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Debut Vladivostok to North Korea ferry services inaugurated

Man Gyong BongLast week saw the inauguration of a pioneering ferry service between Eastern Russia and North Korea. The Man Gyong Bong set sail from the pariah state’s Rason Port on Wednesday and arrived in the Russian port of Vladivostok the following day.

InvestStroyTrest owns and operates the vessel. Company director Vladimir Baranov was upbeat about the launch of the weekly service. He noted that it would fulfil a niche in travel options between the two nations.

Mr Baranov explained that the passenger target markets were tourists from landlocked northern China and North Korean citizens working in Russia. One travel agency representative from China said the new route would offer Chinese tourists streamlined dual-destination holidays.

InvestStroyTrest’s Baranov added that the company had already received reservations from 60 Chinese tourists for the Man Gyong Bong’s next sailing. He carried on by noting Russian tour operators had also asked about the feasibility of adding North Korea to their itineraries.

Asked about entry restrictions for North Korea, the director explained the country was an economic trading zone so no visas were needed. He elucidated by saying all tour operators would need to do was get an official invitation and visitors would use this when the ferry arrived at Rason Port.

The Man Gyong Bong features 40 passenger cabins in addition to a karaoke parlour and a bar. InvestStroyTrest says the boat will also transport cargo and this is a much better alternative then the three weeks currently needed to ship goods between eastern Russia and North Korea.

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