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A-List 2010: World's Top Travel Agents

An illustration of traveling icons.

Photo: Nola Lopez

Russia

Greg Tepper
New Favorite: At Moscow’s Museum of Contemporary History, visitors follow the story of Russia from the end of Romanov rule through present times; it also contains an extraordinary Soviet-era porcelain collection, personal items from Lenin, Stalin, and Brezhnev, re-created Soviet apartments, and entire rooms full of World War II artifacts.
Years as Agent: 17.
Other Specialties: Eastern and Central Europe.
Fee: From $200.

Scandinavia

Carol Arklind
Special Booking: For four couples visiting remote areas of Scandinavia in a private jet, Arklind put together itineraries, organized landing permits, and booked a flight crew. First stop: Spitsbergen, in Norway’s northernmost Alta region, to see the midnight sun.
Years as Agent: 20.
Other Specialty: Hawaii.
Fee: From $150.

Tor Jensen
Special Bookings:
Jensen creates itineraries such as tours of Greenland’s northernmost reaches above the Arctic Circle by private helicopter and dogsled, or cruises up the Ilulissat ice fjords in expedition-caliber ships.
Years as Agent: 17.
Other Specialty: Asian cruises.
Fee: Varies.

Scotland

Claire Schoeder
New Favorites:
Just outside of Nairn, the Boath House Hotel is one of Schoeder’s personal favorites, as is Cringletie House, in Peebles, in the Scottish Borders region, which Schoeder recommends for fly-fishing or day trips to Traquair House.
Years as Agent: 20.
Other Specialty: England.
Fee: From $150.

Spain

Virginia Irurita
Insider Clout: A client bound for Madrid was bringing her daughter, who was intrigued by the book The Spy Wore Red, written by an American expat and secret agent in the 1940’s. Irurita arranged for the pair to have tea with the now-eightysomething author.
Years as Agent: 11.
Other Specialty: Food and wine tours.
Fee: $124 per person.

Judith Wolf
New Favorite: In the Rioja, the Baigorri winery, designed by Basque architect Iñaki Aspiazu, is one of Wolf’s must-see spots.
Years as Agent: 25.
Other Specialty: Italy.
Fee: $200.

Turkey

Fred Poe
Insider Clout: Poe’s reach in Turkey is evinced by his many years on this list—and the full-service office he maintains in Istanbul—but his latest coup is beyond its borders: last year he secured visas for an entire group of rank-and-file (i.e., non–diplomatic corps) Americans to travel extensively throughout North Korea.
Years as Agent: 51.
Other Specialty: Algeria.
Fee: $150 per hour.

Icon Key

* Tour Operator
** T+L’s Travel Agent Advisory Board, 2010
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