DAY 1 | OCTOBER 18
Travel to Moscow
Today, you board your flight and depart from your international gate city for the flight to Moscow. Depending on your flight, there may be a layover in Europe, before continuing on.
DAY 2 | OCTOBER 19
This afternoon you arrive at Moscow’s international airport, where an A&K Space representative assists you with Customs and Immigration formalities and your baggage. You then transfer by private sedan to the deluxe Ararat Park Hyatt Hotel, located near Red Square and the Bolshoi Theatre, with the city’s impressive sights and shopping within walking distance. The deluxe hotel is noted for its contemporary décor, impeccable service and panoramic views of the Kremlin and Duma Parliament. Take time to relax after your flight, and then meet your fellow travellers and guide at a welcome reception. Later, dine at the hotel’s restaurant.
Ararat Park Hyatt Hotel D
Note: During your stay at the Ararat Park Hyatt Hotel you will be served full buffet breakfasts in the hotel.
DAY 3 | OCTOBER 20
The rich cultural heritage in Moscow enchants both the eye and the mind, with the reminders of tyrannical regimes mingling with gorgeous orthodox churches and world-class museums. This morning, your VIP status grants you preview access to the historic walled Kremlin. The oldest section of Moscow, the Kremlin is characterized by ancient and magnificent structures, including 15th century cathedrals, the bell-tower, the Patriarch’s Palace and Grand Kremlin Palace. You explore three magnificent cathedrals, including St. Basil’s Cathedral with its onion-shaped domes, built by Ivan the Terrible, and Cathedral of the Assumptions, where the czars were traditionally married.
Enjoy lunch at The Mill Restaurant, which serves traditional Russian fare in a 19th century atmosphere. Then continue to the State Armory, which houses an impressive collection of Russian artifacts, including Alexei Romanov’s 17th century throne and, of course, the famous Faberge eggs. The museum’s highlight: the Diamond Fund’s dazzling 190-carat diamond, a gift to Catherine the Great from her lover. A private a capella
concert on the Kremlin grounds completes your tour.
This evening, you dine at the Godunov Restaurant, with its fantastic vaulted ceiling, lavish ornamentation and authentic Armenian cuisine. Complementing your dinner: a live performance by folk musicians.
Ararat Park Hyatt Hotel B L D
DAY 4 | OCTOBER 21
Korolev Mission Control/Sergiev Posad
You venture this morning to the center of Moscow to Korolev, the Russian Space Industry’s mission control and the equivalent of the U.S. Johnson Control. Your VIP tour illustrates how the center controls the Soyuz during the launch, flight and docking stages. A Korolev engineer explains how the Russians handle the logistics of space flight operations.
This afternoon, you continue on to the rural settlement of Sergiev Posad, an ancient center of the Russian Orthodox Church one of the country’s most important religious and historical landmarks. Tour the medieval Trinity Monastery of St. Sergius, which dates to 1340 and retains the aura of Medieval Russia. The monks here withstood a Polish siege from 1608 to 1610; later, they sheltered young Czars Peter and Ivan in the 1680s. Breathtaking iconic paintings are displayed beneath the monastery’s glorious gilded domes. Sergiev Posad remains a place of spiritual pilgrimage to this very day.
Ararat Park Hyatt Hotel B L D
DAY 5 | OCTOBER 22
Star City/Yuri A. Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center
Today you transfer to Star City, also known as Zvenzdny Gorodok (which means “little town of stars”). Many cosmonauts and their families live here, and Star City has its own post office, shops and train station. Upon arrival, you check into the Usabda Country Club.
Once you’ve settled in, you begin your experience of Cosmonaut Life with an overview of Star City and an introduction to the Yuri A. Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, which until recently remained hidden in a forest outside Moscow and accessible primarily by rail. During the Cold War, the Cosmonaut Training Center and its town-like atmosphere were touted as a Soviet success. Today, this vibrant training facility operated by the Russian Ministry of Defense thoroughly educates and prepares cosmonauts for space exploration. Some of the facility’s features include full-size models of major spacecraft developed in the former Soviet Union (such as Mir, Soyuz and the International Space Station), the hydro lab for weightlessness training, a “flying laboratory” that simulates zero-gravity conditions, and the world’s largest centrifuge.
In the afternoon, it’s your turn. You begin your cosmonaut experience with a session on the clinical/psychological methods of cosmonaut selection and the simulators that duplicate movement and conditions in Space. After lunch, your cosmonaut education continues with sessions on the Orbital Station Mir and the International Space Station, as well as the equipment and methods cosmonauts use to conduct experiments on board the ISS.
After dinner, you may enjoy time at your leisure.
Usadba Country Club B L D
DAY 6 | OCTOBER 23
You begin your day with a training session on the flight scheme of the transport spacecraft Soyuz, followed by training on the construction and functions of the Orlan Space Suit, which functions essentially as a “personal space ship.” After lunch, you learn the basics of space navigation, augmented by your guided visit to the on-site astronavigation complex a planetarium capable of projecting as many as 9,000 stars.
The rest of the afternoon is all about survival. You are trained in crew survival in different climate zones in case of emergency landing, and on the energy supply of piloted space devices. Later, in the classroom, you hone your space survival skills even further.
Enjoy dinner and time at your leisure.
Usadba Country Club B L D
DAY 7 | OCTOBER 24
Begin your day with a big challenge: to dock a manned spaceship, using the Soyuz simulator. Then center staff members demonstrate the use of the colossal Centrifuge TSF-18. Cosmonauts get hungry, and you are briefed on the Russian space meal system and sample three courses of space food. A “down-to-Earth” lunch follows.
This afternoon you visit the Yuri A. Garagin Museum, named after this Soviet hero who in 1961 became the first human in space and the first to orbit the Earth. The excellent museum displays artifacts and historic spacecraft all of which will have a new, enriched meaning and significance to you as you now have a better understanding and appreciation of cosmonaut space travel.
Tonight’s celebration features a meeting with an actual cosmonaut, who will talk about space exploration today and give a Russian perspective on space exploration in the coming decades. Having completed three days of Cosmonaut Experience, you will be awarded a diploma, featuring your name. Later, enjoy dinner with your fellow “cosmonauts,” and then spend the rest of your evening at leisure.
Usadba Country Club B L D
DAY 8 | OCTOBER 25
Fly back to Moscow. After settling into your hotel, enjoy lunch at the Artist Galleria, located in a 17th century palace. Later, tour the Rocket and Space Corporation Energia museum on Russia’s space technology. This evening is at leisure, with opportunities to shop, sightsee and stroll the squares. Dine at your choice of one of many fine restaurants located in and around Red Square. This area also features a lively nightlife.
Ararat Park Hyatt Hotel B L
DAY 9 | OCTOBER 26
Today you tour Novodevichy Convent, founded in 1524 and named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004. The best-known cloisters in Moscow, the convent was built as a fortress at a curve on the Moskva River and became a strategic in defense of the city. The oldest structure in the convent is the five-domed six-pillared cathedral, built in the Muscovite Baroque style. Later, you tour the State Tretyakov Gallery, the national gallery of Russian fine art and one of the world’s great museums. Exhibited here are more than 130,000 paintings, sculptures and other works of art, ranging in date from the 11th to the early 20th century. Explore Moscow at leisure, and then gather for your farewell dinner at the hotel. This is a wonderful opportunity to toast your journey, swap stories and share experiences.
Ararat Park Hyatt Hotel B D
DAY 10 | OCTOBER 27
Today your journey comes to an end, as you are transferred to Moscow’s international airport, where your departure flight awaits. Or extend your adventure with our three-day option to explore St. Petersburg