The Most Romantic Flight Surprise We Can Think Of
Do yourself a favor this Valentine's Day and skip the expensive dinner, skip the diamond engagement ring. Instead, put airline tickets in the hands of your love, and give the gift of an experience. All this week, we'll be sharing a few of our own recommendations for some of the most romantic travel ideas in this world.
Idea #2: Seaplane flights for two
Please allow us to switch into the first-person for a moment, to describe the most romantic thing we did for ourselves in 2013 and which you, in 2014, should absolutely take under consideration.
There's something innately seductive about Vancouver. Perhaps it's all that fresh air, the surrounding mountains and sparkling harbour, and a summer season short enough to get the entire city out and about in their shortest shorts from July to September. For a frequent traveler like myself, however, the allure is heightened by the delicious tangibility of seaplane flights.
Vancouver is the home base for Harbour Air, the world's largest seaplane airline and also the only completely carbon neutral airline. Their DeHavilland Otters and Beavers buzz Vancouver's shoreline day-in and day-out, flying commuters and residents to Victoria, Nanaimo, Salt Spring Island and Whistler, but it's their extra special offerings you'll want to check out.
Although any one of their flights has the potential to be a romantic experience, it's their Alpine Lakes and Glaciers trip or Fly and Dine to Horseshoe Bay we'd suggest for couples. Alpine Lakes and Glaciers ($325 per adult) is a private flight into and out of Vancouver Harbour, up around Mount Mamquam, with a landing on a secluded lake and a picnic lunch on the beach. If ever there was a perfect time to propose...
My own trip was a last-minute, "it's my birthday!" decision to book Harbour Air's $208pp "Mail Run," which is a surprise routing through British Columbia's Gulf Islands as the seaplanes pick up and drop off locals in the remote locales. It's excellent if you're looking to do a little flying around, but I would've enjoyed some quiet time in any one of the locations at which we landed, and to have the seaplane at my disposal, as the other private tours offer. In any case, I may have to make this an annual treat.
Pro tip: If you're planning a cruise that departs from Vancouver, schedule in a few extra days before or after to stay in town and add a Harbour Air flight (or two). That's the best of both worlds, really: sea and sky.
[Photos: Cynthia Drescher/Jaunted]