February 24, 2012 9:52 pm

Short cuts

A Russian tour operator will take clients to watch the launch of the Soyuz rocket on its September mission to take crew to the International Space Station

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Singapore Almost four decades after taking delivery of its first Boeing 747, Singapore Airlines will use the aircraft for the final time on a passenger flight on April 6. At one point, the airline had 51 747s in its combined passenger and freight fleet but has gradually phased them out. A commemorative flight from Singapore to Hong Kong will mark the occasion. www.siajourneys.com

India A small Rajasthani hotel is preparing for its moment of fame. Until now, the 10-room Ravla Khempur was best known for its stable of horses, but is now gaining attention as the setting for The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, a film starring Judi Dench, Maggie Smith and Bill Nighy, which was released on Friday. Double rooms at the hotel cost from Rs3,500 (£45); or Wild Frontiers can tailor-make an itinerary, including two nights at the hotel from £1,995. www.ravlakhempur.com; www.wildfrontiers.co.uk

Astronauts in Kazakhstan

Astronauts in Kazakhstan

Russia For those who can’t afford the $25m bill for a leisure visit to the International Space Station, tour operator MIR Corp has the next best thing. For $14,000 it will take clients to the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to watch the take-off of the Soyuz rocket on its September mission to take crew to the ISS. Tourists will attend the pre-departure press conference and be flown to mission control in Moscow to watch the rocket dock with the ISS. Optional extras with training as a cosmonaut, including sessions to test G-force tolerance in the world’s largest centrifuge. www.mircorp.com

Saudi Arabia Hyatt, the Chicago-based hotel corporation, has plans to expand rapidly in Saudi Arabia. There is currently one Hyatt in the country, but a further six are under development. www.hyatt.com

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