Anne Ward

United Kingdom



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?”

Anne Ward's Trip Date:

17th Aug - 3rd Sep 2018

Anne Ward's Ship:

Polar Pioneer

Overall, how was your trip?

I found the 7 days in East Greenland very , very long with fairly uninteresting shore excursions and a general lack of wildlife/birdlife etc. The highlight was seeing 3 blue whales feeding fairly close to the boat in Spitsbergen.Also a polar bear though it was far away. Landscapes were superb in many places - great coastal scenery.Other travellers on board were mostly pleasant, friendly people.The main Expedition leaders I thought seemed a bit weary, serious-faced and a little lacking in enthusiasm(Gary, Roger and Robyn).The photographer Michael was consistently enthusiastic and helpful.

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

It was all far more barren and colourless than I expected - I thought there would have been far more birdlife, wildlife and tundra to enjoy.So - no, it didn't quite match my expectations.

Would you visit again?


How was the service that Swoop provided?

The ship was great , I liked it from the very first so that was good.The food was excellent on board and the triple share was comfortable with 2 nice women to share with too.I did sometimes think Amie was a bit late in replying to my relatively few queries.I understand she job-shares but would have hoped someone else would have picked up the enquiry, rather than this only happening if it was 'urgent.' It's still good to get a swift response to even non-urgent enquiries. I didn't get sent, I don't think, the link to the Track My Trip service from Swoop, though it was referred to in a final email, but Aurora sent me this directly.

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

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

5 out of 10

How were your experiences on the guided excursions?

Best moments - getting up close and personal with three walruses who came in very close to shore to inspect us.Seeing a polar bear , for the first time, way in the distance on the pack ice.Seeing 3 blue whales. I didn't hugely enjoy the landings - there wasn't an awful lot to see.Preferred the zodiac trips as felt we saw more (or potentially could have.) We watched an arctic fox hunting for quite some time from a zodiac, because ice blocked the shore landing area so we stayed cruising around below cliffs.We would have seen, as ever, nothing or very little on that landing if it had gone ahead. The icebergs were superb things.The wildlife/birdlife - over 13 nights - was disappointing. The main expedition leaders seemed quite tired and -perhaps just their personalities - always seemed rather unsmiling and lacking in enthusiasm.Ryan and Jukka seemed more engaged, as was Michael, the photographer.The 'bear protection' necessity on land must have added considerable strain to each of them of course.

​How would you describe {vessel.title} if talking to somebody potentially interested in going to the Arctic, and what tips would you pass​ on?

Great ship, slightly old fashioned and small but all the better for that. I understand a newer ship is coming into service taking over 100 passengers. 54 , to me, was more than enough for landings and the noise even that number of people make on a shore landing is probably enough to scurry the wildlife away for some time! A lot of people on the voyage were on it because it WAS the Polar Pioneer and they had reservations about a bigger ship. It was the correct choice for me, as I am not really someone who normally travels in large groups.

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

Yes, it all went well. Accommodation was very good , on ship and on land. I think the 3 hour bus tour of Reykjavik could be improved with more interesting places to visit.The Museum was excellent.Similarly with Longyearbyen - 3 hours seemed an awful long time.Again, he Museum was excellent.

7 people found this review helpful

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