Kind Reader, if you’re seeking an exciting and awe-inspiring adventure while exploring New Zealand, then you must experience the Franz Josef Helicopter Line. This renowned aviation company offers helicopter tours and glacier landings that will leave you breathless and wanting more. With over 30 years of experience, the Franz Josef Helicopter Line is committed to providing safe and unforgettable experiences to its customers.
History of Franz Josef Helicopter Line
Franz Josef Helicopter Line started in 1987 under the guidance of Swiss-born chief pilot, Franz Lochmatter. The company initially provided tourist flights with its single helicopter. With the increase in demand for their services, they added more helicopters to their fleet. Today, the company has a reputation as a leading helicopter tour operator in New Zealand. They have been providing scenic flights of the gorgeous Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers in the Southern Alps since their establishment.
Franz Josef Helicopter Line Pilots
One of the outstanding features of the Franz Josef Helicopter Line is the skill level of the pilots. All pilots have extensive experience in glacier landings, mountain flying, and bad weather conditions. They are capable of flying in a wide range of weather conditions. This expertise makes the tour a must-do for adventure enthusiasts.
Quality of the Helicopters
One of the factors that contribute to the great reputation of the Franz Josef Helicopter Line is the quality of its helicopters. The company has five immaculately kept helicopters in its fleet, which undergo strict maintenance checks daily. The helicopters are equipped with noise reduction headsets so that you can communicate with the pilots and your fellow tourists during your flight. Their comfortable, air-conditioned interiors have large viewing windows that allow you to enjoy uninterrupted views of the magnificent scenery.
Franz Josef Helicopter Line Tour Options
The Franz Josef Helicopter Line offers several tour options, catering to a variety of budgets and preferences. Here are some of the popular ones:
1. Franz Josef Mountain Heli-Hike
This is a half-day tour starting with a spectacular scenic helicopter flight over the Franz Josef Glacier. The tour gives visitors the opportunity to land on the glacier and explore its unique landscape. The tour includes a two-hour guided hike on the glacier, where you will encounter ice formations like crevasses, seracs, and tunnels. This tour is suitable for people who want to witness the beauty of the glacier up close.
2. Twin Glacier Helicopter Flight
On this tour, visitors will see the two of New Zealand’s most famous glaciers – the Fox Glacier and the Franz Josef Glacier. The 30-minute tour starts with an exhilarating helicopter flight over the Southern Alps, which will offer awe-inspiring views of these glaciers and their valleys. This tour is popular among families and couples who want to experience a shorter heli-flight.
3. Neve Discoverer Helicopter Tour
This tour is perfect for those who want to witness the natural beauty of this region but are short on time. The tour offers a 20-minute scenic helicopter flight over the nearby mountains and glaciers. Visitors can enjoy breathtaking views of the Southern Alps, the Tasman Sea, and the Franz Josef Glacier. This tour is highly recommended for people who want to capture a birdâ€™s eye view of the region’s unmatched natural beauty.
|No||Tour Name||Trip Duration|
|1||Franz Josef Mountain Heli-Hike||Half-day|
|2||Twin Glacier Helicopter Flight||30 minutes|
|3||Neve Discoverer Helicopter Tour||20 minutes|
Scenic flights with Franz Josef Helicopter Line
One of the most popular activities offered by Franz Josef Helicopter Line is the scenic flights over the Franz Josef and Fox glaciers, which offer breathtaking views of the New Zealand Southern Alps and the surrounding landscapes.
The flights are available in different durations and routes, ranging from 20 minutes to 40 minutes, depending on your preferences and budget. The shorter flights cover the Franz Josef Glacier only, while the longer ones offer a more extensive tour that includes the Fox Glacier as well.
Scenic flights routes and highlights
The most popular scenic flight route offered by Franz Josef Helicopter Line is the 30-minute round trip that takes you to the top of the Franz Josef Glacier. On this flight, you’ll get to experience the thrill of a snow landing, where you can step out of the helicopter and explore the beautiful frozen landscapes of the glacier.
Another popular route is the 40-minute scenic flight that covers both the Franz Josef Glacier and the Fox Glacier. On this flight, you’ll fly over the two glaciers and also get to experience a snow landing on one of them, where you can take photos and enjoy the stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
One of the highlights of the scenic flights is the opportunity to view the magnificent Tasman Sea, which meets the Southern Alps at the Tasman Glacier. You’ll also get to see the highest peak in New Zealand, Mount Cook, and other spectacular peaks of the Southern Alps.
Franz Josef scenic flights reviews
According to a TripAdvisor review, “The flight was amazing. It was truly breathtaking to see the glacier and the surrounding mountain landscapes from a bird’s-eye view. The snow landing was also unforgettable and gave us a chance to take some incredible photos.” Another customer says, “The views from the helicopter were simply amazing. It was a great way to experience the beauty of the Southern Alps and the glaciers up close.”
|1||20 minutes||Frans Josef Glacier only||From NZD $310 per person|
|2||30 minutes||Frans Josef Glacier with snow landing||From NZD $395 per person|
|3||40 minutes||Frans Josef and Fox Glacier with snow landing||From NZD $495 per person|
|3||Type of service|
|6||Duration of flights|
|8||Number of passengers per tour|
Franz Josef Helicopter Line Tours
One of the most popular activities that Franz Josef Glacier has to offer is a helicopter tour. Franz Josef Helicopter Line, established in 1987, is one of the best options for anyone wanting to take a tour over the glacier and mountains. The company offers a range of tour options to suit all budgets and interests. Below are some of the tours offered by Franz Josef Helicopter Line:
1. Franz Josef and Fox Glacier Scenic Flight
This 30-minute flight takes you on a scenic route over both glaciers, providing a panoramic bird’s eye view of everything from lush rainforests to towering ice formations. The trip departs from the town of Franz Josef, and passengers will be given an informative commentary on the glacier’s geology, history and environment.
2. Twin Glacier Helicopter Flight
This 40-minute tour takes you even closer to the glaciers than the previous one, and covers the Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier as well. During the journey, you will get to see crevasses, seracs, and other incredible ice formations up close.
3. Neve Discoverer Helicopter Tour
One of Franz Josef Helicopter Line’s most popular tours, this 30-minute trip allows passengers to land on the glacier itself and explore its unique features. This includes glacier hikes, ice caves exploration, and access to remote areas that can only be reached by helicopter. This tour is ideal for anyone looking for an adventurous and immersive experience.
4. Mountain Scenic Spectacular
On this 40-minute tour, you will see the full array of the Southern Alps’ most iconic and impressive mountain ranges. This includes views of the Franz Josef Glacier, Fox Glacier, and Tasman Glacier, which is the largest in New Zealand. You will get unparalleled views of mountain peaks, snow fields, and crystal-clear glacial lakes.
5. Alpine Snow Landing
This 20-minute flight is perfect for anyone seeking an alpine adventure without actually having to hike – the tour takes you to a remote, high-altitude location where you can enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding valleys, mountains, and glaciers. The tour also includes a snow landing, where you will have the chance to take memorable photos in the middle of the snow-clad landscape.
6. Grand Traverse Helicopter Tour
The ultimate helicopter tour experience, the Grand Traverse tour takes you on an unforgettable journey over both glaciers and lands you on the snow at over 8,000 feet on the Tasman Glacier. This 50-minute trip includes two snow landings and spectacular panoramic views of the Southern Alps.
7. Glacier Heli-Hike
This is Franz Josef Helicopter Line’s most popular tour and one of the best ways to explore the glacier’s unique features up close. The tour includes ice axe and boots hire and a 2-hour guided hike across the glacier. This tour is ideal for anyone who wants to delve deeper into the heart of the glacier and doesn’t mind a bit of physical activity.
Scenic Flights with Franz Josef Helicopter Line
If you want to see the stunning Franz Josef glacier from the air, Franz Josef Helicopter Line provides scenic flights for tourists and locals to see its beauty. They take off from a nearby airport, and it takes around 30-40 minutes to fly over the glacier’s ice formations, snow, and crevasses.
What to Expect from the Scenic Flight?
The pilots and staff of Franz Josef Helicopter Line are professional, competent, and experienced. They will provide you with a fascinating and informative tour of the glacier in the comfort of a helicopter. The rigid Airbus H130 helicopter offers a quieter and smoother ride with its flexible suspension that reduces turbulence and makes the flight much more comfortable for passengers.
Personalised Experience for Your Needs and Budget
In addition to the standard scenic flight, the company also offers several tailored flights depending on a person’s needs and budget. If you’re looking for an ultimate “wow moment” experience, you can choose to have an exclusive landing where you will be able to see the glacier up close and take stunning photos.
Moreover, there are private charters available for groups of friends/families who want to have an exclusive tour of the glacier. It provides a more personalised and intimate experience, especially if you’re celebrating an event or occasion.
Scenic Mountain Helicopter Tour
If you’re looking for an adventure that offers breathtaking views, then Franz Josef Helicopter Line’s Scenic Mountain Helicopter Tour should be at the top of your list. This tour offers an amazing perspective of New Zealand’s Southern Alps, with views of glaciers, valleys, and rainforests. The tour will begin at the Franz Josef Glacier Base, where you will board one of the company’s modern helicopters that are designed to provide maximum comfort and visibility.
During the tour, you’ll travel past rainforests and see the towering peaks of Aoraki/Mount Cook, the Tasman Glacier, and Mount Tasman. You’ll fly over the Franz Josef Glacier and the Fox Glacier, which offers stunning views of the glacier’s crevices and icefall. The tour includes highlights such as the Hochstetter Icefall, a spectacular natural phenomenon that includes a series of ice cascades, and the blue ice of the Treasury Basin.
The Scenic Mountain Helicopter Tour is the perfect length of time, lasting around 30-40 minutes, depending on weather conditions. This leaves you plenty of time to enjoy other activities in the area, such as hiking and glacier walks.
Alpine Snow Landing Helicopter Tour
Experience the beauty and grandeur of the Southern Alps like never before with Franz Josef Helicopter Line’s Alpine Snow Landing Helicopter Tour. This tour is perfect for visitors who want to immerse themselves in the splendor of New Zealand’s mountains while enjoying an unforgettable experience landing on the snow at high altitude.
The tour begins at the Franz Josef Glacier Base, where you’ll board one of the company’s modern helicopters. From there, you’ll fly to a high altitude in the Southern Alps and land on the snow. You’ll be able to get out of the helicopter and explore the stunning surroundings, which include towering peaks and glaciers. The views are truly breathtaking, and you’ll be able to enjoy them in peace and quiet, away from the crowds.
The Alpine Snow Landing Helicopter Tour lasts approximately 30-40 minutes, depending on weather conditions. This is the perfect amount of time to experience the beauty of the mountains without being away from the rest of your itinerary for too long. You’ll have plenty of time to explore the mountains and take photographs before returning to the base.
Franz Josef Helicopter Line offers various scenic flights that give you an aerial view of the majestic landscapes of the Franz Josef Glacier and the surrounding forests and mountains. One of the popular scenic flights is the Twin Glacier flight that provides a stunning view of both Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers. The Mount Cook tour is another scenic flight that allows you to see the highest peak of New Zealand, Aoraki/Mount Cook.
Twin Glacier Flight
The Twin Glacier flight is a 30-minute scenic tour that takes you up close to the Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers without landing. You will get to see the incredible textures and formations of the blue ice and the deep crevasses from the bird’s eye view. The flight also includes stunning views of the Southern Alps and Tasman Sea.
Mount Cook Tour
The Mount Cook tour is a 40-minute flight that features an unforgettable view of the highest peak of New Zealand, Aoraki/Mount Cook. The flight takes you over the Tasman Glacier, which is around 27 km long, and covers an area of 101 square km. You will also fly over the Tasman Valley and see the beautiful Hochstetter Icefall and the blue glacier ice pools.
Glacier Discovery Scenic Flight
The Glacier Discovery Scenic Flight is one of the most popular tours offered by Franz Josef Helicopter Line. The flight takes you on a 40-minute journey around the iconic Franz Josef glacier and offers breathtaking panoramic views of the Southern Alps. During the flight, you will fly through several of the glacier’s valleys, over dramatic ice formations, and past towering peaks that are over 3,000 meters high.
Experience the Beauty of the Glacier
The highlight of the Glacier Discovery Scenic Flight is undoubtedly the opportunity to see the stunning Franz Josef Glacier up close. The glacier covers over 28 square kilometers and has been slowly advancing over the past few years, making it a truly unique natural wonder to see. The helicopter flight takes you within a few hundred meters of the glacier, allowing you to see its many crevasses and ice formations in great detail.
Expert Commentary and Live Cockpit Audio
During your Glacier Discovery Scenic Flight, you’ll also have access to live commentary from your experienced pilot. They’ll be able to explain the history and geological formation of the glacier, as well as point out other notable landmarks along the way. Additionally, the helicopters are equipped with live cockpit audio, so you can hear all of the exciting flight details as they happen in real-time.
Franz Josef Helicopter Line FAQ
If you have any questions or concerns about your Franz Josef Helicopter Line experience, please read through our frequently asked questions below. If you cannot find an answer to your question, please do not hesitate to contact us.
1. Where is Franz Josef Helicopter Line located?
We are located at Franz Josef Glacier in New Zealand’s South Island.
2. What helicopter models do you use?
We use a range of helicopters from the EC120 to the AS350. Our helicopters are well-maintained and regularly serviced.
3. Can I choose which helicopter model I fly in?
You may request a different helicopter, but the final decision will be made by the pilot in charge.
4. How many passengers can fit in one helicopter?
Our helicopters can carry up to 6 passengers and your pilot.
5. How long are the flights?
Our flights range from 20 minutes to 40 minutes.
6. What should I wear for my helicopter flight?
We recommend you dress warmly and wear comfortable shoes. Sunglasses are also recommended.
7. Can I bring a camera on my flight?
Yes, you are welcome to bring a camera. We also have a professional photographer who can accompany you on your flight upon request.
8. What happens if the weather is bad on the day of my flight?
The decision to fly on the day is made by the pilot in charge. If the weather is deemed unsuitable, we will reschedule your flight or offer a full refund.
9. Is there an age limit for flying with Franz Josef Helicopter Line?
There is no age limit, but children must be accompanied by an adult.
10. Are there any weight restrictions?
Yes, there are weight restrictions. Please see our website for more information.
11. Can I bring a wheelchair or mobility device on my flight?
Please contact us in advance to discuss any special requirements you may have.
12. Is the flight safe?
Yes, all of our pilots are highly trained professionals with extensive flying experience.
13. What is the scenery like?
The scenery from our helicopter flights is some of the most breathtaking in the world. You will have unforgettable views of the Franz Josef Glacier and the Southern Alps.
14. Is there a toilet on board the helicopter?
Unfortunately, there is no toilet on board our helicopters.
15. What if I need to cancel my flight?
Please refer to our cancellation policy on our website or contact us for more information.
Learn about the thrilling experience of flying over glaciers in New Zealand with Franz Josef Helicopter Line, which offers breathtaking