Many of our preferred were booked up but the man in the office was willing to look up alternative routes for us and cheaper alternatives, all of which he did without complaining or tutting (which often happens!). Paid around €15 in commission for 12 tickets but totally worth it for peace of mind, saved time and being able to pay with credit card for a change!

Date of experience: January 2016
Thank G3792OPlauram
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CarnivalToursTravels, Guest Relations Manager at Carnival Tours & Travels, responded to this reviewResponded 17 March 2016

Dear Madam,

Thanks for the excellent review about us on TripAdvisor .

Happy to know you are satisfied with our services .

Looking Forward to serve you many more times in mere future

Regards

Team Carnival

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 January 2016

I came across Carnival Tours via TripAdvisor. We spoke to various UK tour operators to arrange our trip to Kerala and eventually chose Carnival Tours and we are so pleased we did. Peter looked after us so well and our main driver Biju was amazing. We stayed in lovely places, Biju's driving was excellent which was appreciated as the driving in India is quite different! He took such good care of us, pointing out and explaining things to us. Peter kept in contact with us throughout the tour to make sure that everything was to our satisfaction. We also had a guided tour in the tea plantation with a superb guide as well as in Fort Kochi. We were really impressed with the top service that we received and Peter and his team should be very proud.

Thank you Peter!

Date of experience: December 2015
Thank Vero V
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CarnivalToursTravels, Guest Relations Manager at Carnival Tours & Travels, responded to this reviewResponded 3 February 2016

Dear Madam,

Thanks for the excellent review about us on TripAdvisor .

Happy to know you had a great tour and satisfied with our services

Looking Forward to serve you many more times in mere future

Regards

Team Carnival

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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