About me

SWO_2_JOHN-NEWBY_ALL_PROFILE

Life before Swoop

Life as a fisherman in Finland meant that I was free 8 months of every year, so I had time to dedicate to travel. Since leaving Finland, I have travelled even more - and even made it my career. My country total now stands at 150 of the world's 193 UN countries. It hasn't always been plain sailing: some time working as a researcher for the Bradt guide to South Sudan nearly got me shot. Happily, I survived and went on to forge a career in travel, working as a Tanzania, Kenya and Madagascar specialist, before returning to my much-loved snowy roots, the Arctic regions: areas of the world I know extremely well. 

When I am not daydreaming about all things "ice", you'll find me with a hammer and chisel in my hands. Building my first house in my 20s gave me the woodworking bug and, consequently, I am never happier than when I am making a dusty mess!


My polar experience

In March 2016 I visited Antarctica for the first time on board the Vavilov, and in December 2016 I made my second voyage to Antarctica on the Ocean Adventurer. In June of 2016, I took a voyage that departed from Iceland, stopping at Jan Mayen a remote island in the North Arctic ocean, and ending at 81 degrees north in Svalbard, onboard the Sea Spirit. In 2017, I revisited Svalbard for the second time onboard the Akademik Ioffe, this time circumnavigating the island. In early 2018, I took a 15 day voyage to the Falklands and South Georgia on the Polar Pioneer; circumnavigating South Georgia and walking in Shackleton’s footsteps. Most recently, August 2018, I sailed the Northwest passage onboard the Ocean Endeavour, experiencing for the first time, what it is like to be a guest onboard a larger 200 passenger vessel.

Additionally, I have been onboard almost all of the expedition vessels that sail to the polar regions, and lived on the Arctic circle for 13 years. 


Day to day at Swoop

I joined Swoop in January 2016 as a polar specialist and have travelled to Antarctica and many parts of the Arctic. Much of my day is spent on the phone talking to clients about the nuances of the polar regions. Everything from which vessel to choose, when to go, and what it's actually like when you get there.

What our customers think

Why I love Antarctica

SWO_4_JOHN-NEWBY_ALL-JOHNPROFILE

Antarctica is massive and there is no real way of explaining this, you have to see it. The mountains, the icebergs, the whales and the glaciers. Really the only thing thats small in Antarctica is the krill.

Kayaking in Antarctica is awesome. Leaving my camera on board the Vavilov and paddling my way past whales and huge icebergs was humbling and awing at the same time. To anyone thinking about kayaking, my advice would be to do it. You won't regret it.

For a long time, elephants were my favourite animal... now it's penguins. Cuverville Island is a fantastic place to watch them. I sat in a zodiac while 500 Gentoo "rafted" around me, the Go Pro video is fantastic.

Antarctica sparkles in the sun, and is dramatic and moody when the clouds shroud the mountains. At any time of day and from Late November to early March, it's my number one place in the world to be.

Travel tips from my blog

Thinking about braving the ice cold waters?

How to do a Polar Plunge 

Preparing for Antarctica? Here are my top five reads: 

Polar Page Turners

Want to know more about the history of Antarctica?

A little piece of Antarctica in Warwickshire

A list of top apps to travel to Antarctica with:

Which apps for Antarctica?

Food, it seems, can make or break the success of an expedition:

Pass the Penguin: Diets of the Early Explorers

SWOOP_3_NEWBY_ALL_JOHN4

My photos & videos

Take a look at my footage of some of the most spectacular landing sites in South Georgia, capturing the abundant wildlife and majestic scenery.

Next adventure

43 countries left… plenty to do... and then there are territories too. It’s a life times work, seeing the world, and I plan on travelling to as much of it as possible.

Ready to plan your Antarctic adventure?

  • Swoop Antarctica Expert Alex
  • Swoop Antarctica Expert John
  • Swoop Antarctica Expert Loli
  • Swoop Antarctica Expert Tennessee
  • Swoop Antarctica Expert Jon

With over 14 years' experience in Antarctica, we can guide you through the maze of options to choose the perfect voyage.

1-855-369-8288