LOS ANGELES, March 9, 2010 â€“ Crystal Cruises is announcing yet another industry first: one-night excursions to Russiaâ€™s former top secret Cosmonaut Training Center, Star City. From extreme G Forces and weightlessness to the â€œFinal Challengeâ€ in the worldâ€™s largest hydrospace laboratory, intrepid Crystal guests can train like modern Russian Cosmonauts on some of the largest, most advanced space equipment in the world.
Four distinct Crystal Adventures, available from St. Petersburg with five Crystal Symphony summer Baltic voyages, take guests to Star City, built in the secluded forests outside Moscow:
* Hydrospace: â€œThe Final Challengeâ€ â€“ Considered the most advanced cosmonaut training, participants must install a space antenna on a replica of the International Space Station while wearing an authentic space suit and submerged in 54,000 square feet of water.
* Centrifuge G-Force Experience â€“ On the ride of a lifetime, experience the simulated G-forces of blast off, flight in orbit and spacecraft descent on the specially-reserved 300-ton centrifuge.
* Zero Gravity Weightlessness Adventure â€“ Aboard the worldâ€™s largest parabola aircraft, experience the absence of gravity. Flying in a steep parabola formation from as high as 20,000 feet, participants literally take flight at least 10 times during this adventure.
* Russiaâ€™s Quest Beyond the Earth â€“ Delve into the behind-the-scenes highlights of cosmonaut training and Russian space travel from the 1950â€™s and beyond.
The Cosmonaut programs include roundtrip air transportation from St. Petersburg to Moscow, overnight hotel accommodations and a full-day Moscow city tour, including Red Square and the Kremlin.
â€œTwo years in the making, the Cosmonaut-Training Adventures are further examples of how Crystal works with worldwide partners to craft unique and innovative programs,â€ said John Stoll, director, land programs. â€œâ€˜Extremeâ€™ adventuresâ€™ satisfy guestsâ€™ desire for profound experiences that push the limits.â€
Extreme adventure comes with a price. Cosmonaut Training fares range from $4,359 up to $32,995 for â€œThe Final Challenge.â€
Seven-, 10- and 11-day Baltic voyages depart from London, Stockholm or Copenhagen â€“with overnights in St. Petersburg. Promotional two-for-one per person (double occupancy) cruise fares start at $4,375, including $500 or $1,000 â€˜All Inclusive â€“ As You Wishâ€™ shipboard credits and free air transportation from numerous North American gateways â€“ Business Class air for Penthouse guests.