There’s just something special about looking at a destination from above as you’re approaching it. Be it watching waves crash against the lush greenery of a tropical paradise like Bali, or admiring the view of a million twinkling lights illuminating cities like Los Angeles, everything seems so much more magical when you see it from a vantage point. There has to be a reason why window seats on planes are so coveted, after all.
While gazing down at the vast panoramas from some of the best seats in a commercial plane (or if you’re lucky, the cockpit) is something you wouldn’t mind splashing a little bit more money for, there’s no better feeling than marvelling at it from an open-air private helicopter. You can fly over never-ending coastlines while sipping champagne, take in views of orange-hued sunsets over sparkling waters, and explore rugged landscapes only accessible via helicopter tours — the possibilities are endless.
Much like sailing in a high-tech yacht or embarking on an air cruise on the world’s largest private jet, going on a luxurious helicopter tour is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you’ll find yourself endlessly raving about to your loved ones.
Such tours treat you to a bird’s-eye view of some of the most beautiful scenery. From hovering above the magnificent Grand Canyon to New York City’s awe-inspiring skyscrapers, these are the helicopter tours you need to embark on, stat.
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If you’re in Las Vegas and decide that you want a completely different experience other than its glitzy nightlife, you can now travel in luxury to one of the seven natural wonders of the world.
This 70-minute flightseeing tour will depart from Boulder City (but you’ll be picked up from your Vegas hotel in a Mercedes Benz van) and treat you to spectacular aerial views of the Hoover Dam, Lake Mead and the Black Canyon before soaring over the Colorado River and Grand Canyon.
From $416.84, www.viator.com
New Zealand boasts some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. If you’re in Queenstown, embark on a tour by Glacier Southern Lakes Helicopters, which offer daily scenic helicopter tours around Queenstown, Middle Earth, Mt Aspiring and Fiordland National Park departing from the city.
Our favourite? The Milford Sound tour, taking you on a flight over the World Heritage Area which boasts rugged forests, pristine lakes and waterfalls, and jagged mountain peaks. You will also be treated to a glacier landing on the stunning Mt Tutoko glacier in the heart of Fiordland National Park, and have the option to go on a two-hour boat cruise to experience all that the area has to offer.
From S$1,158, www.glaciersouthernlakes.co.nz
Live the high life (literally) in New York City. Although there are many companies offering helicopter tours in the city, Manhattan Helicopters offers envy-inducing VIP tours with extended routes that show you the best views in the iconic city.
The extended route (approximately 30 minutes) will treat you to panoramic views of the Big Apple. You’ll find yourself flying over the Empire State Building, Times Square, Central Park and the Statue of Liberty, before ending the flight with a jaw-dropping view of the Palisades Mountains in the north.
From S$473, www.manhattanhelicopters.com
Exploring the windy roads of Amalfi Coast is a dream come true for many. Taking in the views from a helicopter? Even better.
SAM Helicopters, which does various routes, has a tour perfect for people looking to see the world-famous coast from above. You’ll go through the Sorrentine Peninsula on the Bay of Naples before finding yourself looking at the emerald seas of the Amalfi Coast. Other destinations in the 50-minute route include Positano, Capri and Sorrento.
Price upon enquiry, www.capri-helicopters.com
The swanky Peninsula Hong Kong combines two of our favourite past times — afternoon tea and flying. The ultimate Sky Tour and Teatime experience begins with a whirlwind helicopter tour of Hong Kong Island, where you get to take in unparalleled views of Hong Kong’s skyline and natural landscapes.
After the 15-minute flight, wind down with a classic afternoon tea at the beautiful lobby of the luxury hotel.
S$738 for two, www.hongkong.peninsula.com