Life before Swoop
I spent part of my childhood by the Atlantic coast and, coming from a family of captains, I learned to sail at the age of ten. Years later, after finishing my degree in Public Relations, I had the chance to sail the seas around Africa, the Middle East, Europe, America, the Arctic and the Antarctic, developing an especially strong connection with the polar regions.
I love interacting with people and enjoy learning languages. I can find my way with Portuguese and French and I’m fluent in English, German and of course my native language: Spanish. As a true 'Patagonian', based in Bariloche, I love the mountain environment and being out in the wilderness kayaking, hiking and back-country skiing. My experience as a certified skipper, rescue diver and a wilderness first responder gives me excellent skills for driving Zodiacs in rough waters.
My polar experience
After visiting Antarctica for the first time eleven years ago, I could not stop returning every austral summer. I have been part of over 130 Antarctic and 20 Arctic expeditions, and even got engaged on the ice. I started out as Hotel and Quality Manager, aboard several ships including the powerful icebreaker '50 Years of Victory', all the way to the geographic North Pole. Shifting my focus to the expedition side, I worked as a Zodiac Driver, Guide and Assistant Expedition Leader.
During my eleven years working in the polar regions I have spent almost a whole year of my life sailing the Drake Passage watching albatrosses fly by; I have enjoyed a North Pole BBQ five times and completed the 90º north polar plunge. I have been fortunate enough to visit the west and east coast of Greenland several times, as well as Iceland, Svalbard, the Weddell sea and of course the Antarctic Peninsula.
Day to day at Swoop
As a polar specialist, sharing my knowledge and passion for Antarctica and the Arctic, I help people find expeditions that meet their expectations and needs. As I’m based in Patagonia (in Bariloche, in the Argentine Lake District) my role also involves connecting travellers wishing to visit the area with the Swoop Patagonia team.
Why I love polar travel
To me, the polar regions are a paradise. Being surrounded by glaciers and icebergs; observing penguins porpoising in Antarctica or a polar bear and its cub wandering in the Arctic sea-ice; having whales surface next to your boat; seeing a pod of orca travelling the Gerlache strait; it's like being in a dream. The vastness of the landscapes and nature expressing itself in such a strong way is my spiritual retreat. The feeling after encountering whales, or during sunset crossing the scenic Lemaire Channel, cannot be put in words. No matter how many books you read or documentaries you watch, there is nothing quite like being in the polar regions.
What our customers think
I am so pleased we booked with Swoop! I mainly interacted with Loli, and I couldn't ask for better help. She was very prompt in responding and so knowledgeable. The voyage recommended was absolutely perfect.
Christine & Rollence California December 2017
I am so pleased I booked with Swoop! I mainly interacted with Loli and Aimee, and I couldn't ask for better help. They were both very prompt in responding, and so knowledgeable. The voyage Swoop recommended was absolutely perfect for me.
Christine & Rollence Patugan United States Of America December 2017
Swoop and especially Loli were terrific, from initial contact to boarding the ship.
Austine & Cathleen Stitt/Noland United States Of America November 2017
Swoop was phenomenal! I am so happy and grateful I booked with Loli and the Swoop team. Loli answered all of my questions and due to her first-hand experience with the trip, she was able to offer terrific guidance and helpful insights. I felt completely looked after and prepared for my trip.
Colette California January 2017
We were extremely fortunate to link up with Swoop. We planned this trip at the last minute and I do not believe we would have found the right trip, right boat, or the right cabin. Loli knew that we were on our honeymoon and went out of her way to make sure we had the right cabin.
Ryan Massachusetts November 2016
Swoop and especially Loli were terrific from initial contacts to getting on the ship.
Austine & Cathleen Colorado December 2017
Swoop staff Loli and Liz are awesome. Very detail oriented.
Josie & Carmen Castro Canada December 2018
Loli was so incredibly helpful and interested in making sure I had a comfortable experience. The information given about the size of the ship was so important and very helpful!
Kira California February 2017
Loli and Liz were awesome! They were always available and ready to answer my many questions.
Stephanie Wong United States Of America December 2018
I am very pleased with Swoop! Loli Figueroa was so incredibly helpful and interested in making sure I had a comfortable experience.
Kira Day United States Of America February 2017
Thanks for all your help! We had an absolutely amazing honeymoon in Antarctica. I'm sure we'll never forget it.
Tish & Obadiah Scolnik United States Of America December 2017
Swoop and Loli were the best...one of the top 2 agencies and agents we have worked with. Have already recommended swoop to other friends.
Patricia Schenkkan United States Of America December 2018
Loli was incredible. So personable and helpful - she gave us such a personal experience and we loved all the options available. We really felt like we took the best option and were given great advice throughout.
Bertie & Jessica Russell February 2017
The Swoop Travel Team was amazing. I lucked out finding Loli who assured me she could help arrange this. She listened carefully to what was important to me and then gave me two options to consider. She assisted with the pros and cons list.
Deborah Merickel United States Of America February 2019
Very very happy with booking experience through Swoop. Making choices while planning my trip was made super easy by Loli and Liz who responded promptly and informatively to every question. The choice of voyage, ship and the cabin were just perfect. They asked for and understood what was important to me and advised accordingly. I can't think of anything they might have done differently to improve.
Nilanjana Mukherjee India December 2018
Loli was incredible. So personable and helpful - she gave us such a personal experience and we loved all the options available. We really felt like we took the best option and were given great advice throughout. Nothing could have been done differently, excellent from start to finish.
Bertie & Jessica UK February 2017
After so many years at sea, my next adventure is actually spending more time on land! I'm sure I will miss being among icebergs and penguins, however planning polar adventures from the beginning is very fulfilling. I'm looking forward to transferring my field experience into guidance and support for people looking to discover these wonderful regions. Also, as I'm based in Bariloche in Argentina, I'm looking forward to spending more time exploring Nahuel Huapi Lake aboard my kayak.