Geographic Expeditions' Inside North Korea Tour
San Francisco-based Geographic Expeditions is also taking travelers to North Korea for the Arirang performance this summer. The tour operator's Inside North Korea: The Mass Games tour runs from Aug. 10-18 and includes a tour of North Korea for four days from Aug. 13-16, including first-class seats to view the Mass Games on Aug. 13. Tour participants also have an opportunity to observe Liberation Day festivities on Aug. 15 in Pyongyang, and the tour includes a visit to the ancient capital of Kaesong.
The Geographic Expeditions tour will be led by guest expert guide Nick Bonner, an award-winning filmmaker who has produced three documentaries on North Korea for the BBC, and by trip leader Sarah Timewell, a Geographic Expeditions veteran for 20 years. Timewell attended the Mass Games in 2005 and 2007 and recalled it as “one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen, in one of the most intriguing countries I’ve ever visited.”
Asia Pacific Travel, Ltd. (APTL) will continue to host tours that highlight North Korea’s Arirang performance season from Aug. 1 to Sept. 30, despite recent tensions between the U.S. and North Korea.
“We are one of the only official American tour operators bringing American and other tourists to North Korea during the Arirang performance period,” said Walter L. Keats, APTL president. “The Arirang performances are spectacular and unique in the world, featuring more than 100,000 acrobats, gymnasts and synchronized athletic entertainers.”
Whether clients are looking specifically to explore North Korea, or are interested in broadly exploring Korean and Chinese culture, APTL offers 17 different tours with four itineraries — ranging in length and breadth of travel — all of which feature five-day, four-night accommodations in North Korea and admission to the Arirang show. All tours include two days in China: Beginning in Beijing, travelers depart to North Korea and then return to China for flights back home.
The eight-day Highlights of North Korea tour is ideal for clients particularly interested in discovering North Korea, while the 11-day Highlights of Korea package includes a five-day North Korea stay, as well as four days for travelers to visit Seoul and South Korea.
Those also interested in Chinese culture can book the 12-day North Korea in Focus or the 15-day Korea in Depth, both of which include five days in China; 15-day itineraries also feature four days in South Korea.
Packages vary in price from $2,862 per person for an eight-day tour and $4,999 per person for a 15-day tour, based on double occupancy. Depending on the tour, additional travelers pay from $517 to $1,023 per person. For specified travel dates, agents should visit APTL’s Web site. Package prices include continental but not overseas airfare. Tours are commissionable at 10 percent.
Aside from special arrangements for the Arirang season, APTL also coordinates individual and small-group travel to North Korea throughout the year. The Willamette, Ill.-based tour operator has specialized in travel to North Korea for more than 14 years.
Asia Pacific Travel, Ltd.