National Geographic Experts


A National Geographic expert will accompany each departure to share insights and a rare behind-the-scenes perspective. Listed below are some of the experts and the departure date(s) they will be joining.

Elvira Masson

Elvira Masson, a professor of Chinese cultural history at New Mexico State University, has been working, traveling, and studying in China since 1983. She studied Chinese language and modern theater in Beijing, and worked for many years developing and leading academic and cultural programs for students of all ages visiting China. She loves introducing travelers to the sights, sounds, and especially the flavors of China.

Departure Dates
  • Apr 10 - 24, 2018
  • May 22 - Jun 05, 2018
  • Oct 16 - 30, 2018

Andrew Wilson

Dr. Andrew R. Wilson is the John A. van Beuren Chair of Asia-Pacific Studies at the United States Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. He has created several lifelong-learning courses for National Geographic's partner The Great Courses, including Understanding Imperial China: Dynasties, Life, and Culture. He received a B.A. in East Asian Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and earned his Ph.D. in History and East Asian Languages from Harvard University. Prior to joining the Naval War College, he taught Chinese history at Wellesley College and at Harvard University. Andrew is the author of numerous articles and books on Chinese military history, Chinese maritime history, the Chinese Diaspora and Sun Tzu's The Art of War. He has lectured in nearly two dozen countries across six continents, and he has contributed to the curriculum of military colleges all over the world.

Departure Dates
  • Sep 18 - Oct 02, 2018

Bill Jones
Asian Studies, Historian

Bill Jones first arrived in China in 1979 on the day the Gang of Four were sentenced. For the next 10 years he hardly left, and witnessed firsthand the ambitious years of reform under Deng Xiao Ping. He immersed himself in Chinese philosophy and language while assisting the then state tourism organization (CITS) in the development of China’s first guide training schools for the new tourism industry. This took him to all parts of China long before they opened up to western eyes. Bill’s deep understanding of China has led to many regular assignments with prestigious organizations such as the World Monuments Fund during their restoration of Emperor Qianlong’s private garden in the Forbidden City, The British Museum, The Royal Academy of Arts and more recently the Chief Executives Organization as a principle education resource for their China and Silk Road College. With more than 100 journeys to China under his belt, Bill looks forward to sharing his intimate perspective on China’s history and philosophy and it’s rise to modernity in the 21st Century.

Departure Dates
  • Oct 23 - Nov 06, 2018