Discover the pathos of the Korean War during this full-day visit to the Demilitarized Zone, or DMZ, separating North and South Korea.
Depart the pier for the scenic drive along the Unification Road, the main thoroughfare connecting Seoul and Panmunjom, en route to Seoul. Along the way, you will see the Freedom Bridge, the only bridge that crosses the Injin River connecting North and South Korea. For thousands of North Koreans, this narrow wooden structure was the path to freedom at the conclusion of the Korean War.
Upon arrival in Imjingak, you will proceed for a tour of the Demilitarized Zone, or DMZ, one of the last relics of the Cold War. Created by the Korean Armistice Agreements signed in July 1953, the DMZ is a 155-mile long, 2.5-mile-wide military demarcation line (MDL), with a 1.2-mile-wide demilitarized zone on each side of it. After a briefing by military personnel at the DMZ, you will take a guided tour of a museum dedicated to the history of the zone.
A visit will then be made to the DMZ's 3rd Tunnel. This 5,364-foot-long tunnel is located about 240 feet underground, and is over six feet high and wide. Designed for a surprise attack on Seoul, the tunnel crosses beneath the demarcation line into South Korea, and is capable of moving 30,000 battle-equipped foot soldiers per hour. The entrance and exit of the 3rd Tunnel involves walking down, and later up, about 230 feet.
Next, you will continue on to the Dora Observatory for panoramic cross-border views of the North Korean propaganda village, and as far north as the city of Gaeseong. After a traditional Korean lunch, you will proceed for the 1-hour and 10-minute drive to Seoul, home to an eclectic blend of modern skyscrapers and superhighways combined with majestic ancient palaces, temples, city gates and gardens.
Upon arrival, a stop will be made at Insadong, one of Seoul's premiere shopping districts and a virtual living museum. Once the residence of Josun Dynasty officials, extended royal families and the Yang Ban aristocratic class, Insadong's narrow streets are today lined with antique stores, art galleries, second-hand bookstores, calligraphy shops, and quaint teahouses. During your visit, some time will be made available for you to browse through Insadong's many shops before rejoining your coach for the 1-hour and 10-minute return drive to the pier and ship.
Please note: This tour is subject to cancellation without advance notice in the event of military conditions, training or alerts. This tour involves a considerable amount of walking, especially during the visit to the 3rd Tunnel in case the mini-train escalator is not in service. Guests must then be able to climb up and down 230 feet, without assistance, to access the tunnel. As a result, this tour is only recommended for guests in good physical condition. This tour is not recommended for guests with limited mobility and guests who utilize a wheelchair. The tunnel ground is often cool and wet; wear a jacket and comfortable closed-toe, low-heeled, and non-slip walking shoes. You may choose not to enter the tunnel if you wish. Photography is restricted in the DMZ; your guide will inform you about the photo zones. A list of all participating guests, including passport numbers, nationality and birth date, must be provided 24 hours prior to departure. All guests must carry their passports at all times (no exceptions). The drive between Inchon and Seoul will take more than an hour in each direction.