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Ensemble, Rocketship Tours Partner for Space Travel

June 22, 2009 By: George Dooley

If your clients are bored with the routine, take a look at the new program offered to Ensemble Travel Group agents with Ensemble’s new partnership with Rocketship Tours, a company dedicated to making space travel accessible and relatively affordable to those who aspire to such an out-of-this-world adventure.

This unique space experience includes a five-day, four-night training program at a deluxe resort in Arizona, medical evaluation and screening, and cancellation insurance. Guests will travel to the edge of space in the suborbital Lynx rocket ship, powered by environmentally-friendly rocket engines. Unlike other programs, the RocketShip Tours adventure is truly intimate, pairing just a single passenger on each flight— who sits in the co-pilot’s seat— next to the astronaut-pilot who’s flying the space vehicle.

The Lynx rocket ship is being built in Mojave, CA by XCOR Aerospace, headed up by Jeff Greason, who was recently named to a White House panel to review NASA space flight programs. Once completed next year, the space vehicle will undergo a series of test flights in preparation for its official launch in 2011. RocketShip Tours, headed by travel pioneer and entrepreneur Jules Klar, is the exclusive global provider of passenger services for the Lynx.

Due to the unique nature of the experience, travel agents are required to complete RocketShip Tours’ online university study program to become a Space Tourism Specialist before selling the space flights. The training prerequisite speaks to the extreme professionalism of how this program is managed, according to Suzanne Hall, Ensemble Travel Group’s senior director of marketing and development, land products.

“We are so privileged to be in partnership with Rocketship Tours, knowing the potential that this product can bring to our members’ portfolio of special experiences for clients,” says Hall. “Space flight is a life-long dream for those who are passionate about science and research and space. In fact, for them it may not even be viewed as a luxury but a life-altering, personal fulfillment.”  

Roberta Sonnino, president of Roberta Sonnino Travel in New York and the first Space Tourism Specialist among Ensemble Travel Group members, has been pleased with the response from customers about this new special space adventure, with one client saying, “In our quest to be always ahead of the curve in travel, Roberta Sonnino Travel offered us, with great enthusiasm, the ultimate experience in this unique voyage into space!”

"RocketShip Tours is looking forward to working with the members of Ensemble Travel Group for the sale of participant seats on the Lynx rocket ship going to the edge of space,” says Klar, who got his start in the travel business in 1961 when he co-founded $5-A-Day Tours with Arthur Frommer. “We're particularly pleased with the overwhelming response from member agencies who will be part of promoting space tourism as the next exciting, great travel frontier."

Laura Lukasik of Viking Travel in Westmont, IL, was among the first Ensemble Travel Group members to complete the Space Tourism Specialist program. “I’m always looking for travel adventures that are unique and different – experiences that truly create a ‘wow factor’. What’s more unique and different than traveling into space?” asks Lukasik. “And the best part is that I’m among an elite group of agents who can actually take them there. I talked briefly about my new Space Tourism Specialist certification at a local networking meeting and to say they were very impressed was an understatement!”


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