They say the best gift is something someone won’t buy for themselves. I believe this one qualifies! Southern California residents looking for the best way to entertain out-of-town guests need only look up in the sky for the answer. Airship Ventures Zeppelin Eureka, the only commercial passenger airship flying in the United States, will be offering luxury flightseeing tours of Southern California in the new year with new routes and more flights available when Eureka returns in January, 2010. Christmas gift idea anyone?
Stretching 15-feet longer than a 747 and 50-feet longer than the largest blimp, Eureka is the world’s largest airship. One of only three Zeppelins currently operating in the world, Eureka offers passengers spectacular 360-degree views of the sights on flightseeing tours above Los Angeles, as well as San Francisco Bay, Silicon Valley and Monterrey.
Unforgettable Family Memories
“As much as the holidays are about togetherness, anyone who has ever hosted a holiday knows the moment of panic when the inevitable question, ‘what am I going to do with everyone?’ crosses their mind,” remarked Airship Ventures Co-Founder and CEO Alexandra Hall. “I’ve yet to meet a passenger who didn’t get off of our airship grinning from ear-to-ear. Gathering family and friends together to experience a one-of-a-kind aerial tour aboard Eureka is a great way to entertain guests and create unforgettable memories.”
Only Female Zeppelin Pilot
Flying Eureka into the peaceful skies safely is pilot Katharine Board. Kate holds several distinctions, including being a member of an elite group even more rare than female astronauts — female airship pilots. Kate however, holds an even more prestigious title – - the only female Zeppelin pilot in the world. From her first instruction flight at the age of 18, Kate has risen fast in the male-dominated world of airships. One of her first aviation positions, with Virgin Hot Air Balloon flights, led to her first airship position, with Virgin Lightships. Beginning as a ground crewman, she eventually worked her way up to pilot, and has CAA, LBA and FAA commercial airship licenses. Kate has flown extensively in Europe and America, logging more than 5,000 flight hours. At 5-feet 2-inches tall, she effortlessly commands the largest airship in the world.
As part of jumpstarting the holiday season, Airship Ventures, which celebrated its one-year anniversary of service in October, will be continuing a month-long celebration of this milestone by re-offering its most popular promotion while in Long Beach. Just in time for holiday gift-giving and family outings, passengers who buy one ticket at full price will save 50 percent on a second. This promotional rate applies to all regularly priced Long Beach tours between Nov. 19-23, as well as to all gift certificates bought before Nov. 30.
“Like floating in a luxury skybox on a cloud,” as one passenger described it, Airship Ventures flightseeing tours offer passengers spectacular 360-degree views of the scenery below. In addition to popular one- and two-hour Los Angeles-area routes showcasing either the dramatic Pacific Coast, or historic L.A. landmarks and famous Tinseltown icons, Airship Ventures will for the first time offer 30-minute and night flights from Long Beach in November.
Taste of Zeppelin Tours
The 30-minute Taste of Zeppelin tours will give passengers the opportunity to experience a luxury flight in a Zeppelin airship above scenic Long Beach Harbor and to enjoy the stunning Pacific and California Coastline views stretching out before them. One-hour Night Time Tour passengers will also enjoy the leisurely luxury of airship travel while marveling at the inky black Pacific Ocean meeting the shoreline and admiring the glittering city below.
“By adding our Night Tour and Taste of Zeppelin flights to the roster of tours we offer passengers in Southern California, we feel like we can truly say there is an experience for everyone. Whether you’re flying on an airship to help fulfill your bucket list, looking for the ultimate romantic date, celebrating a special occasion, or just wanting to have a great time with family and friends this holiday season, you will find that on Eureka,” continued Hall.
For those seeking the ultimate Zeppelin experience, a limited number of seats remain on our California Airship Cruises between Long Beach and the San Francisco Bay Area. Soaring above the California Coastline and Central Valley, these 8-hour cruises follow Highway 1 on Nov. 24 (northbound) as Eureka travels to-and-from Long Beach from her home base at Moffett Field near San Francisco.
About Airship Ventures, Inc.
Founded in 2007 in California, Airship Ventures, Inc., operates the only passenger airship operation in the United States, featuring Eureka, the world’s largest airship. The Zeppelin’s spacious cabin comfortably accommodates one pilot, one flight attendant, and 12 passengers, with luxury features including oversized panoramic windows, an onboard restroom with window, and a 180-degree rear observation window and “love seat” that wraps the entire aft of the cabin. Using the inert gas helium for lift, and vectored thrust engines for flight, Zeppelin NTs have been flying in Germany and Japan since 1997 with an unparalleled safety record.
Weather permitting, Los Angeles-area flights depart from the AirFlite FBO terminal, adjacent to the main terminal at Long Beach Airport (3250 AirFlite Way, Long Beach, CA 90807, at the corner of Cherry and Wardlow). Flights vary in duration from 30-minutes to 2-hours and range in price from $199-$990, plus tax, per person. Private charters and sunset flights are available.
For more information about Eureka, or to view a detailed flight schedule and purchase tickets, visit www.airshipventures.com, or call 650-969-8100 x111.
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Written by Lanee Neil