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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?”

Julie's Trip Date:

24th Dec - 5th Jan 2024

What was your most memorable moment?

Too many memorable moments to list though, if pushed, I'd have to say the look on my husband's face when he saw Brabant Island, an island he'd spent 9 months on back in 1984, for the first time in 39 years. This would shortly be followed by reaching the summit of Cuverville Island on snow shoes, taking the polar plunge and disco dancing on the helideck of m/v Ortelius on New Year's Eve.

Which of the following best describes your adventure?

Great holiday

On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely is it that you would recommend Swoop to a friend or colleague?

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

10 out of 10

On a scale of 0 to 10, how would you rate your trip: Antarctic Basecamp Adventure?

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

10 out of 10

Were Swoop right to recommend Oceanwide Expeditions?


Tell us about Zodiac excursions

Zodiac cruising is the most enjoyable of pastimes. The safety briefings were comprehensive so we knew what each of us should be doing when on the zodiacs, allowing us to feel safe at all times. Even when one of the zodiacs lost the use of its outboard, the fact that they operate in pairs meant that they could be towed safely back to the ship without fuss. The expedition team members driving the zodiacs often headed off to give us a better view of wildlife, keeping in radio contact with each other to share their finds. All the zodiac journeys were incredible.

Tell us about the expedition team

From the moment we boarded Ortelius, the expedition team made us feel welcome and ensured we had the best time possible. Sharing meal times with us allowed us to get to know them better - we couldn't believe that we had mutual friends with 3 of the team members. And the pre-dinner briefings in the bar allowed us to mingle with them at the end of the day. So many of our team were experts in their own field, the regular talks and slide shows were a real bonus, giving us all a real inside into Antarctica. All the expedition team were fabulous - but perhaps one or two stood out for me: - Who could fail to wake up with a smile to Marcel's sing song "Good morning, good morning, good morning". As expedition leader he ensured everything ran to plan and was absolutely delightful. - As an overweight, not particularly fit 67 year old I was anxious that I would hold up other guest taking part in the mountaineering. Andy (Perkins) reassured me that I could move at my own pace, rest when needed, and with his support I achieved my goal of reaching the top of Cuverville Island. - I have never met anyone quite as enthusiastic as Chloe Marechal is about Krill! The trip we took had a large number of children/young teenagers and Chloe took it upon herself to take them on a Zodiac outing together as a bonding exercise which really worked. The kids spent the rest of the trip enjoying each other's company as a group. - as Argentinians, Juan Berenstein and Lucia Romero were keen ambassadors for their country, passionate about their environment and fantastic zodiac drivers! - Pierre Gallego quietly shared his passion for whales with all who were interested, never too busy to talk about his beloved whales. - Andy Schwetz is an absolute delight - I never saw her wearing anything other than a smile, and so interested in everyone's stories. - Paolo Bellezze, a quite man, always in the right position at the right time with a word of encouragement without being asked. - MalHaskins, a loud and proud New Zealander - but perhaps a bit sharp with his comments on occasion when things didn't quite go his way.

Tell us about the Ortelius

We were fortunate to be given an upgrade to a Superior cabin which didn't disappoint. The king size bed and large shower/toilet were a pleasant surprise, as were the complimentary bottles of wine. We were initially concerned about how comfortable our "downtime" would be, their being no separate bar and lounge, however it encouraged passengers to get together after activities and in the evenings and added to the whole experience. Having hot drinks available all day long encouraged people to mix in the bar area rather than spend time in their cabins. The hotel team on Ortelius should be congratulated on the service they provide and the food they produce in such a confined space. The staff were all very efficient but super friendly and the hotel manager and his assistant were very approachable and helpful. The choice and standard of food at every meal was excellent. We are considering a journey to Svalbard in the future and would probably choose Ortelius again. The "open" bridge policy on Ortelius was a real bonus. All the crew, without exception, made us feel very welcome, never too busy to answer our questions. A great place for whale watching.

Something Else?

Because for my husband this was a return trip to Antarctica, he offered to do a talk on his time on Brabant Island back in 1984. This was welcomed by the expedition team and scheduled for the second day of the return across the Drake Passage (when the weather was a little better) and was well attended by fellow passengers and expedition team. We took with us a detailed map of the area we were cruising in and feel the maps provided in the bar for passengers could be improved on a bit.

Has your experience changed your perspective in any way?

Having lived with someone who has spent a period of time living in Antarctica for 39 years, I have been aware of the environment for some time. However, this trip has made me realise that I need to be more proactive in my approach to protecting what is there for others to share.

Do you have any recommendations for Swoop, or feedback about the team?

I shall be recommending Swoop to friends who have expressed an interest in visiting Antarctica in the next year. I am not sure the basecamp adventure is for them, but I have no doubt the Swoop team will be able to steer them to the right trip. The team members I have encountered during the booking process have all been very prompt in their responses and helpful in the extreme.

How prepared and excited for Antarctica did you feel?

Following the guides provided I felt well prepared for my trip.

Would you consider another trip to Antarctica with Swoop?


Would you be interested in travelling to The Arctic with Swoop?


Would you be interested in travelling to Patagonia with Swoop?


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