Travel Like a Boss with Helijet!
In travelling, it’s sometimes not just the destination that matters. The entire trip would be worth it if the journey was a blast. And if you were riding a first-class helicopter on your way to the destination, then you know you nailed it!
Helijet has been the top helicopter airlines in the North American continent. They have been operating since 1986, taking their passengers to some of the most amazing sceneries. They use 12-seater choppers that can fly through virtually any weather condition. Every weekday this summer, they are flying from Vancouver (both the harbor and the airport) to Nanaimo and Victoria. The schedule lasts until September 9.
On my trip, I took one from Vancouver to Victoria and vice versa. The travel costs $199 each way. I was told that this is one of the more affordable rates, since summer travel is apparently less busy. Helijet’s peak season comes during winter and fall, when prices can shoot up to $285.
What I really love with Helijet is how smooth the entire travel was. I have already mentioned that their Sikorsky S76 choppers can take any weather condition. When we departed from Vancouver, the weather was very gloomy. Visibility while on air was nil. Everything was so gray it felt like a flight simulation than anything else. However, the chopper (and the pilot, of course) handled the flight perfectly. We had a very smooth ride, from takeoff to landing.
The travel time took around 35 minutes. Helijet flies you directly to the inner harbor, so that you land in the heart of Victoria City. The company also offers a shuttle that can take you downtown. The shuttle is only for the landing part, though. You still need to find your way towards the heliport.
The latter is quite easy. To get to the Vancouver Harbor Heliport, simply take the train and alight at Waterfront Station. Go through the Waterfront Station Skywalk. The entire overhead walkway is a paid zone, so you have to show a proof of payment like a transit ticket. From here, you can follow signs to the Helijet. If you are driving or taking a cab, just get off at Waterfront Road. From Victoria, take Bus 31 and have the driver drop you off at Helijet. It’s just a short, 2-minute walk from the bus stop to the heliport itself. When driving or in a cab, take Dallas Road.
Another thing I really loved about Helijet is the fact that their pilots really show their passengers the good stuff. On the return trip to Vancouver, we got some good views. The gray sky was no longer. Our pilot suddenly announced that he saw breaching whales, and he made a U-turn to show us the sights. It was an amazing view, the type you see in nature documentary shows. We were really lucky to have seen it!
Of course, the service and amenities are also five-star. This is to be expected from the country’s premier helicopter airlines. The Vancouver lounge itself is a place to be, offering not just snacks and coffee but also cheese and wine for free! One can surf the net from their free WiFi, and I got a kick from the beautiful harbor view. This make any waiting time between flights easier.
Passengers are allowed a total of 50 lbs. of luggage, which is quite a lot. The staff themselves are very accommodating. I even asked the pilot for a picture, and he was more than willing! The whole service makes passengers feel at home.
For those traveling with family, bring your kids along with you! Kids 12 and under can fly for free in Helijet. If you have teens, fulfill their rock star dreams by taking the Rock The Shores package. For just $79 per way, Helijet flies you into the Rock The Shores musical festival. And not just anywhere in the fest — you get to land backstage! Rock The Shores happens annually every July, so save the date if you love rock ‘n’ roll.
Aside from the regular schedules, Helijet offers charter flights along the coastal communities. The company has also partnered with the British Columbia Air Ambulance Service. They provide air medical transport in case of emergencies. If you are the type to miss itineraries, you’re in luck — Helijet also takes chance passengers! Simply walk in and they’ll let you enjoy the ride.
A chopper ride is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. And it’s even better when you’re taking one of the best chopper lines this side of the globe!