What's it like?
Flying in a hot air balloon is a gentle, slow, calming experience that is on bucket lists around the world. It's not an experience to be missed! There are a few stages to the adventure, and even though it's an indescribable feeling to float through the skies, we'll give describing it our best shot!
Plan on being with us for up to four hours from start to finish.
For sunrise flights we will contact you at 9:00pm the evening before your flight. For sunset flights we give you a call at 3:00pm the day of your flight. When we call, we will discuss weather conditions for your flight period and let you know if we have to reschedule, or if we're going to go flying!
You'll meet our team at the Big Stop in New Minas at the assigned time. Depending on the wind speed and direction on the day of your flight, we will load you into our chase vehicles and transport you to our selected launch site. If you're an early bird and you've booked a morning flight, you'll enjoy the sun rise as you watch the crew to assemble and inflate the balloon.
You'll get a safety briefing from your pilot - pay close attention and ask any questions you might have!
The set up is a fascinating process. From unloading the basket, pulling out the balloon, to assembling the burners. You get to sit back and watch as it all comes together before your eyes. Once assembled, watch the flames slowly inflate the balloon in preparation for your adventure.
It's Go Time!
Once you're loaded into the basket with the pilot - it's time to launch. Your pilot will slowly allow the basket to drift away from the ground. It's a bit surreal and dream-like, and you'll be pleasantly surprised at how it feels to float above the earth.
Be sure to take lots of pictures during the next 45 minutes! This is an experience you'll want to relive again and again.
When you're in the air, the balloon moves at the same speed as the wind - which means the wind is part of your journey and you won't hear or feel it. There is no turbulence. The basket is completely stable. There is no sensation of movement when you move with the wind. It's a glorious, tranquil experience.
Your flight will be 100% unique. We fly where the winds take us, so our flight patterns and landing sites vary due to the changing wind directions. Your pilot will adjust the balloon's altitude during the flight to take advantage of small changes in wind speed and direction. Most flights take place between 500 and 2,000 feet, but we have been up to over 5,000 feet!
A low flight can feel like an aerial nature walk...it's enchanting to traverse the land without touching it at all. Up high, you can see the entire Valley, Cape Split, Isle Haute and all the way over to New Brunswick!
Your flight will be approximately 45 minutes to an hour, and that hour will be magic. It's nothing like looking out from a plane window. You can feel the air, hear the wildlife, sense the stillness and take in panoramic views of the stunning Annapolis Valley.
As you near the 45 minute mark of your flight, your pilot will be looking for a landing spot. You perhaps travelled 3 kilometers, or maybe 20 kilometers. It really depends on how fast the wind is going. You will likely have spotted your chase crew following along on the ground, waiting for instructions from your pilot on where to meet you upon landing.
Once your pilot has identified an appropriate landing spot, you'll start to descend. Some landings are smooth as butter and you barely realize you've landed back on the ground. Some landings are a little bouncier than others and we call those the funnest of landings! During your safety briefing your pilot will have explained landing positions - he will go over these again with you just before landing.
The ground crew will be waiting to meet you, pack up the balloon, share in a champagne toast with you and take you back to the Big Stop.