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?”
Helena's Trip:Falklands, South Georgia & Antarctica Explorer
Helena's Trip Date:
1st Nov - 22nd Nov 2022
What was your most memorable moment?
A very difficult question. Being completely engulfed by amazing wildlife in such a close proximity. It was a sensory overload in every sense of the word.
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?
9 out of 10
On a scale of 0 to 10, how would you rate your trip: Falklands, South Georgia & Antarctica Luxury Explorer?
10 out of 10
Were Swoop right to recommend Polar Latitudes?
Tell us about the wildlife
It has exceeded my expectations. We had unforgettable wildlife encounters. At the beginning of the trip, we were given a wildlife pocket guide and pretty much managed to see everything listed in this guide. Southern Right Whales and dusky dolphins cruised alongside our ship at the very beginning of our trip. We experienced great albatross colonies and enjoyed seeing at least seven different penguin breeds throughout the journey. Birding and whale watching opportunities on and off the ship were superb. Seeing Commerson's dolphins surfing the waves along the shores of the Falkland Islands crystal clear waters brought a massive smile on our faces. We discovered why the South Georgia is called The Serengeti of the Antarctic! We were surrounded by hundreds of thousands penguins, fur seals, elephant seals to such an extent that it was sometimes too dangerous to make a zodiac landing as the wildlife on shore was too dense. The landscape and the true wilderness of South Georgia is breathtaking. Being surrounded by whales in the Gerlache Strait was incredible ... dozens and dozens of fin whales, several humpback whales and a pod of orcas at once! It was a whale fest!
Tell us about Zodiac excursions
I did really enjoy them and felt safe at all times. All of the crew members were good zodiac drivers and safety was paramount. We were so lucky with the weather, however, several times the landing was cancelled as the crew deemed it unsafe. Perhaps Zodiac cruising amongst glaciers and huge icebergs in the Cierva Cove was the highlight, with the ice popping and cracking and singing all around us.
Tell us about the expedition team
The expedition team was so knowledgeable, friendly and all was delivered with good humour. It's difficult and perhaps unfair to single out any of the staff members as they were all great and experts in different areas. On sea days, we had opportunities to attend many lectures or watch them in our cabins if the seas were rough. The lectures were extremely informative and interesting.
Tell us about the Seaventure
Such a comfortable ship. The size of the ship was great. Less than 200 people on board including all the crew! This also makes a huge difference to much bigger ships when making landings as only 100 people are allowed to land at any time. It didn't feel either overcrowded or claustrophobic, just right. Captain Ivo was amazing and made an appearance with regular updates on almost daily basis. The entire ship crew was great, very helpful and friendly. Our cabin was comfortable and large enough. When one of us had an allergic reaction to the bedding, this was resolved very quickly. The food was incredible and so much of it! We came off the ship a few pounds heavier.
Tell us about the Kayaking
Kayaking, when it happened, was amazing. Not entirely convinced it is worth the money we paid as it is expensive and weather permitting only. We only got to kayak three times and the first session was a short training session. There were also two kayaking groups so if the sea swell was fine, you only got to kayak once a day instead of twice a day. We nearly asked for a refund. Having said that, kayaking in the Antarctica amongst the icebergs and in the sea thick with broken ice totally made up for it, it was great. We would recommend to limit the kayak groups to one group only so whoever signed up for kayaking has more chances of actually getting to paddle.
Tell us about Ushuaia
It is a relatively small and pleasant port town, a great gateway to Patagonia. We disembarked on a public holiday day so nearly everything was closed.
The Arakur hotel located high up the mountain overlooking snow capped mountain peaks, the town and its bay was great. A lovely place to wind down and relax.
Do you have any tips or advice for other people planning a trip to Antarctica?
Pack short sleeves too. The temperature difference between Buenos Aires and Patagonia was surprising. 30deg in Buenos Aires down to 6deg or so in Patagonia. The ship is also warm so short sleeves on board will be handy. You don't need to go overkill with warm clothes for the Antarctica either. Perhaps we were very lucky but the temperature never went below 0deg. It does get chilly and wet on Zodiacs so make sure you take waterproof gloves. Choose the smallest vessel as possible, more intimate, more environmentally friendly and it can reach places other larger ships can't.
Has your experience changed your perspective in any way?
It really highlighted how fragile the world and its ecosystem is and how it is important to look after our planet. If you going to spend your money, spend it on something as enriching as this trip is.
Would you consider another trip to Antarctica with Swoop?
Would you be interested in travelling to Patagonia with Swoop?
Would you be interested in travelling to The Arctic with Swoop?
5 people found this review helpful