Customer Rating On return from their adventure we ask customers: “On a scale of 0-10, with 10 being the highest, how likely is it that you would recommend Swoop to a friend or colleague?”
What was your most memorable moment?
We were kayaking on the second day through rivers of ice and spotted a really cool iceberg in the distance. We decided to make our way towards the iceberg and stopped in a cove-like area for rest and pics. Before we decided to leave, a Leopard Seal came right up to our kayaks and seemed to be toying with or playing with us. The seal spent a good 10 mins swimming around us all, creating waves, popping up out of the water in various places - a lot of people were laughing and enjoying this organic moment.
Which of the following best describes your adventure?
On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely is it that you would recommend Swoop to a friend or colleague?
10 out of 10
Tell us about the wildlife
We saw whales, various types of seals, penguins, and birds. My favorite encounter was w/ a Leopard Seal while kayaking; the seal seemed to be having fun with us, creating waves and swimming quickly underneath the water to change his position before we could snap a photo. We also saw a group of Ocra hunting another whale - it was a magical moment as the sun was setting and we had just finished a BBQ dinner / party on the back deck.
Tell us about Zodiac excursions
This was a cool way to see a lot in a short amount of time at any particular site. We were able to get close to seals hanging out on small icebergs, penguins, and anything in the water including whales.
Tell us about the expedition team
It was refreshing to know that everyone onboard was an expert in some way on Antarctica, the wildlife, the ocean / climate, etc. We had really good lectures during times we were sailing, which helped to pass the time but also was very informative.
Tell us about the Hondius
Great ship!! The rooms were way better than we expected. There was so much room for our things, lots of storage space and a luxurious feel. We had a twin porthole room. The dinning was awesome, as well! There was so much food - almost too much ha-ha. We were well fed and I definitely feel like we got our money's worth in food alone. The ship also had a lot of cool spaces like the lounge, library, lecture hall, and all the deck space. We could even find time to be alone in certain areas on the boat during the day if we wanted to.
Tell us about the Kayaking
I'm so glad we decided to take the kayaking option. We got out so many times and still didn't miss most of the landings. It wasn't too clear from the time we purchased the tour w/ options that we'd have to choose between doing the standard things included with the tour and kayaking BUT the staff was able to work with us and offer kayaking 6 times and work a way to make the shore landings too!
Tell us about the Camping
It was cool to say we camped out in Antarctica but I think the experience could have been further enhanced for the money. This activity is weather dependent of course, so the staff took the first opportunity to camp that was available. It was a great night to camp but the whole activity felt a little rushed maybe. We go to the site and did a little orientation, then had to dig our holes for the sleeping bags. This was about 9PM but there was still some light out. Some people didn't have all the gear they needed, so it delayed the completion of their sleeping spots for some time. The guide doing the camping also didn't seem to be too helpful or engaging either. After everyone finished their holes, people just went to sleep. There wasn't much of a camping feel, with a circle around a fire (probably not allowed in Antarctica), stories, or fun facts, etc. We just dug holes, put our sleeping bags together, slept, then woke up the next day to go back to the boat. It was also not on Antarctic proper.
Do you have any tips or advice for other people planning a trip to Antarctica?
Load up on motion sickness pills, bring a lot of lotion because you are required to sanitize your hand about 50 times a day and they get really cracked and dry. Kayaking was awesome but camping wasn't totally worth it in the end.
Has your experience changed your perspective in any way?
Yes! Antarctica is a beautiful place and it must be protected. The staff gave a really good presentation on climate change, which opened the eyes of a lot of people I think.
Do you have any recommendations for Swoop, or feedback about the team?
Try to provide as much detail around the optional activities and what it means for the other activities that come standard with the tour price.