Annette Austin

United Kingdom



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?”

Annette Austin's Trip Date:

17th Dec - 13th Feb 2017

Annette Austin's Ship:

Hebridean Sky

Overall, how was your trip?

The ship, the expedition team, ship (hotel) staff and overall organisation of the tour were exceptional. The commitment all expedition staff had to ensuring everyone had a great time, as well as safe and practical journey, and the service given by all ship staff, food preparation and variety and cabin service was excellent and of the highest standards. This is all alongside the exceptional and very special landscape and wildlife of Antarctica. Wildlife such as birds and penguins were in their thousands and the scenic landscape was breathtaking.

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

Having been to Antarctica before I knew what to expect, but you forget how exceptional, beautiful, enormous, fragile, pristine and just magical the place is. It lived up to my expectations and beyond.

Would you visit again?


How was the service that Swoop provided?

We were very pleased with Swoop and the service they provided to us. Having given an outline of my holiday requirements Alex provided 3 options, with the journey we took being his preferred option, and it met all our requirements. The tour (places we visited) and the ship (and cabin location) were excellent and met our every requirement. We couldn't have received a better service.

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

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

Excellent. Everything lived up to my expectations - and beyond. Landings and being in the midst of icebergs and superb wildlife was fantastic. I felt everything was a "best" moment. The expedition leader and her team are the best I have ever seen or experienced - they were all exceptional in every way. Their knowledge, commitment to Antarctica and its wildlife, making sure we got the best out of the landings etc, while maintaining safety (for animals and people), was their key focus. All landings were quite different (sand,surf, flat waves, rocks) so it felt that each time ashore was unique and offered something different. The landscape was different at each landing too, while cruising amongst the icebergs is always such a highlight and overwhelming in its beauty.

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

The Hebridean Sky is an exceptional ship of the right size, comfort and luxury for such an Antarctic journey. The food was plentiful (perhaps a little too plentiful) of superb quality and variety. The ship was spotlessly clean and the cabin staff were excellent and made every effort to ensure all passengers were well treated and happy. It was a luxury ship which perhaps you wouldn't expect in an "adventure" holiday however the casual dress code and getting in and out of zodics to regularly made the ship a comfortable home for 3 weeks. The expedition leader and her staff were exceptional, so positive, inspiring, knowledgeable and there to ensure we had maximum benefit and exposure to the wildlife and scenery around us mindful of its pristine nature and need to respect such an environment (along with safety considerations).

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

All logistics worked for us. Swoop only booked our cruise and hotel accommodation in Ushuaia as we had made other arrangements for air travel and independent travel in Australia and Argentina prior to the cruise. The booking Swoop did for us worked well and all documents arrived on time and all was in order.

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

My final thought is more to do with eco travel and how to improve that aspect of the trip. This whole journey was exceptional with landscape, ship and expedition team beyond my expectations. While great emphasis is placed on wildlife and landscape preservation and the fragile nature of the environment, I felt there was too much food and an amount of food waste that was unnecessary. I will make some recommendations to the ship's operator in terms of how they can improve that aspect of the overall journey experience.

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

It was the journey of a lifetime - which I have taken twice now to Antarctica. It was everything I expected and more.

3 people found this review helpful

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