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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?”
Maricela's Trip Date:
4th Jan - 19th Jan 2023
What was your most memorable moment?
On our second day in Antarctica, we celebrated crossing the Antarctic circle. All guests and expedition guides gathered on deck 8 as we joined in an Antarctic circle ritual: stamping a circle on our foreheads! Afterwards, we enjoyed the most fantastic views of The Gullet - a narrow passageway surrounded by towering mountains covered in thick layers of ice. It was the most beautiful place I have ever seen!
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
On a scale of 0 to 10, how would you rate your trip: Crossing the Antarctic Circle?
10 out of 10
Were Swoop right to recommend Aurora Expeditions?
Tell us about the wildlife
My expectations about the wildlife in Antarctica were blown away! We saw colonies of Adelie, Gentoo, and Chinstrap penguins. There was a whale sighting just about every day. We mainly found humpbacks, but saw a few Minke whales and one afternoon we ran into a pod of killer whales! They must have been hunting or potentially practicing because we saw a group of humpbacks in the crowd and many seabirds checking out the scene. We also saw many Weddell seals, a few crabeater seals, and one fur seal. And of course, there were many many seabirds!!
Tell us about Zodiac excursions
The Zodiac excursions were my favorite part of the expedition! We were able to explore a wide area at many sites and were able to get up close with much of the wildlife. I always felt safe, which surprised me because on windy days the zodiacs could be quite bumpy. Also, I felt comfortable bringing my camera on the zodiacs and got some great shots!
Tell us about the expedition team
The expedition team were some of the most experienced and impressive group of people I have ever met. Many of them both led zodiac cruises and were knowledgeable experts in varying Antarctic subjects. Nina was our historian but also one of the best zodiac drivers. Russell was a citizen science guide and a great teacher. Ian was our naturalist and had also worked on many BBC documentaries. Roger was a seasoned Antarctic scientist and always had the greatest stories to tell! Overall, every expedition guide was amazing!
Tell us about the Sylvia Earle
The Sylvia Earle is one of the most beautiful ships I have ever seen! The cabin was spacious despite having two other roommates. I enjoyed the many food options available which included vegetarian options as well. However, I was often seasick and felt that there weren't many options for those with an upset stomach. Offering more saltines and bland foods on the menu would be my only recommendation. I would 100% choose the Sylvia Earle again!
Tell us about the Kayaking
Kayaking in Antarctica is something that not many travelers get to experience! The kayak guides try to paddle at every landing site, weather dependent of course, and you can choose whether you want to paddle or go on zodiac cruises with the other expeditioners. I often get seasick, so I chose to paddle on calmer days. We kayaked among icebergs, whales, penguins, and seals in the most beautiful bays! Each kayak guide was very knowledgeable and took care of our needs. Though I am a slow kayaker, I never felt rushed and always had time to enjoy the experience.
Do you have any tips or advice for other people planning a trip to Antarctica?
Start planning early! Think about if you want to add on extra tours where you embark on your ship. When it comes time to start packing, you don't need to bring fresh clothing for every day. You will often wear your base-layers many times during your expedition. Pack lightly but remember to bring essentials like gloves, hats, warm socks, medication, camera gear, etc. If you get seasick, try to bring as much motion sickness medication as possible. During the trip, drink lots of fluids and try to eat bland foods. If you are a photographer, always have a camera with you even while you are on the ship. You never know when a pod of killer whales will pop up. Lastly, go with the flow! Every day is going to bring something different.
Has your experience changed your perspective in any way?
Traveling to such a remote area of the planet made me realize that there is so much more to life than our way of life in human society. I gained a better appreciation for untouched nature and feel more inspired than ever to help conserve these wild places.
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?
Do you have any recommendations for Swoop, or feedback about the team?
Overall, I thought Swoop did a fantastic job helping me chose an Antarctic cruise, add on tours in Ushuaia, and figure out how to transfer airports in Buenos Aires. My only recommendation would be for Swoop to provide a little more information about extra tours and private transfers apart from the confirmation on the itinerary. For example, instead of leafing through paperwork, travelers booking private transfers should be informed on their itinerary that someone will be waiting for them at arrivals and include the emergency phone number in this location as well. In retrospect, however, everything went smoothly.
Was there anything else Swoop could have done for you to help you prepare for your trip?
I felt very well prepared for my trip and I think I overpacked! Swoop blog posts and extra readings defiantly helped me feel prepared. Keep giving travelers as much information as possible!