THE FIRST flight of a tourist zeppelin around Paris took place over the weekend.
Twelve passengers embarked on the 75m aircraft which flies at 300m altitude at an average 70kmh, carrying 12 passengers.
At the controls was English pilot Katharine Board, one of only a dozen people qualified to fly the zeppelin.
The flight took place over and around the capital, taking in views of La Défense and the Eiffel Tower.
“It’s a historic day. There has never been a tourist airship flying in France,” the director of Airship-Paris, which runs the tours, Franck Glaser told Le Parisien.
The company offers three tours from its base in Pontoise, to the north west of the capital: to Versailles and its gardens over the Château de Monte-Cristo; to the Château de Chantilly, over the landscapes that inspired the Impressionists; and a tour of chateaux including the Château de Villette, which appeared in the Da Vinci Code.
It also offers trial flights for 30 minutes around the Parc National du Vexin Français nearby the airstrip.
Prices range from €250 to €650 depending on the length of the trip (30-90 minutes).