We secured Sergey's guides for both Yalta - Zhenya and Sevastopol - Helena; well in advance. Through a series of emails (Sergey was always very prompt to reply) laid out the sites we were interested in and the requirements of our diverse group. I provided a deposit thru Western Union; easy. Both guides have a vast knowledge and love for their region, good english and pickup / drop off dock side were on time, went smoothly
Had a v pleasant walk thru the old town, great visit to the 5 C BC Greece site of Chersonesus, out to Balaklava with a lunch (I insisted on buying for Helena, too) on the waterfront and then to the submarine pens. Helena was v sensitive to our needs, provided basic information and then easily handled our stream of questions.
Started with a visit to the cathedral then to Vorontsovsky and Livadia Palaces. We had requested a lunch stop at a small local Crimean restaurant (someplace Zhenya would go with friends) but the only place she would consider was a tourist one, the Swallow's Nest; likely fine with a good view but not the experience our group was looking for. So we opted to end the tour early and return to the ship. It felt that Zhenya wasn't in tune with our small group. That she had a script to get through and she overwhelmed us with information that we started to tune-out. The Yalta coast roads are v windy, crowded, narrow and slow. From inside the van, one doesn't get to appreciate the scenery and several in our group were feeling unwell due to this motion. On our return to the ship we drove a main inland road which I would recommend for both directions.
Both tours were priced on an hourly rate so settling the fee was handled simply; hours (we rounded up) * rate and I provided a generous tip for the guide to share with the driver. I would not hesitate recommending Sergey's services.
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