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“Pretty Disappointed”

Franz Josef Glacier Guides
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$56.32*
and up
Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk
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$337.16*
and up
Heli-Hike Franz Josef Glacier Walk
Ranked #2 of 11 Tours in Franz Josef
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: The magnificent Franz Josef Glacier is widely regarded as the gen of New Zealand’s West Coast Glaciers.Franz Josef Glacier Guides gives you the opportunity to experience the most spectacular glacier environment available to the general public anywhere in the world, offering a range of glacier hiking tours to suit all levels of fitness and ability.We make a clear commitment to you that our trip is the most spectacular and rewarding available.
Reviewed December 30, 2013

Myself and a group of friends did the heli hike with Franz Josef Glacier Guides, overall we felt a little let down considering the price of the tour. Firstly this is NOT a hike, it is more like a tour of a small part of the glacier, you are on the ice for almost 3 hours and in that time you only cover about 1-1.5km, this is because every 5 minutes for about 10 minutes the guide stops you while he unnecessarily re carves steps in the ice with a pick, even though everyone is wearing crampons on their boots, obviously in some areas this was required but most of the time it seemed it was being done to prevent us catching the tour ahead of us, which lead to us spending roughly most of our time on the ice stood around waiting.

On the other hand the guide was friendly and pretty knowledgeable, and answered any questions we had. The kit supplied was decent quality and the heli ride was good but over within 5 minutes.

3  Thank Tom B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed December 29, 2013 via mobile

We booked the Heli Hike tour and were not disappointed. Our guide on the glacier, Ben, was great (although I think he was relatively new to the job), he was knowledgeable and enthusiastic. Unfortunately we had a couple of people in our group who were very unsteady on the ice so we had to go at their speed which left a lot of the group restless to explore more but Ben did a good job of encouraging the slower members while keeping the rest of us entertained and safe.
Though we would of liked it if they could of matched the groups abilities better before setting off so we could see more of the glacier and hike further. Perhaps this is something your company could look at doing in the future? Have different ability groups set off at different times?
The helicopter ride doesn't take that long but the views are fantastic and you even get an interesting commentary from the pilot.
This is a 'must do' whilst in New Zealand.

Thank ohyoubetter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 27, 2013

We were hesitant whether or not we should book a trip to the glaciers as at $300 per person it sounded a little high. I am so very glad we did!

This trip was worth every single penny! The beauty of the helicopter trip to the Glacier will leave you stunned! We walked around the glacier with the help of a very knowledgeable and funny guide, Vince! He kept us entertained throughout the hike and showed us a great time.

You get to go into beautiful blue ice caves and shimmy through extremely narrow bits of the glacier, where you really need to suck your belly in to get through.

Money very well spent and a trip never to be forgotten!

Be sure to ASK before you book as with the weather flights might be cancelled, which is actually common sense. If you're planning an itinerary in NZ, give 2-3 days at the glaciers as weather differs from day to day, hour to hour actually.

Thank Petyusha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 26, 2013

After booking one of the glacier tours through an I-site, we arrived to be told that the booking is reflected as being for a different date on their system, even though the printed voucher reflects the date we asked for.

No explanation of how this could happen, no attempt to rectify, not even an excuse. Extremely unhelpful, unfriendly, and utterly clueless!

Thank betteke g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FJGlacierGuides, Manager at Franz Josef Glacier Guides, responded to this reviewResponded January 5, 2014

Kia ora betteke g

Thank you for your feedback on your recent experience with our reservations team here at Franz Josef Glacier Guides. Although it is never nice to receive feedback like this, I do appreciate you taking the time to let us know about the issues you encountered.

I have reviewed your feedback with the team here, and understand that the booking was made through an agent who accidentally booked your excursion on the wrong day in our system (which they are directly linked into), then issued you a voucher with the date and time you had requested originally on it (which is manually generated). This was what the agent stated to us when we called to find out what had happened, and my understanding was this is what was relayed to you at our reservations counter.

Unfortunately, the date you were after was fully booked (and had been fully booked for a number of days prior) making it impossible to accommodate your request.

I do apologies if this was not clearly communicated to you at the time or if you felt we did not deal with your situation in a better manner. Unfortunately, we have very limited availability (due to the use of helicopters to access the ice) and there were no additional spaces to put you onto.

I hope the rest of your travels throughout New Zealand were safe and enjoyable. Please feel free to contact me directly if you have any further feedback - marketing@franzjosefglacier.com

Kind regards

Kerry

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 24, 2013

Our first time in a helicopter and as we took off we were buzzing; until we landed about five minutes later! The views were spectacular and I suppose we had been spoilt with a 40 minute flight at queenstown to Milford sounds but I agree with one of the other reviewers that you would expect a bit more of a flight prior to landing rather than it simply being like a spectacular taxi service to the glacier. The guide Pete was excellent and the walk very informative. He got all the group involved and made the walk a great experience... Then there was the flight back which was quicker than the flight there! - Was that possible? I would review the options again if I did this trip over to see whether the additional money for the heli hike may be better spent put towards a dedicated helicopter trip; taking nothing away from visiting the glacier which is a must

Thank JamieRyanH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FJGlacierGuides, Manager at Franz Josef Glacier Guides, responded to this reviewResponded January 5, 2014

Kia ora Jamie H

Thank you for your feedback on your recent experience with us! I'm glad to hear you enjoyed the time you spent on the ice.

I just wanted to follow up on your comments regarding the helicopter time. I just wanted to check with you which trip you were on? Our Ice Explorer is just a heli hop to the ice - e.g. not much flight time. However our Heli Hike would afford more time in the air with a bit of a scenic flight on the way up (and then straight down after). Could you please let me know which trip you were on so I can follow this up for you?

Many thanks and safe travels
Kerry

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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