A3 Ballon B.V. hot air balloon company
Belterweg 8, Harfsen, Netherlands
www.ballonvaren.com - +31 573 432 755
A3 Ballon B.V. hot air balloon company Harfsen Reviews
A3 Ballon BV hot air ballon company in The Netherlands Jul 30, 2012
This company has been operating hot air balloon flights in the Netherlands since 1984 and has a fleet of 16 hot air balloons with a capacity between 2 and 18 passengers plus one of the world's largest ones with a 24 passenger capacity.
Their website unfortunately is in Dutch only, so if you want to have the experience as a non-Dutch speaker, it is probably best to call them.
They have scheduled flights year round in the morning and in the evening from 26 locations all over the country. The rules for their pilots and procedures are strictly regulated by aviation laws, for example the training requirements and certification for a balloon pilot are comparible with the requirements of a one-engine aircraft.
We had a flight from Waddinxveen in Zuid Holland province on 29 july 2012 (see my blog), and found it a good experience. Booking through their website is easy, and if you do a last minute booking, the confirmation PDF document that you receive by e-mail will serve in the place of your ticket. If booking longer ahead, they will send you the ticket.
After booking, you are required to call their central number a few hours before the flight, to find out if the weather circumstances will allow the flight. If not, you will be given alternative dates and times to book.
Instructions given were simple and clear. The pilot (Jan Haven) and his crew were professional but did their jobs with a good sense of humor too, and were more than willing to answer any question before and during the flight.
Passengers are requested to give some help during off loading of the basket and the balloon and spreading it out, as well as pressing the air out and wrapping it in after the flight.
Each flight is concluded with a "ceremony" after landing, at which the guests get a glass of champaign (they can keep the glass) and a "certificate".
After this, the crew will drive back to the location where the start was, and passengers can be brought back if they wish so (which most obviously do).
Getting on a balloon flight is not cheap, but last minutes come at a reduced price, and are daily advertized on their website. In our opinion it was worth every penny we paid.
Part of the Hot air ballooning over Holland travel blog
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