What time do we meet?
We meet about thirty minutes before sunrise. Therefore, times do vary throughout the year, ranging from 5:30 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. Just email us with the date you are inquiring about and we will let you know the meeting time.
Why do we meet so early?
Just before sunrise is when the weather is the coolest and the winds are the calmest which is ideal for ballooning.
Where do we meet?
We meet at The Model Bakery 644 First Street, Napa CA 94559, parking at Oxbow Public Market.
How much time should I allow for my adventure?
For the entire adventure you should allow about 4 hours. This includes the approximate one hour long balloon flight as well as our full champagne brunch after the flight. There is never a guaranteed time that we are finished, but 4 hours is the general time frame.
How high will we go?
Generally between 1,000 to 3,000 feet depending on the winds.
What should we wear?
You should wear casual clothing along with comfortable shoes. We suggest wearing light layers so that you can easily adjust to the temperature as the sun comes up. The coolest you will be is on the ground. Once you’re in flight, the burners tend to keep the baskets nice and warm. Flat closed –toe shoes are recommend as walking to and from the balloon launch and landing site is outdoor terrain.
Where do we launch from?
We have several launch sites within Napa Valley. Wind and fog can determine where we may launch on any given day. We also have alternate launch sites in two adjacent valleys if weather does not permit us to fly in Napa.
Can we bring cameras and video cameras?
Yes! Prepare to take many pictures! We encourage you to share your pictures on our social media sites!
Can I bring my child with me?
We do not have any age restrictions; however we do have a 48 inch height or at least 6 years of age requirement. You are unable to hold your child at any time during the flight; children do need to be able to stand on their own for the approximate one hour long balloon flight. Also, the sound of the burners can sometimes scare younger children, this is not a constant sound you will hear, the pilot turns the burners on every few minutes to keep at a specific altitude. You know your child better than we do so we say that it is up to the parent.
How many people will be in our basket?
We have different size balloons that can accommodate 10, 12, 16 or 22 passengers. We bring out the balloons that will best accommodate the number of passengers that we have scheduled on a given day. Each basket is configured the same with the pilot and his equipment in the center and then each corner is sectioned off for anywhere between 2 and 5 passengers. This way everyone has a corner view and there is no one who is stuck in the center and unable to see.
How do you get the balloon inflated?
A fan is used to blow cool air into the balloon. Later the burners are used to heat the air as the balloon lies on the ground. Gradually the balloon will rise to an upright position.
Is it quiet in the balloon?
When the burner is off, it is extremely quiet. Quiet is one of the most enjoyable aspects of ballooning.
Are expectant women able to fly?
We are happy to fly women who are 3 months or less into their pregnancy. A doctor’s release is required. The final decision will be made by the pilot on the morning of the flight depending on flight conditions.
What fabric is used for the balloon?
Most common is Dacron or rip-stop nylon.
Does the basket sway when flying?
The baskets do not sway since it moves with the wind.
What if I can't fly?
For those that are afraid to fly or have other reasons why they can’t join their friends and family for the flight, consider joining the chase team on the ground. Click here for more information.