Owen

United Kingdom

Customer
Rating

8

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?”

Owen's Trip Date:

20th Oct - 15th Nov 2016

Owen's Ship:

MV Ushuaia

Overall, how was your trip?

Highlights: the ship; the colours of the ice; the tameness of the wildlife; the rust, romance and rottenness of the whaling stations; the clearness of the air; the icebergs.... Surprised by the diversity of people on the boat: age/nationality/backgrounds. Enjoyed the library and having time to do some background reading on the history/wildlife etc. Loved the food.

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

Fantastic. Tho - we did only see the remote tip of the continent. I didn't know what to expect.

Would you visit again?

Maybe

How was the service that Swoop provided?

The ship was perfect (tho I havent been on, or didnt really know what the alternatives were. (My husband did all the bookings: it was HIS gig really so I hope he does this feedback for you too)). With 10 (?) in each zodiac, having 70 passengers was manageable. How 400 people all go ashore I have no idea. I guess they can't, so a bigger boat would have been a real draw-back. The cabin was FAB, tho we were upgraded to no 304. (Original 265 would not have been as nice). Loved the rocking and rolling of the boat and didnt once get sea-sick or need to take pills/patches. (In fact, our final Drakes Passage crossing was a little too tame !)

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

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

Loved these. Found it easy to jump in and out (despite being 70) but others found it less so I think. One horrendous experience, too difficult to explain here, where we all got soaked. Bit of staff misjudgement: heavy swell trying to get back on the boat....reminded me how dangerous it can be. Think all a bit shaken by it at the time..... Expedition staff and crew all wonderful.

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

Everything worked like a dream. (Tho very full plane and cramped seats on outward flight). Early morning arrival in B Aires: met by Lily and Carlos and taken to hotel for the day, which was sensible as had breakfast and a long morning to see the cemetary (just round the block) and other things before heading off in the afternoon for flight to Ushuaia. Turned away from the hotel Albatross as over-booked. Made a bit of a fuss and they found us a room on the second night. Great to have a couple of days in Ushuaia: wonderful day at Harberton. Very special place with good guides, and EXCELLENT museum at Ushuaia, where you can go back 2 or 3 times: too much to see in one go. On the way back we had a couple of nights in B Aires. Great hotel. I forget the name. Owen/Alex will remember. Interesting part of town.......Lots of walking. Wonderful steaks - the best I've ever tasted tho I'm not normally a big meat eater !

​How would you describe {vessel.title} if talking to somebody potentially interested in going to Antarctica, and what tips would you pass​ on?

Loved this boat. Quite workaday and not 'cruise ship'. Steep steps and probably has no stabilisers so maybe not for anyone really frail or unsteady. But food excellent and plenty of it. And constant access to tea/coffee/fruit. No internet - or rather $10 for 30 minutes, and as the service was slow this meant 2 emails. Some people appreciated the break, but we were there during the Trump election so many of us wanted to keep up with events ! I would have liked the election results on our wake-up call for example but passengers were divided on this. 50% wanted a break from world news and 50% wanted an update. I would have like some lectures on geology and plate tectonics: how the continents broke away from each other. I think the films could have been slightly better and more educative. The lectures from the staff were OK (and some good ones)...but there must be some fantastic lectures out there, on all things Antarctic. The finale party from the staff was good. A bit OTT, handing out certificates etc when we had done nothing to deserve them, but the bonding moment was good, and the film they had put together of our trip was fun to watch. We were promised a DVD in the post including the film, the lectures and all the detailed maps of our landings, but ours arrived with only the film. Big disappointment. I think we did get sent links some time afterwards but don't recall now where I put them. Shame they aren't all on that one DVD tho.

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

Take advice from Alex Mud ! Very very happy with Swoop. (that hotel in B Aires was the BoHo) Take a decent camera and a few pegs and short clothes line for the boat, as no washing is done for you and we were on it for 3 weeks. Maybe not suitable for anyone really old, frail, overweight or unsteady.

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

Can't think of anything else at the moment.

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