About me

John profile

Life before Swoop

Life as a fisherman in Finland meant that I was free 8 months of every year, so I had time to dedicate to travel. Since leaving Finland, I have travelled even more - and even made it my career. My country total now stands at 150 of the world's 193 UN countries. It hasn't always been plain sailing: some time working as a researcher for the Bradt guide to South Sudan nearly got me shot. Happily, I survived and went on to forge a career in travel, working as a Tanzania, Kenya and Madagascar specialist, before returning to my much-loved snowy roots, the Arctic regions: areas of the world I know extremely well. 

When I am not daydreaming about all things "ice", you'll find me with a hammer and chisel in my hands. Building my first house in my 20s gave me the woodworking bug and, consequently, I am never happier than when I am making a dusty mess!


My polar experience

In March 2016 I visited Antarctica for the first time on board the Vavilov, and in December 2016 I made my second voyage to Antarctica on the Ocean Adventurer. In June of 2016, I took a voyage that departed from Iceland, stopping at Jan Mayen a remote island in the North Arctic ocean, and ending at 81 degrees north in Svalbard, onboard the Sea Spirit. In 2017, I revisited Svalbard for the second time onboard the Akademik Ioffe, this time circumnavigating the island. In early 2018, I took a 15 day voyage to the Falklands and South Georgia on the Polar Pioneer; circumnavigating South Georgia and walking in Shackleton’s footsteps. Most recently, August 2018, I sailed the Northwest passage onboard the Ocean Endeavour, experiencing for the first time, what it is like to be a guest onboard a larger 200 passenger vessel.

Additionally, I have been onboard almost all of the expedition vessels that sail to the polar regions, and lived on the Arctic circle for 13 years. 


Day to day at Swoop

I joined Swoop in January 2016 as a polar specialist and have travelled to Antarctica and many parts of the Arctic. Much of my day is spent on the phone talking to clients about the nuances of the polar regions. Everything from which vessel to choose, when to go, and what it's actually like when you get there.

Travel tips from my blog

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I've blogged about my most recent trip, back to the Arctic:

Rediscovering the Arctic

And you can read about my Antarctica experiences:

Conquering the 7th Continent

Preparing for Antarctica? Here are my top five reads: 

Polar Page Turners

Want to know more about the history of Antarctica?

A little piece of Antarctica in Warwickshire

My photos

Take a look at all my photos from my polar adventures.

Next adventure

43 countries left… plenty to do... and then there are territories too. It’s a life times work, seeing the world, and I plan on travelling to as much of it as possible.