Jim Tietjen

Malaysia

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?”

Jim Tietjen's Trip Date:

26th Feb - 11th Mar 2019

Jim Tietjen's Ship:

Plancius

Overall, how was your trip?

Four-star experience! Could not have been better. Highlight was the ship's crew, our guides, and our fellow explorers... all nice folks. Landscapes stark and challenging, photogenic and forboding. Wildlife incredibly resilient and not camera shy, especially the young penguins! Surprised how wonderful the experience was. Being on the bridge, with the Captain, navigating the Lemaire Channel, which had a HUGE iceberg towering over us!

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

Great, inspiring. Didn't have any expectations, except that the seas might be rough, and they were, for a short while.

Would you visit again?

No

How was the service that Swoop provided?

Yes, pleased with polar specialists. Was able to rectify a few issues early on. The voyage, as was the ship and cabin, were recommended by my friend, fellow explorer, and cabin mate... he did good! Swoop's overall service, including the land portions (which I would be happy to give you feedback on separately), was excellent... no complaints, only kudos! Yes, the initial credit card service charge was unexpected (and not explained beforehand), as was a mix-up on a charge quoted by Swoop in USD when it was actually in Euros... no harm done though.

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 South of the Antarctic Circle experience. How was that experience?

The ship was perfect. The crew very happy and helpful. Our guides were top-notch (though I had a small problem with one). The food was excellent. The cabin more than adequate. The guide's talks superb, putting everything in context. The lounge, drinks, window views were all wonderful. Yes, I would recommend to others, for sure! We had two cabin issues which were never resolved... the next-door cabin occupants listened to their TV at full volume very often... this disturbed us during sleeping hours. We reported it the "hotel manager and assistant manager three times, but it was never resolved. Second, our "porthole view" was obstructed by ship's gear, but what was worse was that the cigarette smoking deck was directly outside our cabin. Since it was ALWAYS very warm inside our cabin, we had to leave our cabin door open whenever we were inside. Invariably, day and night, smoke wafted into our cabin from the hallway and adjoining hatches that opened to the outside deck, at all hours... not nice, but we survived. Suggest that the operator look into these noise, cigarette smoke coming into the cabin, obstructed porthole view, and continually too warm in the cabin issues.

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

Excellent, once again! I was very happy and impressed, for the most part, with all Swoop's arrangements. I asked for an "aggressive" schedule and I got it! I liked the occasional updates I received along the way which reconfirmed my arrangements. Though I was skeptical of all the complex arrangments at first, I realized that Swoop had thought of almost everything! It was smooth sailing! Three of my many accommodations were not so great... you may want to reconsider using: the Hainen Hotel in El Calafate... it was substandard both times I stayed there; the Kalenshen Hotel in El Chalten was marginally better than the Hainen... I think you can do better; the Kau Lodge in Puerto Natales looked great, but when it came to sleeping it was very NOISY... thin walls, noisy showers/baths/commodes, and noisy kitchen at 0412 am... difficult to get a good night's sleep there. Travel documents were perfect. Tips... use Swoop! Reservations... the Hotel Alto Andino in Ushuaia, Serrano Riverside Camp, and the Hotel Las Torres were all excellent... don't use the Hainen, Kalenshen, or Kau Lodge again.

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

Perfect transits to/from shore! Safe, sound, and fun! Highlights were when our guides would take time and allow us to observe seals, whales, and birds during our zodiac transits... and the faster we could go the more fun they were! Most enjoyed seeing the seals basking on the icebergs, up close and personal! Wildlife was at times sparse, or challenging to see, but we did well and saw most every specie available. Icebergs were always great to see (and avoid) and ponder their shapes! Ali, Adam, and the entire ship operator's team were 5-star!!!!!*****

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