Balloon rides

Do you want to go on a hot air balloon ride? Contact us!

Bernard Gervais 
Director, Hot air balloon operations 
Telephone: 819 243-2331 poste 1-5
Email

Rides

Normally, they are two hours after sunrise and two hours before sunset. That is when the winds are the calmest and the air is the most stable.

During the Festival, they are scheduled for approximately 6:30 a.m. and 6 p.m.

The price per person for a ride in a hot air balloon is $325 plus taxes. You can upgrade your basic package to a refundable package. If you do not expect to postpone your ride or to transfer it to someone else, you can upgrade it for $30 per passenger. Checking off that option entitles you to a refund of the basic $325 per person package.

A ride can last anywhere from 20 to 90 minutes, depending on wind direction and speed. The entire experience can take three to four hours, factoring in the time it takes to get the balloon ready. The chase team, which tracks you throughout the ride, will return you to the lift-off area afterwards.

Strictly speaking, you don’t steer it. Hot air balloons go where the wind takes them. But winds blow in directions and at speeds that vary depending on the altitude, so you can ascend or descend to the altitude where the wind is blowing in the desired direction. This is why pilots carefully check weather conditions and wind patterns before confirming a safe flight.

The chase team tracks you in a van. It follows the hot air balloon while it is in the air (inasmuch as the roads allow), and is ideally there to meet the hot air balloon when it lands. Every hot air balloon in the air requires a ground crew of three or four people who are in constant radio contact with it to ensure a successful flight.

Wind speed must be less than 12 km/h, and wind direction must allow for a landing. There can be no rain, fog or storm within a 50 km radius from the lift-off area or along the flight trajectory.

It is no colder in a balloon than on the ground, so there is no need for extra warm clothes! Comfortable clothing is important: simple and inexpensive, walking shoes (no high heels). It is best not to wear a cap.

Your camera of course, but it must be fastened to your neck or your wrist. For safety reasons, backpacks, handbags and any loose items are not permitted in the basket. Leave them in your car or, if you prefer, in the chase car, where they will be waiting for you after the ride.

There is no age limit for a hot air balloon ride. However, for safety reasons, passengers must be tall enough to see over the edge of the basket. The rule of thumb is at least 12 years of age and two feet tall. Also, again for safety reasons, we prefer if people aged 65 and over get a medical opinion about their fitness to ride in a hot air balloon. We recommend that anyone with serious medical issues, who has had an operation or who is receiving treatment obtain a medical opinion and all-clear before booking a ride. Pregnant women are not permitted to ride in a hot air balloon. Everything depends on the weather and your physical condition.

Rides outside of the Festival

When you book a ride online, you are entered in our system and we confirm with you the evening before around 9 p.m. for a morning flight, or that same afternoon around 3 p.m. for an evening flight. However, it is entirely up to the pilot to decide whether the conditions are right. A flight may be postponed at any time if there are any safety concerns.

The pilot chooses the lift-off location based on wind direction. We meet up with you in the parking lot behind the la Cité Rapibus station (459 boulevard de la Cité), where our vehicles and trailers are parked. From there, the crew will be in charge of you until your return.

Because of the weather, facilities, recovery of the balloons and condition of the landing sites, flights are restricted to between May and October. Nonetheless, flights can be arranged in the winter if the conditions are right!

Rides during the Festival

You have free access to the site to watch morning flights. But you need a wristband to access the site for the evening flights.

You have to get to the lift-off area by 5:30 a.m. for a morning flight, and by 4:30 p.m. for an evening flight.

You may be booked for another flight at the Festival, or to one outside of the Festival. If you opted for the refund option, you can request a refund, which will be issued to you within two weeks after the Festival.

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