Authors, filmmakers crafting tours now, too

Tourism is going highbrow.

Filmmaker Ken Burns (inset) has helped design a new series of tours of New York, and is producing short films for visitors to Vietnam, the subject of a new documentary. And the Los Angeles Times plans a travel spinoff that will include a Hollywood backlot tour with film critic Kenneth Turan.

Hosting visits to the places whose history he’s showcased “has given me an entirely new medium through which I can tell America’s stories,” Burns said.


Packaged by the Connecticut travel company Tauck, the Ken Burns Events include a New York City tour in October that will range from the Tenement Museum on the Lower East Side to Millionaires’ Row of the Gilded Age.

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The package is decidedly on the Millionaires’ Row end. The 32 guests will stay at the Plaza, and the five-day package starts at $7,290 per person, which includes a private dinner on Ellis Island and a keynote and reception with Burns. Other speakers include the journalist Daniel Okrent.

Burns is also part of a “Hidden Gems of New England” tour in September and October, which includes a visit to his Walpole, N.H., studio, and a new Indochina tour beginning next year that will feature filmed vignettes from his work on a new Vietnam documentary that airs this fall.

The Los Angeles Times Expeditions — a collaboration with Academic Travel Abroad — begin next year, and will include trips to Yosemite with photographer Mark Boster, the New Orleans Jazz Fest with music journalist Randy Lewis, Tuscany with restaurant critic Jonathan Gold and Milan with fashion editor Marques Harper.