Why we care

Swoop has been sending travellers to Antarctica since 2014 and we firmly believe in the role that travel plays in creating a greater sense of global citizenship.

However, we fully recognise travel’s environmental impacts. We have to see our trips as an opportunity to help our customers make the best choices, not just for their two or three-week adventure, but as they return to their lives afterwards.

We believe Swoop’s success must be measured not just by how satisfied our customers are, but also by the extent to which they become ambassadors for change.

We value the trust our customers have in us and we're proud to guide them towards actions that have lower carbon emissions and a responsible approach to mitigating and managing impacts on wildlife and landscapes.

Two tourists flying the Antarctic flag on the 7th Continent

Responsible tourism in Antarctica

How is Antarctic tourism managed?

Antarctica belongs to everyone and relies on the collaboration of all nations to protect it, as laid out by the 1959 Antarctic Treaty. Since 1991, the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) has worked to advocate for safe and environmentally responsible travel to Antarctica, in line with the principles of the Antarctic Treaty. 

Swoop is proud to be an associate member of IAATO and we only work with ship operators who are also members. 

IAATO has created a series of guidelines for tour operators to Antarctica, covering all aspects of travel from codes of conduct during landings to monitoring the fuel consumption of the polar fleet to reduce emissions. 

Every year we take part in IAATO's annual conference to understand the latest best practices and to contribute to the conversation about sustainable tourism in Antarctica.

IAATO and Antarctic ambassador logo
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Elliot says

Because Antarctica doesn’t fall under the jurisdiction of any one country, polar travel companies have a unique responsibility to ensure they minimise the impact of tourism in and around the White Continent.

Elliot Murphy Swoop Sustainability Manager


Simple biosecurity rules apply in Antarctica to prevent the accidental spread or introduction of invasive species or pathogens. 

Before arrival, all outer layers, day packs and boots are checked to ensure cleanliness. All gear that may come into contact with the ground is treated with Virkon disinfectant (this will not damage your clothes or other items).

During a landing, you mustn’t sit, kneel or lie on the ground or place bags on the ground. All boots and any items that may have touched the ground must be cleaned with disinfectant after every landing. 

Biosecurity procedures may sound daunting prior to travel, your expedition team will lead you through what to do so they quickly become an easy and routine part of your polar visit.

Undergoing biosecurity measures on a cruise ship after a landing on South Georgia

Responsible wildlife watching

Wildlife in Antarctica has no natural fear of people, so strict guidelines are in place to avoid disturbing them. Always listen to your expert guides when wildlife watching. 

Don’t make sudden movements and keep noise to a minimum. You should keep a minimum of 15 feet (5m) away from wildlife at all times. If an animal approaches you, slowly move away.

Wildlife in Antarctica always has the right of way and if anything you do causes an animal to change their behaviour, you're too close and should quietly move away. Never put yourself between an animal and the sea.

When in a zodiac watching seals or whales, your guide will adhere to strict rules about how close they may be approached, as well as the best options should the animals themselves ignore the guidance and approach you.

A zodiac full of tourist watching seals in the Antarctic peninsula
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Swoop says

By sticking to the simple biosecurity and wildlife watching guidelines during your visit to Antarctica, you can take pride in knowing you're doing your part to help protect the wildlife of this extraordinary part of the world. 

Renting kit

Antarctic cruises require a slightly different packing list than other trips to keep you warm and dry. Although the majority of ships provide parkas and waterproof boots for passengers, we have found that renting polar kit is an excellent and environmentally friendly option instead of buying new.

Swoop works with New Headings, who rent high quality waterproof outer gear to travellers embarking from either Ushuaia or Punta Arenas. After booking in advance, the gear is delivered to your starting hotel, with a choice of sizes to make sure everything is a good fit.

Kit on offer ranges from parkas and waterproof trousers, to googles, mittens and waterproof daypacks.

Renting kit is a highly sustainable choice, and can be particularly useful for travellers living in warmer climates and are unlikely to wear their cold weather gear again.

A man standung next to a 7th Continent flag in Antarctica

More about Swoop's sustainability strategy

Why our customers love Swoop

The Antarctic Experts.
No Compromises

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Our team has visited Antarctica over 150 times and has 100 collective years of polar experience, so from which trip is right for you to what shoes to bring - there’s no question we can’t answer.

Expert impartial advice at no extra cost

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Choosing the right voyage is complicated, Swoop makes it easy. We offer no-nonsense advice on 1500 voyages across 30 ships to find you the right trip, cabin, price - and we don’t charge a fee.

The only B Corp certified Antarctic specialist

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We want to protect Antarctica for future generations - which is why we became a certified B Corp and set up our own conservation fund. So your adventures can be a force for good.

A full concierge service, unlike booking direct

With You SVG

We leave nothing to chance in delivering your perfect trip and have over 6500 happy travellers to show for it. With a dedicated Antarctic co-ordinator & support throughout - you’re in safe hands.

Ready to plan your Antarctic adventure?



We'll spend some time listening to your aspirations, then discuss the kind of experience that might suit you.



Next we'll discuss the options, shortlist the best trips for you and present you our impartial recommendations.



We'll place a 24 hour hold on your preferred option - without obligation - whilst we talk through the details.

With over 100 years of Antarctic experience between us, we can help guide you to exactly the right trip for you.