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Terrie Mandina

United States Of America

Customer
Rating

10

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?”

Terrie Mandina's Trip:

Antarctic Peninsula Classic

Terrie Mandina's Trip Date:

9th Dec - 19th Dec 2018

Terrie Mandina's Ship:

Island Sky

Overall, how was your trip?

Antarctica is the most pristine place that I have ever visited. My wife and I were amazed at the amount of wildlife we got to experience (Adelie, Gentoo, and Chinstrap penguins; Leopard, Crabeater, Weddell and Elephant seals; Humpback whales and a pod of over 20 Orcas that swam right by the ship). The ship and expedition staff were the most professional and informative group. They all worked well together and went out of their way to interact with the passengers. The best part about the team was how quickly they adjusted to weather conditions. This allowed us to not miss out on our landings and expeditions.

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

Antarctica is the most amazing, peaceful environment that I have ever experienced.

Would you visit again?

Yes

How was the service that Swoop provided?

We are very fortunate to have found Swoop. Our normal travel agent tried to talk us out on Antarctic cruise and when we persisted pawned us off to an agent pushing only National Geographic ships. John at Swoop took the time to learn our goals and expectations via email and telephone. Within days, we had a few choices presented with a ship and itinerary that met our goals. We were handed off to Aimee once we decided on a voyage. She handled our logistics and finances perfectly. I have been doing travel planning with work and pleasure for 30 years. Aimee surpassed anything that I have done with her detailed daily itinerary for our whole trip. She had a day-to-day listing of milestones from airline travel with reservation numbers, to hotel reservations to tours. What was extra special was she listed reservations that I booked on my own which alleviated me from merging the data. There wasn't a single thing that could have been done better.

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

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

10 out of 10

You chose a/an Antarctic Peninsula Classic experience. How was that experience?

My wife is more of the adventurous type and I'm more of the resort type. The trip on the Island Sky with the ship operator's expedition team exceeded both of our expectations. The ship is a subdued lux and the expeditions on land were geared to people with low to mid-level skill and exertion levels. In other words, this trip was perfect in accommodating both of our wishes. Another expectation we had was to see wildlife and this trip delivered. I know wildlife is at the whims of nature but we were very blessed to have seen Adelies, Gentoos, Chinstraps, humpbacks, orcas, leopard seals, Weddell seals, Crabeater seals, elephant seals and an amazing array of birds. I not only would recommend this trip to others, my wife and I already are. For us, the Island Sky is the perfect sized ship. It allows everyone to get exploring at each location. We had two locations a day. The food was fantastic and an added bonus was eating most meals on the Lido deck (outdoor dining area on stern of ship). There was a cover and space heaters to keep most of the elements away and the view was phenomenal. Another plus was having the expedition staff intermingle during meals. They would join tables with opening and engage in Antarctic history or whatever was the conversation at that time.

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

Unfortunately, the camping was cancelled due to unfavorable weather. The expedition team tried on three occasions including re-positioning the ship to another location just to camp.

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

All of the travel went off as planned. One of our airlines changed the flight schedule but Swoop was on top of it and immediately sent out an updated itinerary. The accommodations in Ushuaia, Arakur Hotel, was fantastic. The view, staff and room were as good as any 5 star hotel.

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

The zodiac excursions and shore landings is what makes Antarctica special. This is what brings you to nature. You get to see the rawness of icebergs up and wildlife up close. One of the most amazing events was a group of humpback whales in the channel near our landing site. Our zodiac driver was maneuvering to get closer when all of a sudden the humpback surfaced next to the zodiac and some of the passengers got sprayed by the blowhole mist. The hikes were exhilarating also. Each landing had a hike to the top of a hill. The expedition staff would outline a path and give safety instructions upon arrival. The staff did a great balance of keeping the passengers safe with having fun and enjoying Antarctica. The expedition staff were tops for three reasons. They were professionals in their field, they had an overwhelming love for the continent and they were very safety conscientious. We trusted them completely with our lives and never once had second thoughts.

Has your experience changed your perspective in any way?

The experience has changed us. We now are conscience of single use plastics and try to avoid them. This trip also brought home textbook studies of how old Earth is and how it formed. Living it and touching it makes the impact more imprinted on the mind.

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

My advice is review the videos that are out there on a trip to Antarctica. Read the reviews of the different type of cruises and determine what works best for you. Get in touch with Swoop and let them help with necking down the choices.

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

This isn't about environmentally sustainable but one recommendation. I would have liked to see a video from you on what to pack and wear on the trip. Others have videos but I found the Swoop videos of ship reviews to be the most informative so I feel a clothing video would be the best also.

4 people found this review helpful

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