We visited Kerala with my 1 year old. One of the things we did was to take a trip on the Backwaters with a houseboat. The staff at both the hotel and the house boat made us comfortable and feel at home. They also cooked my baby meals on request, (though I had to carry all the stuff, including a small cooker).
I thought the houseboat trip would be difficult and boring with a baby, but it wasn't. We had to watch her all the time, so she wouldn't have a chance to fall off, but she couldn't walk or climb yet, so it wasn't so difficult. But for a wilder baby, I would definitely recommend a life jacket.