Jane Alexander

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?”

Jane Alexander's Trip Date:

9th Feb - 18th Feb 2019

Jane Alexander's Ship:

Hebridean Sky

Overall, how was your trip?

The highlight for me was being a part of our 9 person kayaking group plus two guides. We were able to paddle into small coves and the most magical of all was being near three feeding humpback whales and hearing their breathing as they rose up every few minutes.

In one sentence, what did you think of Antarctica? Did it live up to your expectations?

Yes, indeed! Antarctica was everything and more. I did not suspect the quiet. The light, and the colors of the ice.

Would you visit again?


How was the service that Swoop provided?

I liked Swoop very much but it was not the company I would have chosen. It was chosen by my friends beforehand. As a birder I would have gone in a ship over Drake's passage for the Albatross and the petrels. Nevertheless the ship was fantastic; a perfect size and beautifully appointed. My cabin and cabin mate were excellent, couldn't have ben better. Prior to the voyage I felt a little lost with all the paperwork/digital messages from Swoop. We booked a year early so it got a bit confusing for me, but near the end when Ange came into my life everything got easier as Ange told me just what to do. Ange was great. I think if Ange had been in my life from the beginning things would not have been overwhelming for me.

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

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

8 out of 10

You chose a/an Original Fly & Cruise Luxury Adventure experience. How was that experience?

Answered earlier.

If you received our guide to Santiago before you travelled, what did you think of it? For instance (but not limited to):

I did not receive a guidebook to Santiago. I booked a birding guide on my own as the one recommended through Swoop seemed too expensive. It was only later I found out that the two companies were in collusion and the price was fixed. That annoyed me very much. My guide Matthias however was excellent and I saw 55 species that day.

You chose to do {category.title} on this voyage. How was that experience?

This was the number one highlight of my trip. We didn't get to kayak twice a day as hoped, only once a day because of weather, which makes the price tag of $800 quite askew. I would definitely recommend this to friends but only friends who like cold air, wind and are fit enough. The guides, Ashley and Steve were THE best guides I have ever encountered and I have had dozens all over the world birding. They were charming, educated and caring people and made our time with them precious indeed.

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

All worked out as expected. My two nights at the Hotel Don Juan before meeting the group were excellent. All documents were in order. Ange was great with reservations. I do think Swoop should investigate the birding guide companies in the Santiago area as they fixed the price for my day trip and I couldn't find a cheaper one. I was told by some folks who lived in Santiago that they charged way too much for one guide for me: close to $600. I agree but I had no choice.

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

I love zodiacs so I was very happy we were taking them to and fro. The icebergs, especially the black icebergs were remarkable in every way. The wildlife was good, especially the Humpbacks, Minke and the Chinstraps. As a birder it was interesting because of the Penguin Colonies and so few bird species in general. The Sheathbill fascinated me as the colonies' garbage collector. The staff were very special . I loved it when one cut the motor and we sat in silence for five minutes experiencing just how vast this continent is. Only the sound of avalanches and whale's breath. Sublime.

Has your experience changed your perspective in any way?

The Antarctic is a world unto itself; there is nothing like it anywhere. I am very active in wildlife conservation and the impacts of climate change so I appreciated the knowledge of the staff and the science which is ongoing on the continent. I didn't want to end the trip; I could have stayed for another two months exploring, data collecting etc.

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

For folks with motion sickness or disabilities I would highly recommend this trip by air and sea.

Is there anything you would recommend we change to make trips like yours more environmentally sustainable?

You are doing a good job already. A lecture on sustainability would help also.

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

I would not go with Swoop only because I have other ships and companies here in North America I have traveled with before. (I am a US citizen and a Canadian resident)

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