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“The guide with this tour was excellent” 5 of 5 stars
Review of UlkoTours - Private & Group Day Tours

UlkoTours - Private & Group Day Tours
88 Sredniy pr. of Basil Island | office 302, St. Petersburg 197000, Russia
+7 (911) 926 4724
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Certificate of Excellence 2014
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Attraction details
Owner description: ULKOtours delivers highest standards of service for any budget. The success we have had during the years we have been on the market with the ULKO brand proves that we work hard and we deliver to our promises. Our clients attest to that. We provide Customised city tours for independent travelers to Russia (Moscow, St.Petersburg and Golden Ring)as well as Private and Group (GDT) VISA-FREE shore excursions for cruise visitors in multiple Baltic destinations.
Sydney
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“The guide with this tour was excellent”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2011

After reading the 18 July review I have to comment on Ulko tours.

We hired the tour Company at least 5 months before arriving in St Petersburg. All e-mail transactions were very professionally handled. We were met at the dock by Mariana and were very very happy with the 2 days under Mariana's guidance.

Having the private tour of only 7 in such a big and busy city enabled us to cut through the queues and speed through all the meal breaks, wash room stops etc., and spend more time on sight seeing. Mariana's English was excellent as was her interest in us and ensuring that we were fully engaged in the sites in and around the city. We loved hearing a little of her background as well.

The collection of entrance tickets and sound systems just happened with no delays. A cup of coffee and a sandwhich was all we requested on the first day's lunch and the driver was waiting for us as soon as we finished. The co ordination between Mariana and the driver eliminated any down time on such a full tour. The driver was a very professional assistant.

Thank you to Elena and Mariana of Ulko tours they made our St Petersburg tour magic.

Visited June 2011
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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288 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Below expectations, but still worthwhile”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2011

I was travelling with a group of 5 friends and we decided to book a guide for St Petersburg because we only had 2 days to see everything. We are all well-travelled professionals who generally do not use tour guides when we travel, but have used a handful of excellent ones in the past.

Booking process: Excellent. Working with Lydia to arrange our tour was easy. She accommodated our last-minute request for a guide, was responsive to our requests and communicated in excellent English. We arranged everything over email and sent in a small deposit electronically. We paid by credit card on arrival.

Tour content & quality: Disappointing. We chose Ulko Tours for the raving reviews about personalized service and responsive guides. Our guide, Natalya (sp?), was knowledgeable, but lacked many qualities of a good guide. It appeared she memorized the content of the tour, and while she could recite the facts, she did not understand anything we said to her. Because of her inability to converse, we felt she was only minimally better than purchasing audio tours. She was not friendly or engaging; she never asked us where we were from and I'm not sure she knew our names. Natalya seemed more concerned with getting us through the itinerary than with our comfort (e.g. she kept us in the hot sun, never communicated the distances we had to travel to allow us to make decisions about walking or using public transport, etc). We hoped our guide would be like a 6th friend with insider tips on the city, extra insight into the sights and the ability to join our conversation, but we were disappointed on all counts.

Tour operations: Good. Regardless of the quality of our guide, we felt the tour was valuable because we were able to skip the long lines at each destination (Church on Spilled Blood, St. Peter & Paul Cathedral & Fortress, Hermitage, Catherine's Palace, Peterhof Gardens and Palace). We saw everything we wanted to see, and if we had had to figure out our own transport and entrance to all of these places we would have given up long before we saw everything. It was valuable to have someone to follow through the massive palaces, parks and museums, which would have been overwhelming on our own. I rate this element "good" rather than "excellent" because we had hoped our guide would provide restaurant recommendations, help us order authentic food for lunch, and help us navigate the city efficiently. Instead, we had 20 minute lunch breaks at the museum cafeterias and wasted a lot of time walking to places we could have easily taken a subway to.

In short, I would definitely recommend using a private guide for St Petersburg, but do as much due diligence as possible on your guide before you select a provider.

Visited July 2011
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, NY
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Wonderful experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2011

We worked with Elena for months leading up to our trip and she was patient and helpful in refining our itinerary to suit our preferences. She planned tours for us in both St Petersburg and Moscow. In all we had 3 tour guides, and they were all friendly, knowledgeable, and excellent English speakers. All of our transfers were arranged, and went flawlessly. From start to finish the entire experience was a pleasure, and took away a lot of the stress of traveling in a country where you cannot read/speak in the local language. We would highly recommend their services.

Elena also saved us by providing us visa documents at the last minute (ie the day of departure) when documents from a separate company were rejected! I called her around 8pm her local time, and she came through and saved the day, allowing me to get my visa that day.

Btw this post is from a mother and (adult) daughter traveling together - but there was no option for this in the drop-down menu :)

Visited June 2011
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stuttgart, Germany
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“"Vysokiĭ" (Awesome) Visit to St Petersburg Thanks to Ulko Tours”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2011

Tripadvisor was on target once again. A wonderful two day tour in St. Petersburg was provided to my family by Ulko Tours . As the primary destination for our Baltic's Cruise we wanted to book the best possible tour and Ulko Tours exceeded our expectations.

Our Tour Guide, Diana was FANTASTIC. Ulko is obviously selective and takes great pride in their choices for employees. Diana took great care of my family, and ensured that we enjoyed every minute. An engaging personality, perfect English combined with a positive attitude, relaxed demeanor and expert insider knowledge made our two days very enjoyable, productive and memorable.

Sergei, our driver did a fantatstic job as well - he safely navigated the congested roadways during the hieght of the tourist season and shaved valuable time from the transits between the sites.

Peterhof Gardens was the highlight and by following Diana's recommendations we truly enjoyed this jewel of St Peterburg.

Visited June 2011
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Clemente, California
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Spectacular visit to St. Petersburg”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2011

We visited St. Petersburg on a Baltic cruise for our 50th anniversary and knew we wanted an independent tour of the city. We are very happy that we selected Ulko Tours. Elena made all the planning very simple and we were greeted at the port with a sign and a smiling guide named Luba. Our two days were filled with visits to the highlights of the city, some of which were very crowded. Luba was able to negotiate the crowds and maximize our time at each historic site. She also provided indepth information of each place we visited. I would highly recommend using Ulko Tours for anyone visiting St. Petersburg. You will see and learn more in the short time you have in the city.

Visited May 2011
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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