United States Of America
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?
A close-up encounter with some humpback whales while in the zodiac.
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
How likely is it that you would recommend Quark Expeditions to a friend?
10 out of 10
Tell us about the wildlife
Getting to see so much unique wildlife up close was definitely one of the highlights of the trip, aside from the amazing landscapes. We were able to see most everything expected, except I didn't personally see any orca and I was hopeful of seeing larger penguin colonies.
Tell us about Zodiac excursions
The Zodiac rides were definitely fun excursions, as this was our best chance to see wild life up close. The guides did a great job of answering anyone's questions about the animals, environment and conditions. They also coordinated with each other when seals and whales were found so more of us could see them.
Tell us about the expedition team
They were all very knowledgeable and easy to talk to. It was nice to have a chance to share meals with several of them. We also appreciated the opportunity to interact with staff from diverse backgrounds from many places across the world.
Tell us about the Ocean Diamond
This ship is not new, but certainly well maintained. Our cabin on the 5th deck was large enough and the service of making up our room multiple times a day was really nice. The 5th deck was also nice since we had direct access to the side decks. The ship had a nice enclosed, warm observation deck on the 7th level right above the bridge. It was also great that we were allowed in the bridge. One of my favorite spots however, was the large observation deck on the top of the ship, which seldom had many people on it. The food was also great, as we never went hungry with the ample snacks between meals. The food selection at the meals was always great and whatever we had was done well. Access to fresh salads everyday was appreciated. Most important however, is that all food was properly appropriated, stored and prepared as we never got sick, something that is always a worry on a ship. I can't imagine working in the kitchen while crossing the Drake Passage under the conditions we had, as we heard several large crashes as the ship swayed so strongly that I was thrown out of my chair in the dining room.
I appreciated how hard everyone worked on the ship to make the experience enjoyable to the clients. All of the hotel staff were always cheerful despite the fact that many of them won't get a single day off during the entire cruise season since they turn the ship around the same day it comes back into port.
Do you have any tips or advice for other people planning a trip to Antarctica?
The only thing that wasn't clear to us when signing up was the pricing of the kayaking. I understood it to be $1000 for a single kayak excursion, whereas that was the price for kayaking twice a day for the entire trip. I don't regret not signing up for it however, as I think we saw more in the Zodiacs, but be sure that pricing is explained well.
Has your experience changed your perspective in any way?
We know more first hand of what that environment is like and the limited places that tourists can visit. So hopefully as more ships start to serve the market, they will abide by the same voluntary rules to keep the experience as special as it is now.
Do you have any recommendations or feedback for the Swoop team?
Keep up the enthusiasm. These are great trips, just expensive so they'll remain fairly exclusive to those who can afford them and those who want a different type of adventure travel experience.