You can enable/disable right clicking from Theme Options and customize this message too.

FAQ

PREPARATION

We feel it’s important that you and your fellow passengers are well-prepared for your ballooning adventure and for the CuliAir Programme.

For this reason, we have compiled a summary of frequently asked questions and general information in one convenient document. We kindly request that you read all the information carefully.

If you have a question that is not included in this document, feel free to contact us at info@culiair.nl or by WhatsApp at + 31 (0)6-53723440.

CuliAir Season

CuliAir ballooning is available throughout the ballooning season from May 1st through the end of September, including Sundays and (national) holidays.

Health

Safety first! This includes your safety as well as that of other passengers.
Ballooning is an outdoor activity that requires a certain degree of fitness. If you have any health issues, medical conditions, or physical impairments that may affect the safety of your ballooning voyage, please consult your general practitioner on the safety of your planned ballooning trip.
Do you have a serious condition or have you recently undergone surgery? It is better not to balloon then.
Physical or mental limitations, food intolerances and allergies must be reported to CuliAir immediately when booking. This includes the booker and all the other passengers.
See also article 7.1 d of the General Terms and Conditions.

Ballooning is weather-dependent

Sunrise and sunset are the two most sensational moments of the day; they are also the only moments when ballooning is possible. This is due to the laws of thermics.

In the early morning just after sunrise, and in the evening, a few hours before sunset, there are no rising or descending thermal currents in the air: the perfect conditions to safely and comfortably ascend and descend by balloon.

Ideal circumstances are open skies and normal wind conditions. Heavy winds, poor visibility, developing thunderstorms, temperatures above 30°C, low cloud cover and rain are adverse conditions for ballooning.

Your culinary ballooning voyage can only take off under ideal weather conditions, to warrant a safe and comfortable journey. Such is the decision of the balloon pilot.

Proceeding with the ballooning voyage or cancellation

Due to the dependence on the weather, the balloon pilot can only determine whether to proceed with the ballooning voyage or not on the day itself. This decision is usually made by the end of the morning, when the Dutch weather institute publishes its ballooning forecasts.

If you have a ticket for an evening trip, then we will contact you on the day of your trip between noon and 1.30 PM. An assessment of the weather models as late as possible provides the greatest certainty of the expected weather conditions. Particularly on days when too many wind gusts or (thunder) showers are calculated in the weather models.

If your ballooning voyage is cancelled

If the balloon flight cannot take place and has to be cancelled, this is always in the interest of your safety. We will inform you by email and text message. With your unique reservation code you can immediately plan a new sailing date via the passenger app. You will receive the reservation code and online passenger app after booking a CuliAir ticket.

Ticket validity and gift tickets

Your CuliAir ticket is not personally bound and valid for 2 years from the moment of purchase, unless otherwise agreed in writing. For gift tickets, the validity date is stated on the ticket.
The value of a ticket and/or gift voucher is the value at the time of issue. If the value is not stated on the gift voucher, you can request this via info@culiair.nl.
Prices of CuliAir tickets may vary and be adjusted per season. We recommend that you make a reservation or contact us within six months of purchasing a (gift) ticket. This way you have the least risk of any additional costs related to a price increase.
See also General Terms and Conditions | Article 12.2.

Carefree enjoyment

Ever since 2003, CuliAir has been working exclusively with highly experienced and licensed pilots acknowledged by the Dutch Royal Air Traffic Association (Koninklijke Vereniging van Luchtvaart) and acknowledged ballooning operators meeting the standards established by the European Air Safety Agency (EASA) and Dutch authorities.

The ballooning operator that we work with has full liability insurance coverage for its entire ballooning fleet. This insurance covers your participation from the moment you set foot in the basket until you step out again. This means that as a passenger, you are insured through the passenger insurance of the ballooning operator facilitating the ballooning voyage on behalf of CuliAir. (Minimum insurance standards are established by EU Decree nr. 785/2004).

Takeoff location and meeting time

If the balloon flight proceeds, you will receive the final take-off location and meeting time from us. These are determined based on the weather conditions, such as wind direction and wind speed.
Depending on the wind direction we choose the best route.
Previously indicated (indicative) times and locations can therefore be adapted to these circumstances, whereby an alternative route is always possible within a radius of 35 km. This way there are more chances to proceed with the balloon flight.

The crew will not be present at the take-off location earlier than the meeting time communicated to you.

Indication of the meeting time

The meeting time depends on the date you go ballooning. The times below are indicative; You will receive the exact meeting time on the day of the scheduled balloon flight.

May 6:45pm
June 7:30pm
July 7:30pm
August 6:45pm
September 5:30pm

Parking at the takeoff location

Parking facilities vary between takeoff locations. You will receive information on the day itself.

Sanitary facilities

Most starting locations for balloon flights in the Netherlands are meadows and parks. In general there are no sanitary facilities there. If possible, make a 'pit stop' on the way to the starting location.

Reception at the take-off location

You will be greeted by the CuliAir balloon flight team at the agreed time and take-off location.
There we first serve an aperitif and a light starter.

The balloonist will provide you with an explanation about the balloon flight and a briefing with safety instructions. It is important that you pay full attention and follow the instructions of our team members.

The hot air balloon is then set up, the basket is set up as a kitchen and restaurant and then the adventure can soar to great heights!

Safety instructions and balloon preparation

The balloon pilot will give you a briefing and safety instructions.
We kindly request that you prepare yourself and carefully read the safety instructions.

Please read the Safety instructions here

Balloon voyage duration

Your CuliAir ballooning voyage lasts for about an hour and a half. This is longer than a regular trip, but the time is needed to present your dinner in the fashion you deserve. While you enjoy the view, the dishes are prepared à la minute and on the spot.

Since hot air balloons drift on the wind, they cannot be controlled like other aircrafts.
Depending on the landing options, the CuliAir balloon flight can always take a little longer or shorter.

Total duration of the programme

Count on at least four hours of ballooning joy: from reception in the meadow to champagne baptism at the landing location and drive back to the location where we took off.
We advise you not to plan anything immediately after the balloon flight, as the program can always run a little longer due to local conditions. Because we serve alcohol during dinner, considering a taxi or appoint somebody in your company who will not drink alcohol is recommended.

Culinairy content

Pure taste starts in nature. The season’s best ingredients and flavours are Angélique Schmeinck’s key elements in creating her characteristic cuisine and taste combinations.

We serve aperitifs and entrées at the take-off location. Over the course of the CuliAir ballooning voyage, you will enjoy three spectacular dishes prepared in the hot air of the balloon itself. These dishes are of course accompanied by the finest wines.
At the landing site, a festive dessert and traditional champagne baptism await to complete the journey.

Special preferences and requests

Hospitality and service are prime concerns at CuliAir. We are happy to cater to any special preferences and requests our guests may have.

If you have any food allergies or vegetarian preferences, or if you prefer non-alcoholic drinks, then please notify us upon your reservation.

The hot air balloon as a convection oven

At a volume of 10,000 cubic metres and measuring 45 metres from top to bottom, the CuliAir balloon works like a giant convection oven. Temperatures inside the balloon can rise to 100°C, allowing for slow cooking of delicate products such as sea bass or fowl on ‘low’ temperatures.
This is the perfect technique to let aromas develop, and to retain the juices present in fish or meats. A sophisticated system of pulleys allows custom-made baskets of fowl and bass to be raised up to the balloon’s pinnacle. There, the dishes are gently cooked at 90-degree temperatures, before they make their way back down the balloon for their final preparation.
All dishes are presented in style, and as you sit at the fully set dining tables mounted on the edge of the basket, you will enjoy fabulous flavour and sensational views at the very highest level.

Landing

Many people experience the landing as an equally thrilling and enjoyable aspect of ballooning. Depending on wind speeds, landings can range from ever-so-gentle to fast and sporty. You will receive clear instructions from the pilot at the initial briefing as well as right before landing.

Please note that as balloons drift on the wind, the exact landing site is never known beforehand.

Once on solid ground, we pack the hot air balloon together and it is time for the traditional champagne baptism with a festive dessert.

Champagne baptism

Once we are back on solid ground, the time has come for the traditional champagne baptism, accompanied by a festive dessert and an official ballooning certificate.

Transit back from the landing site

The crew will take you back to the place where we started the balloon flight. If you do not want to use this service, for example because you will be picked up at the landing location by others or because you want to organize a taxi yourself, we would like to hear this on the day itself. We can then take this into account when planning and organizing available places/cars.
If a family member, friend or acquaintance would like to see you off at the take-off location, follow the hot air balloon and/or pick you up at the landing location, we will be happy to serve them an extra starter at the take-off and a dessert at the landing with an alcohol-free drink (Maximum 2 people). Please let us know in advance so that we can take this into account.

Vertigo

During ballooning, vertigo is not an issue, because balloons do not touch the ground.
Perhaps you may find the first few minutes somewhat exciting, but generally speaking, the sensation will soon fade if you keep your eyes fixed on the horizon.
After many balloon flights, experience has taught us that even people with an extreme fear of heights can fully enjoy the CuliAir balloon flight and dining at a high altitude.

Voyage route, distance, and altitude

As balloons drift on the wind, we can never be sure exactly where we will land. The route and distance covered depend on the direction and force of the wind, as well as on the altitude reached by the balloon. Distances vary, too. On average, we cover some ten to thirty kilometres during our voyage.

Cruising altitudes vary between 150 and 750 metres on average. This ensures sweeping views of the landscape. Sometimes, we can reach 2,000 metres, allowing you to gaze away into the distance for many kilometres all around.

Cruising altitudes vary between 150 and 750 metres on average. This ensures sweeping views of the landscape. Sometimes, we can reach 2,000 metres, allowing you to gaze away into the distance for many kilometres all around.

Pregnancy

Unfortunately, it is not possible to balloon during pregnancy. If you have already booked a flight, please contact us to schedule a new date.

Smoking

From a safety perspective, smoking is not allowed within a 50-metre radius of the balloon. Smoking is never allowed during the ballooning voyage.

Age

Ballooning is suitable for all ages.

Weather conditions may be an impediment for senior passengers. If we anticipate a so-called ‘sporty landing’, we advise elderly passengers to choose another, quieter day for their ballooning voyage.

Children are welcome as soon as they are over 12 years old and 1.30 metres tall. At that point, they can peer over the edge of the basket without problems.

Ballooning dress code

Ballooning is an outdoor activity and requires sporty clothing.
We strongly advise against nylon clothing, due to flammability.
We recommend sturdy footwear (hiking boots). Pastures are not always dry and clean.
Heeled shoes and slippers are not permitted and will have to be removed during the balloon flight.
You will receive a cap from us to protect your head against the heat of the burners.

It is no colder in the hot air balloon than on the ground, you are sailing with the wind so you will not experience any wind or cooling in the hot air balloon. The burners also give off some heat.
After landing when the sun goes down it can cool down quickly, so a jacket or sweater is not an unnecessary luxury.

Also take ticks into account: just like when walking in the woods, you can encounter them, especially when landing in tall grass.

Bringing cameras

Of course, you are free to bring any (video) cameras to take fantastic shots as the balloon is set up and during the journey. However, please note that bringing such equipment is at your own risk.

Luggage, handbags, backpacks

Only take essential items with you during the balloon flight. Bags and backpacks often take up a lot of space in the basket. You can leave these in one of the support cars, which will also return to the landing location.

Safety instructions

We kindly request you to always comply with pilot and crew instructions; before, during, and after the voyage.

CULIAIR FROM A TO Z… BIRDS EYE VIEW

• On the day of your reservation, we will inform you whether the weather is suited for your voyage.

• If your ballooning voyage is cancelled due to weather conditions, you will receive an email with instructions how to choose a new date.

• If the ballooning voyage is to proceed, we will send you the exact address of the takeoff location and the time of assembly.

• The CuliAir ballooning crew will receive you at the starting location with an aperitif and an entrée.

• The pilot will give you a comprehensive briefing including safety instructions.

• As soon as the balloon is set up, we will take to the skies, allowing you to enjoy the CuliAir ballooning voyage and three sensational dishes prepared in the heat of the balloon. The voyage lasts for about 90 minutes, depending on landing conditions.

• After landing, there will be a festive dessert at the landing location with traditional champagne baptism.

• After completion of the CuliAir Ballooning programme, we will return you to the location where the evening began.