Colin John

United Kingdom

Customer
Rating

8

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?”

Colin John's Trip Date:

9th Nov - 1st Dec 2017

Overall, how was your trip?

More varied than we expected in terms of landscapes and wildlife. We were pleased to have so much time ashore - more than expected. Crew and staff were great but an awkwardness in the composition of the passengers meant less companionship than we had experienced on previous similar holidays.

In one sentence, what did you think of Antarctica? Did it live up to your expectations?

We thought Antarctica was astonishing and our whole trip was brilliant

Would you visit again?

No

How was the service that Swoop provided?

The ship met our requirements in size and facilities so we were pleased with the advice we got from Swoop. The trip was perfect with lots of variety in the different destinations. A cabin with a window was definitely the right choice. Service from Swoop was a bit disjointed, with a number of different people contacting us including part-time staff, which made things a bit complicated for us sometimes.

How likely is it that you would recommend Swoop to a friend?

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

8 out of 10

You chose a/an experience. How was that experience?

Brilliant itinerary. We managed three landings in the Falklands, eight on South Georgia and six in Antarctica , plus some Zodiac tours. So we were very lucky with the weather and sea conditions. Would have liked more time in Stanley as there was lots to see. A faster ship would reduce the amount of time in transit but the quiet engines meant numerous and close sightings of whales, dolphins and seals/penguins. Food on board was generally very good and varied although we missed fresh fruit during the second half of the voyage. At lunch there was no "dessert" for someone who doesn't eat cheese. Early season cruise was fantastic with lovely snow and ice to enjoy. Expedition staff were uniformly excellent with wide areas of knowledge and expertise. Everyone worked smoothly together to get us all ashore quickly, efficiently and safely. The Captain added to our enjoyment by giving us unexpectedly close-up experiences of polar ice. The leadership and management provided by the Tour Leader, Andrew, were of a very high standard.

If Swoop arranged some of your travel before/after your voyage. How did we do?

Logistics did not work entirely as expected. Flight change to Madrid meant very short stopover there and one suitcase did not make it onto the Buenos Aires flight. Arrived at hotel 22 hours later. Thank goodness we were staying on in the capital! Bike tour arranged by you - pickup driver had incorrect instructions . He left us in the city on a street corner with no help. We had to rely on a friendly local to help us out and make contact with the local representatives, and find us a taxi etc. We were late and held up the group. Tour was brilliant but afterwards there was no transport for us to return to our hotel and we had to make our own way. Local office did apologise in writing, compensated us and delivered a bottle of wine. Other logistics worked fine. We did regret not having more time in Ushuaia as we had originally expected because of changes to flight times given to us after the cruise had begun. All hotels were fine. Staff in BA (Esplendor Soho)were particularly helpful. Standard of hotels was correct for us, position good. Travel docs all ok. Homero Manzi for dinner and Tango was great - recommended by hotel and more to our taste than the Argentine Dining Experience. We organised our own trip to an Estancia - a good fun day out. More to do in Puerto Madryn that you had implied - other passengers had been diving with dolphins etc!!! We had a lot of spare time there and could have done something similar.

How were your experiences on the zodiac excursions and shore landings?

All staff and crew were brilliant at handling the Zodiac excursions. We particularly enjoyed having expedition staff rather than crew driving the boat on excursions as they were better able to talk to us about what we were seeing. Extraordinary wildlife on shore everywhere, in number and variety, particularly Carcass Island and then South Georgia. We loved doing the Shackleton Hike - the crew brought his story to life for us in many ways - although we are not sure how much it meant to the 75 Swiss on board! For us there was a great sense of achievement in visiting our 7th Continent. We had expected that boarding and disembarking the Zodiac would be the most physically demanding part of our trip - in fact this was relatively easy and it was walking ashore, sometimes in deep snow, or slippery ice, or in meltwater, or tussocky grass slopes, or over quite long distances, which proved more challenging. As regular walkers we had no undue difficulty but this was harder than we had been led to expect from the information given. Icebergs -wow!!! Not more so than we expected - but gorgeous.

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