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“Dangerous, unprofessional and a thieving agency”
1 of 5 bubbles Review of Senkron Day Tours

Senkron Day Tours
Ranked #169 of 408 Tours in Istanbul
Attraction details
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Dangerous, unprofessional and a thieving agency”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 30, 2013

I have read the reviews here about Senkron and they are all true! Where do we start with this nightmare tour? Let’s start from the beginning. Upon arrive at our hotel in Istanbul, my friend and I were immediately advised to take the Senkron ST-04 Bosphorus Cruise with Golden Horn. The booklet states that it is a half day morning tour which includes an Anatolian Folk dance show and stops at Pierre Loti Hill, a cable car ride, the city walls and a shopping opportunity on the way back to the old city. The hotel stated that half day meant that it was between 8:30 and 1:30. Trusting the hotel, we booked the trip and so the nightmare began.

We were picked up by bus at 8:30 am. We ended up driving around and picking people up from other hotels until 9:15. We then got to the pier and had to climb up some wooden stairs that were rotten and unsteady to the point that one man at the top and two at the bottom had to hold the stairs and our hands in order for us to get onto the boat. We then sat for over 30 minutes with no explanation of what the holdup was. At 10 am we finally set off – the female guide spoke in English and Spanish. Throughout the journey 4 young people (2 boys and 2 girls) had the back door of the cruise open, as they constantly dipped in and out to smoke. On a cold January morning, one can easily imagine how disrupting it was to the experience. The folk dance then started and we quickly realised that the 4 moody looking smokers were actually the dancers! The “show” started off with a girl walking up and down the boat unenthusiastically holding an umbrella and was distastefully chased by a desperate boy. She then dropped a handkerchief, which was apparently a signal that the chase was over. The boy picked the handkerchief up, linked her and they walked off together. This charade was followed by the 4 of them dancing for about 3 minutes with as much enthusiasm for being there as people waiting on death row show. It was absolutely awful. Surprisingly however, things were about to get worse.

By about 11:15 the cruise tour was over and we had dismounted the boat on yet again the unstable stairs. This time was even more hazardous as the snow began to fall. We were then abruptly ushered onto a bus which drove us to Pierre Loti Hill. As we pulled up, the female guide turned around and abruptly said “yes it’s snowing, so either come and take photos or stay on the bus -it is up to you”. Everyone disembarked and headed to the hill. By this point the snow was very heavy and the fog set in. In addition, two other groups of tourists arrived. My friend and I took some photos and then found that our group had disappeared. We looked around and even walked back to the bus and found no trace of our group or the guide. Cold, wet and confused we began to panic as we were deserted and had no means of getting back to the hotel. We went back to the hill and by chance saw a sign for the cable car. We went down the stairs and luckily found our group getting into one of the cars. The tour guide turned to us and said “ha! You were going to stay here. We were about to leave without you” and continued to mock us. I explained to her that other tour groups had arrived and we did not hear her beckoning our group to head to the cable cars and were surprised that she never attempted to find us. She just rudely shrugged at us. She the then told us to get into a separate car from the rest of the group – so we were left in the car with a group of strangers and no guide. The cable car flyover lasted all of 30 seconds. How Senkron has the nerve to class it as one of the main attractions I will never know - the tour booklet is misleading to say the least. As my friend and I disembarked the car, we found that our tour guide and our group, who were in the car before us, YET AGAIN walked off back to the bus and never waited for us. We literally had to shout for them to wait for us - when the guide knew all along that we were put in the second car behind theirs. As angry as we were at 11:45, we felt that the tour could get better as we had around another two hours left for the tour and were on our way to the city walls and a shopping stop, or so the booklet said. However, Senkron’s booklet misled us yet again. The city walls visit was actually driving past it on what seemed like a highway as the guide spouted out a couple of basic sentences on Constantinople that one could find in a leaflet. She then quickly hung up her microphone and started chatting and laughing with the bus driver. The driver was chatting back, whilst dealing with traffic on the road and also continuously texting on his phone. As we were sat directly behind him, we could even see that he was texting using whatsapp! Putting up with people’s misleading and rudeness is one thing – but what the driver was doing was actually dangerous. The final point in the booklet’s itinerary was ‘shopping opportunity on the way back to the old city’ – this DID NOT HAPPEN AT ALL. It was a complete lie. The tour concluded as the bus dropped us off outside the Blue Mosque at 12:15 – not 1:30 as promised! Another failed promise by Senkron.

We went back to our hotel, the Azade, and explained all these points. They were horrified and contacted the company to get our money back. The manager at Senkron said that they would not give us the money back and started to guilt trip us by saying things such as “should I give the money from my pocket?”. This is tasteless and a cunning tactic because they know we would say no and probably drop it. So he offered us a basket of fruit, which we declined.

Sadly, this is not an isolated case as when we read the reviews of Senkron on tripadvisor we found that other tourists faced the same problems. We are not the first people to be taken advantage of by Senkron. The fact that we paid 70 Euros for a service and did not get that service on so many levels is disgusting, appalling and disgraceful. Taking advantage of and misleading tourists who entrust these agencies with their hard earned holiday money to see the beautiful sights of Istanbul is unforgivable and they should be ashamed of themselves. Avoid this travel agency at all costs.

Visited January 2013
1 Thank S0phie_2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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138 reviews from our community

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English first
Rutherford, New Jersey
Level Contributor
139 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
“Could have been better”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 14, 2012

Chose the half-day afternoon Bosphorus /Golden Horn Cruise (tour # ST-08 in the brochure) as suggested by our hotel reception. It was the Saturday tour as it was a discounted 25 euro.
Bus picked us up at our hotel around 1300. we then drove around to another street where we picked up passengers, the tour guide and someone else who was collecting money and checking everyone in. this seemed to be wasteful time and apparently is time included in the tour (tour supposed to run from 1330-1730). Took us another 10-15 minutes to get to the pier. The tour guide spoke along the way (English and Spanish).We were the last ones on the boat.
Onboard there were some beverages and cookies sold - recommened you BYO as the prices were a little high. 2 stops for 15 minutes each didn't allow for much of anything. Cruise itself was OK. Got bac k to the pier as the sun was setting; pulling in around 1700 feeling a little gypped but reaize the time advertised included travel time to/from the pier.
As said in other reviews there seemed to be some disorganization with this group.

Visited November 2012
1 Thank No1Ma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, England
Level Contributor
83 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“A complete waste of time and very poor organisation. DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 1, 2012

I agree with all the comments made. DO NOT BOOK WITH THIS COMPANY. It was also highly promoted by our hotel. We did 3 trips in Istanbul with 3 different tour operators. Two were great, but this was awful.
We did a "full-day" tour of the Bosphorus and Dolmabahce Palace. It should have been great. It wasn't. Collected at 8.30. Went to the boat. Waited for an hour with nothing happening. Nice Bosphorus trip when we eventually set off. Folk dancing a bit of a waste of time. Didn't see hardly anything of the Rumeli Fortress - just a brief view from the boat. The Pier Lotti Hill should have been good. We went up in the bus. We were given less than 2 minutes up there before we had to queue inside to go down in the cable car. What a waste of time. Then there was another half hour wait in the bus. Why?
Next there was the leather factory. Scandalous! What sort of a tour is this?

We ended up with less than an hour at the Dolmabahce Palace, with no free time to take any photos. And, yes, yet another wait on the bus.

We were then taken across the Bosphorus Bridge to be bused into another tourist catchment cafe, for a very quick drink.

I complained and got absolutely nowhere. Many people were very unhappy. They didn't want to know. DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY.

Visited September 2012
1 Thank kas647
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Dinner Cruise- Nice Boat, Ok Food, Decent but enthusiastic performances”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 3, 2012

Booked on the street for me any my wife (as against the Turnatour's cruise Hotel was trying to sell) and got a discount on published rates. Got picked up at 1945 and went straight to the boat. Then there was a wait of 1 hour as we waited for other passengers to arrive, but were offered cold drinks/juices (no cocktail, but I did not need one) - around 75 people on board... Finally left at 9 pm where we were all asked to go to our tables on lower deck. Started off with some Turkish music which was fine till one of the artist went around for tips and was too aggressive... It was followed by a short magic show and then 2 performances of Turkish dances. Then the belly dance which was in good taste, the closing act was a traditional dance with most of the audience participating!!
We got dropped off in a bus and very efficiently too. All in all, a good experience with decent food and good service (staff were polite and did get you what you wanted) with some nice performances (not only the belly dance was good but even the last piece was done with good intensity and interest by a group professional dancers and not kitchen staff as reviews indicate is done at other places!!).

Visited September 2012
2 Thank Abhi_Lodon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Savannah, Georgia
Level Contributor
14 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Always There in Istanbul”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 18, 2012

My cruise line changed the itinerary & times creating a real potential problem with my tours made away from the ship's offerings. Senkron Tour's Kenan Aydin didn't miss a beat. He rearranged the 2 out of three scheduled Istanbul Tours & gave my group of 3 good advice regarding the now unscheduled time. The tours that were given were excellent. I confidently recommend you contact Kenan.

Visited August 2012
3 Thank 412josephk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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