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Commercial Zeppelin Rides Launch In San Francisco

The world's largest airship will ferry passengers around the Bay Area's most scenic spots.
The operator of the largest zeppelin in the world will offer tours of the San Francisco Bay area, beginning this week.

Airship Ventures brought the 246-foot-long dirigible from Hamburg Germany via a container ship across the Atlantic to the port of Beaumont, Texas earlier this month. After reassembly and flight checks, it flew the ship west to California and over the Golden Gate Bridge into the Bay area.

The company will offer scenic tours from the Silicon Valley, Napa wine region, and Big Sur coastline. Airship Ventures also plans to use the zeppelin for technological and scientific research missions.

The cabin can hold the pilot, a flight attendant, and up to 12 passengers. It has oversized panoramic windows, an onboard restroom with a window, and a unique 180-degree rear observation window and "love seat."

"Imagine being gently lifted into the sky, a birds-eye view of life 1000 feet below," Brian Hall, Airship Ventures president, said in a statement. "You will gain a new perspective of our world, and your place within it."

Alex Hall, Airship Ventures CEO, said that the operation in the United States is the culmination of nearly two years of work by employees at Airship Ventures and German manufacturer Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik.

The private company said its zeppelin is the largest airship flying in the United States. The company hopes to expand by adding more airships in several U.S. locations.

Prices begin at $495 per person and vary based on duration and destination. Group packages and custom tours are available.

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