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July 22, 2019

St. Petersburgh - June, 2019

Ulko Tours - St. Petersburg, Russia Our family of three was on a 14-day cruise on the Norwegian Gateway and used Ulko Tours for our shore excursions in St. Petersburg on June 24 and 25, 2019. We were met at the dock by Marianna on time and thoroughly enjoyed the two days under her guidance. We were absolutely thrilled with our tour and tour guide Marianna in St Petersburg. She was just wonderful. We never waited in line; she knew just what to do at the right time. Marianna was extremely knowledgeable about the places we visited as well as Russian history. Our group of seven had a nice, air conditioned van. In the van Mariana used a microphone to tell us about the sites we were passing. We all wore headsets when we were out of the van and Marianna was able to talk to us while we were in the museums and palaces. The collection of entrance tickets and sound systems just happened with no delays. The coordination between Marianna and the driver eliminated any down time on such a full tour. The driver was a very professional assistant. There were only seven of us on the tour and Marianna went out of her way to make sure we had a great tour and saw all of the important sites. We loved hearing a little of her background as well. She had a great sense of humor. We saw Petergoff, Hermitage, St. Isaac's, Tsarskoye Selo Lyceum with an amazing sculpture of Pushkin, Summer Palace, Church of Spilled Blood, Peter and Paul Fortress.... Marianna also showed us stuff off the beaten path that made the tour even better. Marianna described the history of every location, bringing the buildings to life. With her high-spirited descriptions, you can picture the events that took place in the palaces and other places you visit. On June 24 and 25, everything was very crowded due to the major summer holiday in St.Peterburg. We had a limited time to spend in the Hermitage but not only did she skillfully avoided traffic jams in it due to the immense amount of Chinese people touring the Hermitage simultaneously with us and other people, but she managed to bring us to a faraway wing to show my favorite Gudon’s bust of Voltaire as well as Impressionists. We are art lovers and asked Marianna many questions. Her answers far exceeded our expectations: She often knew facts we were unaware of. Since I injured my foot and was limping, she found an elevator that we used to go up and down to avoid climbing the stairs. And not only that. When I told her that the walking shoes I was wearing were too loose and that this was a reason of my repeatedly twisting my leg, she immediately said that we’ll stop at a department store, where I could buy new comfortable shoes. I was so touched by her kindness and compassion not only towards me but to every member of our group as well as passersby, etc., etc. Dear Marianna, thank you so much for making our trip to St Petersburg the best part of our two week trip to the Baltic! We will spread a word about your spectacular performance to all our family members and friends and post our experiences to other social media platforms. We strongly recommend Marianna with ULKO Tours for anyone visiting St Petersburg.
Nataly, Alex and Lena Teplitsky
July 17, 2019

Danke aus Deutschland!

Dear Ksenia,
we are happy back at home. We thank you very very much for your so good preparation of our tours in Moskau and St. Petersburg. The driver Alex (?) with the guide Nadezhda in Moskau and the driver Sergei with the guide Elena in St. Petersburg were so much friendly and very good, so that we have had wonderful hours with them. They showed us the places we wanted to see and talked with us about the history oft he places. Many thanks to them.
If we ever will be back in Russia, we will contact you.
With friendly regards
Anneliese and Werner Deutschland
July 2, 2019

Best Destination Tour Ever. Trust ULKO to over-deliver at every opportunity.

As briefly as possible, Elena Ulko and her team specialize in personalized attention for more-intimate groups...not tours for the masses. Their attention to detail, follow-up, and CARING gives immediate trust and confidence that a visit to a “great unknown land” will be safe and rewarding.

In our experience, everyone on Elena’s team is the consummate professional…an expert ambassador of that city. They love to share history and make key events, people and places come alive(!) through stories. While planning for an NCL Baltics cruise, my wife and I discovered ULKO, and their response to inquiries in fluent English in the middle of their night (7hrs ahead) gave us immediate confidence (thanks, Ksenia!). We booked tours to Rostock/Schwerin, Tallinn, St. Petersburg, and Stockholm at HALF the cost of NCL’s excursions. Every group tour was a small group. Every guide was an expert, professional ambassador. We were CARED for. One guide in particular, Marina Ermolenko, was one of the most gifted historians we could have ever hoped for. Every key person in Russia’s colorful history was like a family member to her. She LOVES her people, “her palaces” and passionately brought St. Petersburg’s history to life. We are very thankful for the extraordinary kindness and the experiences that Ulko gave us, not to mention the VALUE. Book with confidence! You won’t be disappointed!  

PS – the Russian Folk-Show at Nikolayevsky Palace is absolutely fabulous. Don’t miss it. And if you’re looking for souvenirs, local ARTISTS set up shop in the lobby at show intermission…BEST VALUE, for beautiful, authentic ART…the stuff you want to bring home…not the 3-x-priced garbage sold in typical tourist retail. Awesome show, awesome souvies!  Truth.

Mark and Lynn Edson
July 1, 2019

McCarthy tour

Hi Ksenia,

I wanted to let you know that I spoke with Christi today. She had a wonderful trip to Russia. She said all of her tour guides through Ulko were fantastic, and she really enjoyed and learned a lot from all of them. Every meeting place, transfer  and tour was exactly as scheduled. She said it was flawless!

Thank you for taking them to Catherine's palace. They went later that day. That allowed them time to have a great lunch with their guide and they were happy that they didn't have to miss that tour.

Thank you for everything. I look forward to working with you again!

June 23, 2019

Recent Tour

Good afternoon. My son and I just returned from our Baltic cruise. We had a tour on June 11 to Moscow and one on June 12 in St. Petersberg. We LOVED it!!! Our chaperone, I believe his name was Antoine? He was amazing. He rode the plane and train with us and gave a lot of information as well as answered questions. He definitely made us feel safe since this was our first trip to Europe. I do not remember our guide's name in Moscow. She had a wealth of knowledge and was very informative. She also told us many personal stories at different places that we visited. The only complaint I have for this tour was that we did not have a bread to eat anything. We had to get prepackaged sandwiches in the train station to eat on the train ride back to port. When my son opened his, it was molded so we basically had to wait 4 more hours until we were back on the ship to eat.
Our second day was by far the best. Our driver Yuriy was amazing at getting us everywhere we wanted to go despite the awful traffic. It was a holiday, Russia Day, I believe and the city was jam packed but that did not slow him down for a minute. Our tour guide was Marianna and she was phenomenal! I have been on many tours in 14 different countries and she was by far the best guide I have every had. From the first moment she made us feel like family and talked with us like we had known each other our whole lives. She was very informative but did so in a fun manner. Everything was very crowded due to the holiday but she made sure that we had an upfront view and saw everything that we wanted to see. At the end of the tour we decided to skip the palace and amber room to enjoy a local restaurant and meal. We wanted to get out of the crowds and experience something local. She suggested a place that she likes to eat at and made food suggestions as well. It was delicious. When we finished eating, Yuriy just continued to drive us all over the city while Marianna told us all about the buildings and areas that we were seeing. I have already recommended ULKO tours to several people on the ship as well as friends back home. We will definitely use y'all again when we return to the Baltic! Thank you so  much for making this the best part of our 2 week trip to the Baltic!

Scotti L. McCart
June 17, 2019

Our tour!

Hi Elena,
Hope all is well. I wanted to send you a quick note and let you know my friends and I had a fabulous time on the tour you put together for us in St Petersburg.
Iliya was a fantastic guide and was able to get everything done on our list in our exact timing. He was extremely knowledgeable across all areas of life, culture and history in St Petersburg. He moved at a quick pace and altered visits based on traffic to make sure we maximized our time and we so appreciated this! I will highly recommend Ulko tours to anyone who will be visiting the area and hope to be back in the near future to finish seeing the rest of St Petersburg and Russia that the cruise ship timing did not allow for.
Thank you again for helping to put together a fantastic day of touring. It was the highlight of our trip.
All the best,

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