Kate & George

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?”

Kate & George's Trip Date:

27th Dec - 10th Jan 2018

Kate & George's Ship:


Overall, how was your trip?

Antarctica and the experience with Plancius far exceeded my best expectations. Hard to identify a specific highlight since everything was so outstanding-scenery, kayaking amid Humpbacks, daily snow shoeing hikes and climbs, incredible fellow passengers, etc. The only surprises were positive ones-much bigger and more comfortable room and much, much better food than we expected. Can't say enough about how great this trip was! Swoop did a super job of finding a trip and a ship that fit our interests and preferences. Overall, Swoop performed as advertised. As suggested in my sister Kate's feedback, my only recommendation for improvement would be to book individuals who are not married but share a last name and a cabin ( such as my sister and I) under separate names so that we each separately get the critical information required for the trip.

Would you visit again?


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

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

9 out of 10

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

This trip exceeded my my expectations (on a scale of 1-10, I've been telling people that it was a 20). The ship operator's Plancius Basecamp Antarctic Adventure was the ideal choice for me and my sister Kate. I'd highly recommend the trip to anyone seeking a very active- and at times a bit physically challenging- introduction to Antarctica with a very special self-selected group of seasoned, adventurous travelers of all ages. Typical cruise ship passengers (who would probably consider it very adventurous to simply cruise to Antarctica on a large luxury vessel with one or two very tame Zodiac excursions) need not apply! The ship's operator shouldn't change anything about this trip-it's perfect!

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

Everything worked, but, as previously mentioned, there seemed to be some confusion about information sent in by my sister Kate and she never received the final package that included the essential boarding pass, as well as lots of suggestions for gear. This could easily be solved by separately booking individuals with the same last name who share a cabin, but are not married, and sending each of them all the necessary emails and information.

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

Zodic excursion highlights included the mountaineering, snow shoeing and climbing, penguin colonies, camping, iceberg viewing and the two polar plunges. Very difficult to identify the most enjoyable, since all these experiences were exceptional. We saw much more wildlife than expected, including: Humpbacks swimming around-and under- our kayaks, as well as visiting the boat on several occasions, an unusual visit from a large pod of Orcas, lots of seals, birds and, of course, highly entertaining Penguins. The icebergs were awesome. I hadn't expected the brilliant colors or fantastic shapes. The expedition staff couldn't have been better-each exceptionally well trained, helpful, uniquely interesting individuals. The Plancius staff has somehow managed to create a highly positive, inclusive culture that set the tone for our very diverse group of passengers and made the entire experience a very rewarding one for each of us.

Do you have any tips or advice for other people planning a trip to Antarctica?

Just do it!! This is an awesome place that had a deep, emotional impact on all of us.

Anything else? Tell us anything you’d like to share that we forgot to ask! It’s ok to leave this empty too :-)

I forgot to offer thanks to the Captain, who used an unusually benign weather window for the return Drake Passage to add two unexpected stops in the South Shetland Islands (Yankee Harbor and Deception Harbor- where we did a 2nd polar plunge in the steaming volcano caldron), as well as an unscheduled visit to Cape Horn. As a US Coast Guard licensed skipper with over 50,000 nautical miles of offshore sailboat deliveries, I was highly impressed with the overall management of all aspects of this voyage. Plancius is a very tightly run vessel. The passage-making, Zodiac preparation and excursions, kayaking, camping, mountaineering and snow shoeing activities, as well as the lectures, meal preparation & service and cleaning service all adhered to a tight schedule and were highly coordinated like a well-oiled machine. Plancius is an exceptionally well-run ship!

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