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?”
Marc's Trip:Quest for the Antarctic Circle
Marc's Trip Date:
21st Dec - 3rd Jan 2023
Marc's Ship:MS Expedition
What was your most memorable moment?
The trip was overall a matter of extremes—some things were outstanding and some things really fell short of expectations. Contracting Covid on the ship after avoiding it for over 2.5 years and having 5 vaccinations was a real surprise.
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?
7 out of 10
On a scale of 0 to 10, how would you rate your trip: Quest for the Antarctic Circle?
6 out of 10
Were Swoop right to recommend G Adventures?
Tell us about the wildlife
I think it didn’t. I only got two landings with penguins, saw a half dozen seals on a zodiac cruise but missed a landing with elephant seals. I did see orcas and humpbacks from the ship’s deck.
Tell us about Zodiac excursions
We had one 2-hr zodiac cruise and the others were really on the way to landings for me. The staff drove well. Our weather was so warm and placid there wasn’t really any getting soaked. I did feel safe always.
Tell us about the expedition team
Staff were knowledgeable. Mostly friendly but I felt there was a little aloofness/stiffness. Keith the glaciologist; Lyn the ornithologies were top notch in their subject matter expertise. Mario was warm and funny and big hearted. It was a bonus having Scobey with his BAT background. I really liked the first nord lecture. The whale quiz was great also. I got the two Sarahs mixed up. Musician was fun but not as versatile as might have been hoped for. I do want to call out the captain, the doctor and the hotel manager for being stellar in their performance.
Tell us about the MS Expedition
Like most things, there were very good and some mediocre. The ship was roomy but The only real places to congregate outside the cabins were the lounge, the bar, and on deck. The library really needs a full review of materials. Games (cards) or board games would have been good and a way for people to perhaps mix and mingle. There was scrabble and I think Uno. I was surprised I could not buy cards in the gift shop. The gym was a disappointment; the sauna was nice. Meals were probably appropriate for what I paid—definitely plenty of food, and it didn’t seem like there was a lot of waste as in some Cruises, which I appreciates. Some meals were outstanding and some were more like a catered meal that was “fine” It sounds like Ocean Endeavor had food that was really a level above in freshness and presentation. Breakfasts were “okay”. Some Dinners were AWESOME.
Tell us about the Camping
I think it was worth the price to have been able to do it. Our tent wasn’t well set up but it worked. I don’t know why the expedition leaders would allow folks to sleep outside the tents. I would recommend others purchase the camping option.
I think I’ve said a lot. I really want to commend the doctor for handling what could have become an actual “outbreak” responsibly and strategically. It’s just strange to me that the expedition leaders didn’t acknowledge those of us who could not participate in everything and didn’t follow up with us personally. I tried for 15 minutes at final checkout to explain to the purser about the other credit and the hotel manager asked her to apply it but it never got applied. The initial $50 credit Molly arranged at the beginning was applied and I am grateful for that.
Do you have any tips or advice for other people planning a trip to Antarctica?
Know what you are looking for; do research. If you have flexibility and are willing to wait until late to book, do it because you will likely get a great deal (some from our trip did just that).
Has your experience changed your perspective in any way?
Being away from family and having different experiences was perhaps an altering experience, time will tell. I am a little more cynical about the opportun to mitigate climate change I think.
Do you have any recommendations for Swoop, or feedback about the team?
I don’t think so. Hannah was very responsive always—I only interacted with Andy for a brief while and then he was gone. Molly got me going with this and I appreciated her patience. Kate was a great comfort when I had troubles with my travel out to Ushuaia.
Was there anything else Swoop could have done for you to help you prepare for your trip?
Perhaps more proactive engagement around the travel planner earlier. After booking the interactions were around the trip not happening last year and around finances. The webinar was good-maybe another brief one as a very initial orientation—like a 30-min welcome and an hour more in detail.
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?
9 people found this review helpful