Terms & Conditions
Shore Excursions Center is the brand name of Ulkotours LLC - An incoming tour operator (DMC) based in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Ulkotours LLC is registered with the Ministry of Tourism in Russia. Registration number PTO 014816.
Please familiarize yourself with these Terms & Conditions before you place your order. When you place a reservation with Shore Excursions Center, you automatically agree to the terms and conditions listed below.
UPDATE ON REFUND PROCESSING - July 1, 2020
Due to work restrictions imposed on tour operators and travel industry participants by Russian Law aimed to minimize spread of COVID-19 on the territory of the Russian Federation, all refund processing has been postponed until further notice. All reservations will automatically receive credit for future 2021 bookings.
UPDATE ON REFUND PROCESSING - March 26, 2020
Due to the overwhelming volume of refund requests and the specifics of processing a refund and returning funds to the payee, Ulkotours LLC (dba Shore Excursions Center) and JSC 'Russian Standard Bank' have temporarily suspended refund processing until further notice.
We recommend that clients who wish to cancel their tours after May 1, 2020, reschedule their tours for a later date in 2020 or 2021.
All clients who do not re-schedule their tours will automatically receive a credit for a future booking for late 2020 or 2021.
In case the client does not want to accept a credit for future booking or tour re-scheduling, the refund will be processed according to the order received once the situation stabilizes, and all foreigner travel restrictions to Russia are canceled by the Russian government.
All refunds that will be carried out as follows:
If you had paid on-line at our website or using a secure on-line payment link, the amount refunded will be 100% equal to the amount charged in Russian Roubles. After you had paid, our system sent you a payment receipt. The amount to be refunded will be exactly the amount on the receipt.
Please pay attention, that the amount equivalent in USD (or your local currency) will differ from the amount originally quoted because of the COVID-19 Central Bank of Russia exchange rate fluctuation which is beyond our control.
COVID-19 UPDATE - March 18, 2020
Following decisions of local authorities in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Russia, and Ukraine about terminating all free movement of foreigners until May 1st, 2020, we have canceled all our guaranteed tour departures in March and April.
All customers with existing bookings have been notified accordingly.
In the present situation, we have introduced the following booking/change/cancellation periods:
· For all bookings scheduled to take place in May, we will offer 14 days before arrival FOC cancellation deadline or option to change to any other departure later this year.
· For all bookings starting from June 1st, we currently work based on existing cancellation terms and conditions.
Due to the extremely high volume of private tour cancellations, please allow up to 72 hrs for us to acknowledge your request. We are doing our best to process qualifying refunds as soon as we can and we appreciate your patience. Depending on the cancellation type, refund processing may take anywhere from two weeks to several months.
Our sales team remains available for all inquiries related to existing or future bookings.
We will monitor the situation very carefully during the next weeks and more if needed and will be adjusting our terms and conditions accordingly. Our priority is to offer guests who have booked tours for this summer to keep bookings if that is possible.
Thank you very much for your support and trust in our cooperation during this time!
Know before you go
We do not accept any responsibility if you cannot travel, or incur any other loss because you have not complied with any passport, visa, immigration requirements, or health formalities. You agree to reimburse us in relation to any fines or other losses that we incur as a result of your failure to comply with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities.
It is your responsibility to check and fulfill passport and visa requirements for all destinations along your cruise. For international travel, U.S. citizens need a passport valid for at least 6 months beyond the completion of their cruise. NO visas are required for Europe and the Baltics. Non-U.S. citizens should contact their booking agent or appropriate consulate for information on all necessary documents required. NO visas are required for cruise ship passengers of any nationality arriving at the port of Saint Petersburg by cruise ship/ferry and departing by the same means of transport.
Port Security Measures/Customs
The Port and Customs Authority requires all passengers to provide their name exactly as it appears on their passport, along with passport number, date of birth, and citizenship.
Membership and Health
Membership will be granted to all persons. Please consult your physician for pre-departure health advice. Shore Excursions Center reserves the right to terminate the tour of any persons who are abusive of others or whose behavior disrupts the tour. We urge you to make a realistic assessment of your health. All participants are expected to be in active good health and to be ready to experience cultural differences with grace. Walking and climbing the stairs are required in many museums and cathedrals/churches. If you require a slower pace, extra assistance, or the use of a cane/walking stick/wheelchair, SEC private programs are here to help you.
Travelers Needing Special Assistance
We are not specialists in providing shore excursions for the disabled, but we will do our utmost to cater to any special requirements you may have. If you or any member of your party has any medical problem or disability which may affect your chosen arrangements, please provide us with full details before we confirm your booking so that we may advise you as to the suitability of your chosen arrangements. If we are unable to properly accommodate the needs of the person(s) concerned, we will not confirm your booking, or if you did not give us full details at the time of booking, we will cancel it and impose applicable cancellation charges when we become aware of these details. In cases where we are able to confirm all tour arrangements, it is recommended that guests needing special assistance be accompanied by an able companion who will assist them during the tour. We regret that some itineraries cannot accommodate wheelchairs or motorized scooters; ask at booking. Wheelchairs are available for rental on a daily basis at $50 (USD) per day. If required we can provide services of a strong male assistant to help with pushing the chair/getting the person in and out of the vehicle (if no special vehicle is ordered). The price depends upon duration and intensity level. Please contact us for details.
Reservations & Payment
From your order to the delivery of your tour confirmation, the following steps present the process of our online purchasing system:
Add tours to your cart by browsing the website. Check departure date and time (if applicable), enter the required number of passengers, and check the final price displayed. Enter all applicable personal details relative to the reservation and select your preferred payment option – Deposit or Full Payment – and proceed with the payment details.
Your order and a secure bank server connection
Once you have determined the tour(s) you like and submitted the reservation by entering all the applicable personal details, you will be redirected to our bank’s (JSC “Russian Standard Bank”) server to complete the payment. Our bank will then establish a secured connection between their server and your computer (using SSL technology with 128 bits encryption) so that you can safely enter your credit card information for your payment. You can check that you are in a secured zone by looking at the presence of a small icon representing a closed padlock in your internet web browser (generally located on the left side corner) and double-clicking it to verify the identity of this server.
A totally safe transaction
From the secured server of our bank partner, you can safely enter your credit card information (card number, expiration date, and the last 3 digits located on the back side of your card) to proceed with your payment. As our bank is in charge of the whole transaction, no third-party, including Shore Excursions Center, can have access to your card number. As a consequence, and also because your credit card information is never stored, this system fully ensures you against any possible use of your card number thereafter.
Payment acceptance and delivery
After you have verified and validated your credit card information, our bank will then immediately indicate whether your payment is accepted or rejected and will also inform our server at the same time about this result. If your payment is accepted, you will automatically receive a confirmation email of your purchase. Your tour Confirmation and Tour Tickets (where applicable) will be emailed to you shortly and will become available for download in your Personal Account. In the very unlikely event where you do not receive your email in a timely manner, please contact us at email@example.com by indicating the Lead Traveler name and the date of purchase.
Bank and Credit Card Fees
Some banks and credit card companies impose fees for international transactions. If you are making an online payment on a US credit card, your card will be charged in the local currency (Russian Roubles) and your bank may convert the payment amount to your local currency and charge you a conversion fee. This means the amount listed on your credit or bank card statement may vary slightly from the original amount stated in your reservation confirmation. Usually, the difference is not greater than 1%.
If you have any questions about these fees or the exchange rate applied to your booking, please contact your bank.
Cancellation policy, Changes & Refunds – If you cancel
You may cancel the tour or any part of it at any stage subject to the conditions below. You must notify us by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your notice of cancellation will only take effect when it is received by us at our main office during our business hours which are 11 am – 07 pm (GMT+3) Monday to Friday.
Since we incur costs in canceling your arrangements, you will not be entitled to any refund of the cost of your arrangements unless you notify us of your intention to cancel at least 2 weeks prior to your tour date. If the cancellation notice has been received prior to 2 weeks a full refund will be given. If the cancellation notice is received less than 2 weeks prior to departure, the following cancellations terms will apply:
If you are entitled to a refund, your refund will be processed in the original form of payment used to pay for the reservation.
General Tours Cancellation
Cancellations made with at least 14 days advance notice = no cancellation fee, less any credit card fees associated with your payment processing (usually up to 3,5 %).
Cancellations made between 8 to 13 days before the scheduled departure of your tour with us will require a 50 percent cancellation fee and any credit card fees associated with your payment processing (usually up to 3,5 %).
In cases involving cancellations made within 7 days of the scheduled departure of your Shore Excursions Center tour, there will be a 100 percent cancellation fee.
Customized tours Cancellation
All customized tours are subject to General Tours cancellation policy unless stated otherwise in the Important Information section of the selected customized tour, plus they will be charged an additional $25 per person non-refundable penalty for cancellations made at any time after the booking has been confirmed and the credit card charged.
In case the tour had been confirmed, but the credit card had not been charged, there will be no $25 per person administrative fee imposed.
Theater tickets, Show tickets, Special arrangements Cancellation
Unfortunately, no refunds are provided for theater tickets, show tickets, and special arrangements once the order has been purchased for you. Cancellation at any time will result in a charge of up to 100% of that part of the arrangements.
If the reason for your cancellation is covered under the terms of your insurance policy, you may be able to reclaim these charges. Shore Excursions Center will issue you a corresponding letter for your insurance company.
Late arrival & No Show
No refunds will be made to any customer who fails to show up for a tour departure at the designated time and place, or who leaves or otherwise does not use all of the services scheduled to be provided by an excursion.
Most tours will operate in a variety of weather conditions, and no refunds will be made to any customer who chooses not to participate in a departing tour due to weather conditions. Members of any excursion who elect to leave the designated tour transportation must provide their own transportation at their own expense back to the landing place of the vessel.
Waiting time for Private tours, excursions, and arrangements
In cases where a client does not arrive by the appointed time at the place where services are to be provided:
- an order for private transfer will be held for 1 hour starting from the appointed time, then it will be canceled automatically.
- an order for private tour arrangements in all countries except Russia and other additional services will be canceled after 1 hour.
- an order for a private visa-free shore tour in Saint Petersburg will be canceled after 2 hours.
Waiting time for Join-in shore excursions
In case a client does not arrive by an appointed time to the place where services start to be granted:
- an order for a Join-in visa-free shore tour in Saint Petersburg will be canceled after 2 hours.
- waiting time for any join-in Baltic shore excursions is ONLY 15 minutes! After that, the group will depart and your tour will be canceled.
If for some reason you are running late – please try to inform us in advance by calling any of our emergency numbers.
Tour changes policy
Please be aware that all changes in the tour starting time can (and must!) be made no later than 24 hours prior to the beginning of the tour.
We are happy to change the starting location to suit your arrival schedule if needed.
All changes made within 24 hours will result in a $50 (USD) administrative fee and might result in either tour duration reduction or additional charges for the extra time (guide/driver services).
Please also be aware that popular museums in Europe, Scandinavia, the Baltics, and Russia do not allow changes to pre-booked tour times due to the large numbers of visitors.
Museums in Russia, LAST-MINUTE cancellations, and changes policy for all private tours:
Catherine's Palace in Pushkin - non-refundable, no changes allowed.
Hermitage, Yusupov's palace, Grand Palace in Peterhoff- are refundable only with more than 9 days' notice before the tour. No changes allowed.
All other museums- fully refundable, any changes allowed.
Cancellation policy & Refunds – If we change or cancel
It is unlikely that we will need to make any changes to your arrangements, but occasionally we may need to make changes and we reserve the right to do so at any time. Most of these changes will be minor and we will advise you or your travel agent of them at the earliest possible date.
Occasionally we may need to make a major change to your confirmed arrangements. Examples of a “major change” would be a significant change to your itinerary, missing one or more destinations entirely, or where a cruise ship arrives late at a destination where your arrangements are to take place and consequently you are unable to join the arrangements for all or a significant proportion of it. We also reserve the right in any circumstances to cancel your arrangements. For example, if the minimum number of clients required for a particular arrangement is not reached, we may need to cancel it.
If we need to make a major change or cancel, we will tell you or your travel agent as soon as possible and if there is time to do so before the arrangements are due to commence, we will offer you the choice of:
1. (for major changes) accepting the changed arrangements,
2. getting a refund of all monies paid, or
3. accepting an offer of alternative arrangements of comparable standard from us, if available (we will refund any price difference if the alternative is of a lower value).
You must notify us of your choice within 7 days of our offer. If you fail to do so, we will assume you have chosen to accept the change or alternative arrangements.
The above sets out the maximum extent of our liability for changes and cancellations and we regret we cannot meet any expenses or losses you may incur as a result of change or cancellation.
No liability beyond offering the above-mentioned choices can be accepted where:
- we are forced to make a change or cancel as a result of unusual and unforeseeable circumstances beyond our control such as force majeure, the consequences of which we could not have avoided even with all due care; or
- where applicable, we have to cancel because the minimum number of bookings necessary for us to operate your trip has not been reached.
No compensation will be payable and the above options will not be available if we cancel as a result of your failure to comply with any requirement of these booking conditions entitling us to cancel (such as paying on time) or where a change is a minor one.
Cancellation policy & Refunds – Force Majeure Cancellations
Very rarely, you or we may be forced by "force majeure" to change or terminate your trip less than 14 days before it starts or after departure but before the scheduled end of your time away. If this situation does occur, we regret we will be unable to make any refunds (unless we obtain any refunds from our partner suppliers), pay you any compensation or meet any costs or expenses you incur as a result because we incur expenses as well on our side.
In case you or we are forced to cancel your trip more than 14 days before it starts because of "force majeure", we will do our best to provide a refund but will not pay you any compensation or meet any costs or expenses you incur as a result.
During force majeure events, or for all cancellations because of force majeure events, you have the following options:
- a full refund;
- a full amount tour credit for any future booking;
- tour re-scheduling for a future date without any extra charges or penalty;
We do not guarantee that your preferred option will be available for your reservation. Your preferences will be taken into account but the final decision will be made by us based on the current force majeure situation and the political, environmental, financial, health, or any other circumstances around it.
In these booking conditions, "force majeure" means any event which we could not, even with all due care, foresee or avoid. Such events may include, whether actual or threatened, war, riot, civil strife, terrorist activity, industrial dispute, natural or nuclear disaster, significant risks to human health such as the outbreak of serious disease at the travel destination, pandemic, acts of government, adverse weather conditions, fire and all similar events outside our control. Except where otherwise expressly stated in these booking conditions, we regret we cannot accept liability or pay any compensation where the performance or prompt performance of our obligations under our contract with you is prevented or affected by or you otherwise suffer any damage, loss or expense of any nature as a result of "force majeure".
Granting of services
When a pre-payment is received, we will send you an e-mail confirmation with reference number and details for all services ordered together with any applicable instructions and other documents (if required).
We recommend our clients to register with Shore Excursions Center and create a Personal Account to have access to their booking details, and to be able to review/modify and cancel reservations in a timely manner.
What to expect, when you have ordered:
- Transfer - Your driver will be waiting for you in the arrival hall of the airport or cruise port/by your coach at the train station/ by your bus at the bus station holding a sign with your name on it.
- Tour days - Your guide will meet you in a designated location at the date and time specified in your tour confirmation. For private tours, a name sign displaying the Lead Passenger's name will be held. For Join-in Excursions, a general Shore Excursions Center sign will be held and the participants will need to sign-in for the tour with our manager.
- Additional Orders - All additional orders will be delivered to you by Shore Excursions Center representative at the date and time as specified by our Customer Service Manager.