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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?”

Jane's Trip Date:

18th Oct - 14th Nov 2018

Jane's Ship:

Akademik Ioffe

Overall, how was your trip?

My trip on the G Expedition was exceptional. Life on the ship was much more luxurious than I expected or needed, but I enjoyed it very much. Great food, attentive and kind staff service staff, extraordinary subject experts. The other guests were interesting, friendly, and diverse, and I appreciated the mix (Brits>Australians>US, with many other countries represented) and the high number of solo travelers. I was paired with a delightful and age-appropriate roommate, and indeed all the solo travelers seemed to do fine with their assigned roommates. The trip itself was extraordinary, and the excitement built through the itinerary. Falklands was great for its history and our first encounter with penguins, followed by a wonderful tea at the farmhouse of a Falklands family. South Georgia took the scenery up a notch, and the penguin colonies are unforgettable, as were the visits to the Shackleton sites. Among many magical moments, I especially loved the Zodiac cruise around Cierva Cove in Antarctica, which had it all: seals, penguins, glaciers, ice, mountains. Other favorite times were sitting on the snow watching penguins.

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

Antarctica--its penguins, seals, and birds and its ice--was overwhelmingly beautiful and fascinating.

Would you visit again?


How was the service that Swoop provided?

I am extremely happy with the service from Swoop. Jon guided me to the longer trip based on my interests, which was completely the right call--I loved the Falklands and South Georgia. Then, when the original trip I was booked on was canceled (Academic Ioffe), Jon had anticipated the cancellation and had already found me another spot on the G Expedition that fit my needs--all with just a few weeks to go. Michelle had to go to work adjusting the flights, and Zoe had to both adjust the dates of my pre-trip stay in Patagonia and also my travel to the start point (Montevideo instead of Punta Arenas, so some big changes). All the Swoop staff I interacted with were wonderful.

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 Voyage South Georgia, Falklands & Antarctica experience. How was that experience?

Going to all three destinations, as recommended by Jon, was absolutely the right choice for me. I loved all of it. The ship's operator did a fantastic job with the trip: really extraordinary experts, great feeling on the ship, and ethical approach to running their operation. I would certainly be interested in their other trips (Arctic maybe?)

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

Logistics for the trip to Patagonia before the sea journey, and the travel from Chile to Montevideo, were perfect. I appreciated the detail of the notes: what to do with the short times I had in different places, where to eat and stay.

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

The G Expedition staff worked very hard to make almost all of the landings. When waves precluded a specific stop, they went to an alternative landing site when at all possible. When we couldn't disembark at Elephant Island due to weather, we got as close as we could and then the wonderful historian read to us from Shakleton's book, making what could have been a disappointment into a memorable afternoon. I loved all the landings, and the wildlife was abundant and close. We were too early for baby penguins (except for Kings) but we saw lots of mating activity, nesting, and other great penguin behavior. The fur seals and elephant seals were abundant and amazing to watch, and we were told that later in the season we would not have been able to land as close to them because they would get more aggressive. We saw many whales from far off when we were at sea, but not a ton of breaching whales, so I think later in the season would be better for whale sightings. The icebergs were lovely. I'd like to try a trip with more time in Antarctica itself, a bit later in the season, to have more time with the icebergs and to see whales up close. G Expedition staff was spectacular.

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

Being in Antarctica is an extraordinary privilege. A trip there is an opportunity to become immersed in history, geology, and most of all incredible nature, and to consider what we humans can do to better safeguard all of this. Many people on our trip were returning for a second time to Antarctica: it's hard to stop thinking about it once you have been. My advice is to GO.

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