Space Adventures has reached an agreement with the Federal Space Agency of the Russian Federation (FSA) and Rocket Space Corporation Energia (RSC Energia) to commercially offer three seats on the Soyuz spacecraft bound for the International Space Station (ISS), beginning in 2013.
The seats will be made available through the increase of Soyuz production, from four to five spacecraft per year. Each flight will be of short duration, approximately 10 days, and will contribute to the increase of launch capacity to the ISS.
Eric Anderson, Chairman of Space Adventures, said, “Since Guy Laliberté’s mission, there has been an increase of interest by private individuals, organisations and commercial entities seeking ways to access the space station. We have been speaking with these parties about science, education and multi-media programmes and hope to make some major announcements in the coming year.”
Space Adventures became world-renowned 10 years ago with the launch of Dennis Tito, the world’s first privately-funded space explorer. Since then, the company has arranged seven additional missions to the ISS.
“Cumulatively, our clients have spent almost three months in space, travelling over 36 million miles, and have been true ambassadors in sharing their experience and explaining to millions of people around the world why it’s important to explore space,” added Anderson.
Alexei Krasnov, Director of Human Spaceflight of FSA, said, “We are very pleased to continue space tourism with Space Adventures. Also, the addition of a fifth Soyuz spacecraft to the current manifest will add flexibility and redundancy to our ISS transportation capabilities. We welcome the opportunity to increase our efforts to meet the public demand for access to space.”
Just remember, if you have to ask, you probably can’t afford it. We can tell you that the prices are, of course, astronomical!
Worldhotels launches first Branded Hotels
Worldhotels has unveiled its first branded hotels in Germany and Kazakhstan: Worldhotel The Rilano Munich, Worldhotel The Rilano Hamburg and Worldhotel Saltanat Almaty.
Being launched this month, they are the first of the group’s 450 hotels to display the Worldhotels brand prominently in the hotel name, exterior signage and at various points of the property.
“Our first three branded hotels perfectly represent everything Worldhotels stands for,” said Robert Hornman, Managing Director of the group. “They boast excellent facilities for leisure and business guests to work, sleep, dine and unwind, whilst at the same time featuring a great location and a unique style and atmosphere.”
The new branding solution of Worldhotels was introduced in September as an alternative to standard franchise contracts. For a competitive all-inclusive annual fee, independent hotels competing against global chains can now brand themselves as a Worldhotel and benefit from the impact, support and strong return on investment of a global brand while still maintaining their unique identity. By 2013, the group plans to have added 50 branded hotels.
“Our focus is on guest experience and quality, not on standardising hardware,” added Hornman. “Our hotels offer premium facilities for discerning business and leisure travellers as well as a unique ambience and design. We believe that high standards don’t have to mean high standardisation.”
Worldhotel The Rilano Munich is located in the popular district of Schwabing, just 10 minutes from the city centre and close to the Allianz Arena, the Olympic area and the BMW World. With 700m2 of conference facilities, it is ideal for meetings and events. The four-star superior hotel features 150 rooms, all with flat screen TVs and ergonomic work stations. Guests can enjoy sleeping in specially designed Rilano beds which were developed together with the leading German manufacturer Mühldorfer and boast high-quality mattresses, duvets and a selection of pillows. Culinary highlights are the bar Coffee Fellows, the Restaurant mamma minuti as well as the modern Jazz restaurant where guests can study the menu and place their orders with stylish iPads and a specially created Rilano App.
Spread over six floors with 170 rooms, Worldhotel The Rilano Hamburg is situated in the Finkenwerder district, beside the river Elbe. All rooms of the hotel are decorated in natural colours such as beige, soft vanilla and woody dark brown and offer amazing views of the river. Guests can enjoy the sauna and fitness area with solarium free of charge. In addition, the hotel offers five modern conference rooms with air-conditioning and state-of-the-art technology. The popular Fusion Bar serves exotic cocktails and a wide selection of wines. Another highlight is the excellent restaurant River View with a summer terrace boasting spectacular views of the luxury cruise liners and impressive container ships passing by on the Elbe.
The new four-star Worldhotel Saltanat Almaty is scheduled to open this month and is located in the historical heart of Almaty, Kazakhstan, within walking distance of famous sights such as the Republic Square, Central State Museum and Presidential Palace, and just three kilometres from the main train station and 15 kilometres from the airport. The building has been completely renovated and features 60 modern rooms, all of which are decorated in warm colours and fresh design elements and offer panoramic windows, air conditioning, free wireless Internet and in-room print, scan and copy amenities. Additional facilities include a restaurant with summer terrace, lobby bar and fitness centre complete with state-of-the-art cardio and muscle exercise equipment.