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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?”
James' Trip Date:
1st Nov - 17th Nov 2018
Overall, how was your trip?
Overall, this trip was a dream come true. The highlights for me were the whaling station at Grytviken and Shackleton's grave, and being able to hike the ridges above our landing sites. In regard to the wildlife, the vast quantity of wildlife, and how close you are to it, leaves you speechless. I was surprised at how easy it was to meet people on the ship. The entire experience was well planned out. As for 'magical moments', arriving in Grytviken and toasting Shackleton's grave (before the other passengers had arrived to the cemetery) was probably the most memorable.
In one sentence, what did you think of Antarctica? Did it live up to your expectations?
I have dreamed about visiting South Georgia Island since I was a boy, and it did not disappoint.
Would you visit again?
How was the service that Swoop provided?
The service was excellent. Everything was in order and there were no travel surprises related to the planned itinerary. Swoop ultimately booked my international flights, the voyage itself, and my accommodations in Punta Arenas. Everything was well planned and clearly explained. Swoop had me well prepared for this trip.
How likely is it that you would recommend Swoop to a friend?
10 out of 10
You chose a/an Photographers' South Georgia experience. How was that experience?
I chose the this expedition because it was the one that was 'South Georgia only'. I am not a photographer, so that portion was not applicable for me. Since it got me to South Georgia, it was the right choice for me. The only thing I would have enjoyed more would have been to land at more abandoned whaling areas (such as Ocean Harbor or Stromness), but Grytviken was my primary goal, so I was ultimately satisfied. Weather, as always, was the ultimate factor on where we could land anyway.
If Swoop arranged some of your travel before/after your voyage. How did we do?
Wonderful. Swoop arraigned my international flights and accommodation in Punta Arenas. All of my documentation was in order and all expectations were clearly communicated to me.
How were your experiences on the zodiac excursions and shore landings?
The landings were of course, were the objective of the trip, and we were able to get in as many as possible. The crew did a great job working the weather and landing sites to ensure we got to as many as possible. We lost a couple of days up front due to weather related flight issues into the Falkland Islands, however the crew did a great job maximizing our time on South Georgia so that we hardly noticed the lost time. They did a wonderful job. Without question, for me, the highlights were anytime we saw relics from the past (whaling stations, graves, old rusty stuff, etc.).
Has your experience changed your perspective in any way?
I love traveling to the difficult to reach corners of the world. I have a boyhood list of places I always wanted to visit, and South Georgia was always at the top of the list. There are no words to describe how it feels once you have accomplished a life-long goal. I have now been to South Georgia Island and nothing can take that away from me.
Do you have any tips or advice for other people planning a trip to Antarctica?
Know where you are going. Study up on the area you plan to visit before going. The more you study and learn about an area before you go, the more you will enjoy the experience. My only disappointment was not getting to South Georgia Island before the reindeer were culled. One of the attractions to South Georgia for me (when I was young) was the reindeer. Obviously I knew that they had been 'removed', so I was not surprised, but I was a little disappointed. If I have a take away from this, it would be not to wait. If you want to go somewhere in the world, then go as soon as you can. There are no guarantees, and things do not last forever. Enjoy them as soon as you can. The sooner you embark on the trip, the longer you will be able to enjoy the memory.
Is there anything you would recommend we change to make trips like yours more environmentally sustainable?
I do not have any recommendations.
Anything else? Tell us anything you’d like to share that we forgot to ask! It’s ok to leave this empty too :-)
I am happy to share any photos you might want, but I am not a photographer. Mine are good for sharing with family and friends, but are not of the quality that the others on this expedition would have. Just being transparent!