How many passengers per helicopter?
Each helicopter can seat up to six passengers, provided the weight and balance calculations work out in each aircraft.
What if my tour group is larger than 6 people?
We have several helicopters available at our base and can make accommodations for larger groups with advance notice. If your group exceeds 6 passengers and requires the use of multiple aircraft, we instruct our pilots to coordinate landing locations on the glacier so that you can have your landing time together.
Why do you land on the Herbert Glacier?
We find the Herbert Glacier to be of particular charm and seclusion. Most passengers on our helicopter tours feel like they’re the only people in the world while on their glacier landing, and we like to keep it that unique and exclusive for everyone.
Will the pilot get out with us?
Definitely. Our company prides itself on the personalized feel of our tours, and to that end, your pilot will act as your guide for your entire helicopter tour, including the time you’ll spend on the glacier. This allows for a truly focused tour experience.
Can I reserve the front seat?
We are unable to guarantee any seating assignments in advance of your tour date. Weight and balance is calculated when passengers are weighed during check in and the seats are assigned at that time. We ask for approximate weights during the booking process to get within the ballpark, but weigh each passenger at our helicopter base before the flight to get updated weights.
Will we see wildlife on the tour?
There is a good chance wildlife will be seen during your tour, either in flight or while on the glacier. However, this is not a wildlife viewing tour and we cannot guarantee you will see wildlife.
Can I take any bags with me on the helicopter?
We have a strict no bag policy for all our tours. If you have a medically necessary bag or apparatus, such as an oxygen condenser, ambi-pen or re-breather, you can absolutely take it with you, but all other bags brought to our base must be stored in our storage bins at the base. This does include all camera bags. We find that it works better to have your camera out and at the ready from the start of the tour, than to have it tucked away when that perfect picture moment comes.
Can children come on the tour?
Absolutely! We are more than happy to accommodate children of all ages and have several FAA aircraft approved child seats available for customers to use.
Is there a child fare for any of your tours?
As each child is given their own full seat for the duration of the tour, there is no child price available.
Can I have my child sit on my lap in the helicopter?
Due to the safety concerns associated with double seating while in a moving vehicle or any variety, company policy does not allow lap children on the helicopter. However, while on the dogsled tour, you are more than welcome to hold your child on your lap for the duration of the tour.
Is the dogsled tour on an actual glacier?
Yes, our dogsled operator, Alaska Icefield Expeditions, is flown up via helicopter early in the season and sets up camp on the Herbert Glacier in advance of the summer tours.
Will there be snow at the dog camp?
Yes. Our dog sleds are similar to any you might see in professional competition and require a certain amount of snow in order to operate.
Will I get to stand and mush the dogsled team?
You do have the option and opportunity to stand in the musher’s position while on the dogsled tour. For safety reasons, the actual dogsled musher will be able to assume control of the dogsled at all times, but will give you instructions on how to safely control the sled for the duration of your trip.
How many people per dogsled?
Each team of 10 – 12 Alaskan huskies is hooked up to a double sled arrangement, which allows for up to 4 passengers per dogsled team. We generally keep bookings at 12 passengers each hour, so the usual load out for each team is 4 passengers, but we can make just about any grouping work.
How cold will it be on the glacier?
It is generally 10 – 15 degrees Fahrenheit colder on the glacier than at ground level. If there is wind or rain it will feel colder, but if it’s sunny the day you arrive, then it might be quite warm.
What should I bring to best prepare for my tour?
The best thing to bring with you to Juneau is a bit of flexibility. Our city is amazingly beautiful most of the year, but at times, it can be home to torrential rain, gale force winds and fog that would rival pea soup. So be prepared for the possibilities when you pack, bring several light layers that you can easily put on and take off, a good wind-breaking layer that you can wear under a heavier rain repellent jacket, and make sure to pack yourself a set of gloves and a hat, especially when you’re booked on the dogsled tour. Holding on to the cross bar while you’re mushing can get particularly cold. Believe it or not, a pair of sunglasses is a useful item most passengers feel they don’t need to bring, as we don’t necessarily get blistering sunshine here, but while you’re up on the glacier, any amount of light can become extremely intense due to the reflective nature of the Juneau Icefield.
What happens if the weather is too bad to fly?
If the weather is just not cooperating with us and our pilots determine that it’s too bad to fly, we’ll do our best to reschedule you to a later time of day that works for you. If you choose not to reschedule, or we can’t find a time that works for you, our refund policy clearly states that refunds due to weather canceled flights are refunded in full, if you should book through a third party the refund policy may be slightly different and we recommend reviewing it at your time of booking.
What kind of aircraft do you fly?
Our helicopter fleet is comprised of Eurocopter Astar 350s with a supplementary compliment of Bell Jet Rangers.
How much experience do your pilots have?
We employ several full time pilots here at Coastal Helicopters to fly the year round work that we have. Each summer, we train and employ additional pilots to assist with the increased workload that comes with longer daylight hours. All pilots at Coastal are selected by our Chief Pilot and held to the highest standard of excellence.
What if I have limited mobility?
Our Icefield Excursion is ADA compliable. We have an ADA lift that assists guests with getting in and out of the helicopter. If guests use the ADA lift, they will be required to stay inside the helicopter on the glacier. While on the glacier the pilot-guide will open the doors so guests can still take in the sights, sounds and smells.
Our Dogsled tour does require guests to have some mobility to get in and out of the helicopter. If you are unable to walk in soft snow, please let us know, and we will notify our Dog Sled camp to have a sled meet you at the helicopter and tow you by snow machine to the orientation area.
It is very important to let us know if you have limited mobility so we can be prepared to accommodate you and your party.
Will you get me back to my ship on time?
Yes. All reservations are reviewed and evaluated by Coastal Staff Members with reference to the expected cruise ship schedule to insure a timely return to your ship. In the event of a significant unexpected delay that would affect your ability to return to the ship, your tour will be cancelled and a full refund provided.
Can I use my UAV, Drone or other remote controlled device on the tour?
Unfortunately, due to strict policies regarding the controlled airspace in which we fly and rules managing Forest Service land use, UAVs, Drones and other remote controlled devices are not allowed on the tour.
What is your refund policy?
Cancellations made at least 7 days prior to scheduled tour will be refunded in full. Cancellations made 4-6 days prior to a scheduled tour will be charged 50%. Cancellations within 3 days of your scheduled tour will not be refunded. Cancellations must be confirmed via e-mail or phone with a Coastal Helicopters employee.
If Coastal Helicopters cancels a flight due to weather, cruise ship delay, or flight delay, and we are unable to reschedule to a later time, the passenger will be refunded. Decisions to fly are at the discretion of Coastal Helicopters, Inc.
Do you provide transportation to and from the cruise ships and local hotels?