Karyn & Richard
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?”
Karyn & Richard's Trip Date:
20th Jan - 4th Feb 2018
Overall, how was your trip?
The trip was great. The highlight for both my husband and I was the iceberg "garden" at Pleneau Island. The icebergs were so amazing and it was fun to see seals hanging out on some of them. That day was windy and cold. We're both very glad we didn't skip the harbor tour. We saw even more penguins than we expected and were surprised by how close we were to them in some areas, mostly as they were walking to and from the ocean. Being able to experience nature in it's natural state was a once in a lifetime experience. Seeing a Macaroni Penguin at Half Moon Island was my "runner up" highlight of the trip! We enjoyed seeing a lot of Humpback Whales too. We met many interesting people on the trip too. The expedition staff were very nice and knowledgeable, and all of the crew on the ship were wonderful. There were 2 things that were a little disappointing. The first was that there was a large group of Dutch people on our ship and they mostly kept to themselves. The other was that we didn't get to see the Beagle Channel well. On the way out we followed another ship that left late. By the time we were coming through it was dusk and then dark so we couldn't really see it. On the way back, we picked up the pilot at 2 am and were at the dock by 4 or 5 am. I thought I would have a chance to see it.
In one sentence, what did you think of Antarctica? Did it live up to your expectations?
Antarctica was absolutely amazing! It exceeded my expectations.
Would you visit again?
How was the service that Swoop provided?
I was pleased with the services from Swoop. The most important of these being the cruise that was recommended. The Antarctic Peninsula cruise was exactly what I was looking for. I wanted to maximize the opportunities to go onshore and we did. The Swoop staff were very organized and followed through on everything, ensuring that I knew what and when things needed to be completed.
How likely is it that you would recommend Swoop to a friend?
9 out of 10
You chose a/an experience. How was that experience?
This was a must have for me. I wanted to visit all 7 continents and like many people, Antarctica was my last one. If I didn't set foot on the continent it wouldn't have counted from my perspective. I didn't really know what to expect and the onshore experiences exceeded my expectations. This was absolutely the right cruise for us and I've already recommended it to several people.
If Swoop arranged some of your travel before/after your voyage. How did we do?
Swoop arranged our flights between Buenos Aires and Ushuaia and our hotel in Ushuaia the night before the cruise. Everything worked out as expected and I received all of the documents prior to the trip. The only issue was that I wasn't satisfied with the Patagonia Jarke. I realize that Ushuaia is a tourist trap and things are expensive but $178 for that room was ridiculous. I could have found a deal in San Francisco at a fairly nice hotel for that price. The Jarke wasn't my first or second choice of places to stay but the others weren't available that night.
How were your experiences on the zodiac excursions and shore landings?
The highlight as I indicated earlier was the harbor tour at Pleneau Island. It was amazing! I'm very thankful that the ship loaned boots to us. I wouldn't have wanted to wear my own shoes walking around the island because of the mess and muck onshore. The wildlife was great, so many penguins but also lots of seals, whales and other birds. The expedition staff were outstanding. A truly exceptional group of people with a nice balance of expertise - biologists, a geologist, historian, photographer. Cheryl, the expedition manager was awesome.
Do you have any tips or advice for other people planning a trip to Antarctica?
I tell people that if they want to go to Antarctica, don't put it off too long. I don't think it's a trip that I would want to make when I'm in my 80s and probably not when I'm in my 70s either, although there were people in their 70s on the cruise and most of them were fine. I think being younger gives you a better chance of having the energy to get to Antarctica and fully enjoy being there.