WHAT TO EXPECT
We offer flights July through September, This time frame offers the ideal weather for ballooning here. Flights are offered twice daily (morning flights through mid-September).
The exact meeting times fluctuate since they depend on sunrise and sunset because they affect the wind that is a very important factor in ballooning.
So flights are shortly after sunrise (around 6:00) and a couple of hours prior to sunset. Usually the middle of the day is a bit too breezy.
First you'll call about an hour before your scheduled flight to make sure the forecasted weather conditions look agreeable and for any last minute instructions.
You will, of course, need to sign a waiver. Once everyone has checked in, we will shuttle you to a launch site the pilots have selected depending on current wind conditions they have observed at the time.
Once at the launch site, we will set up the balloon, which takes about 15 minutes or so. Though we have plenty of experienced crew, if you wish to assist, let us know. There are always things to be done that require no training and are not dangerous.
Then you'll board your craft for a once in a lifetime experience. Your pilot will brief you about safety and anything you should know. Once in the air it’s time to relax and enjoy about an hour aloft while you drift effortlessly over the picturesque Sammamish Valley (home of the Matthews Estate, Chateau St. Michelle, Columbia & other fine wineries and the Redhook Brewery).
Some of the flight will take place up high--l,500 to 4,000 feet up where you'll enjoy panoramic views of the Seattle skyline (easily spotting the world famous Space Needle!), Mount Rainier, Mount Baker and the mountain ranges surrounding the Puget Sound area. Also in sight are many bodies of water like Lake Washington, Lake Union and Puget Sound along with many smaller ones depending on your flight route. And you'll spend some of your flight barely above the surface as you brush the treetops. Help yourself to the leaves for a souvenir!!
As each flight is unique, traveling where the wind carries us, we don't know where we will land. So the vehicle you rode in to the launch site will be following along on the ground. We will be in contact visually as well as by radio. The "chase vehicle" will be there to "catch" the balloon. The crew will pack up the equipment taking only 10 to 15 minutes, then we will travel in the van back to the initial meeting site.
The pilot will share a fascinating (and mostly factual) story about the original balloon flight and recite the Balloonist’s Prayer. After the morning flight you'll enjoy a traditional champagne and fruit juice toast. In the evening you will be treated to a wine tasting accompanied by light appetizers. This is an event unto itself and ballooning and wine are natural companions. With over 60 wineries in and around Woodinville, a premier winery, Matthew’s Estate, will host your post flight celebration.
You may have noticed their award wining world-class wines on the menus in some of the most popular dining venues in the Puget Sound area. Their 8-acre property is a beautiful setting for many gatherings and special occasions. We think you will find this destination the perfect way to top off a spectacular evening.
Seattle area Maps and prices.