Aurelio & Maria Jose Hernandez




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?”

Aurelio & Maria Jose Hernandez 's Trip:

Spitsbergen Circumnavigation

Aurelio & Maria Jose Hernandez 's Trip Date:

25th Jul - 7th Aug 2018

Aurelio & Maria Jose Hernandez 's Ship:

Polar Pioneer

Overall, how was your trip?

The trip exceeded our expectations since the first day, and it got better and better at every zodiac cruise or landing we made. The organization by the Aurora staff and the Polar Pioneer crew was excellent. We didn't expect to have such experienced and professional guides. Their knowledge of the fauna, flora and environment was outstanding, as well as their communication skills. Being onboard such a small ship means that you are really able to know the rest of the passangers and the staff, who all share the same interest and love for nature as we do. Among the highlights: watching polar bears and their cubs in the ice; the cliffs of guillemots and puffins; the sound of the icebergs popping and cracking; the massive glacier calvings and the waves they produce.

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

One of the last truly unspoiled places on earth, that sadly is suffering the consequences of global warming. Yes, it was even better than we expected.

Would you visit again?


How was the service that Swoop provided?

The service provided by Swoop was excellent. We'd like to thank Loli since she was the one who worked very hard to find us a spot on this trip. The communication with Swoop was fantastic since the first day. Loli didn't hesitate to call us whenever a new offer arrived, or just to answer our questions. Also, we'd like to point out the great web service Swoop provided. The "adventure planner" tool is a great way to keep all the paperwork and documentation collected in one place, easily accesible and with all the necessary information. Finally, we really appreciate the kind gesture of sending us a pair of fleece scarfs that we used during the entire trip. Thanks!

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 {area.title} voyage. How was that experience?

It was great from start to finish. We were able to watch a lot of flora and fauna, including polar bears, all kind of seals, raindeer, walruses, arctic foxes, whales, thousands of birds, beautiful landscapes, etc. It was also nice to experience the midnight sun.

You chose a/an Spitsbergen Circumnavigation experience. How was that experience?

The only negative part of the whole trip was that we didn't reach the ice cap (and therefore we missed the ice-breaking experience), since the expedition leader considered it was too far away North. We were really expecting this to happen, even more after we monitorized the previous Aurora trip (SVAL45) that did actually reach the ice cap. Apart from that, we had a wonderful time and we have no complaints at all with the organization or the other decisions made by the very experienced crew. The service onboard the Polar Pioneer was also very good. The food was better than we expected, and although it is an old ship that has its problems (the toilet and piping installation needs some refurbishment), we found it cozy and comfortable.

How were your experiences on the guided excursions?

The expedition staff was so experienced and knowledgeable that every landing and zodiac cruise was a great experience. They were always very careful with not disturbing the wildlife, and always trying to help the passengers for photo opportunities. They also made us feel very safe every time we made a landing, securing the area prior to our disembarkment.

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

The Polar pioneer is perfect for someone who wants to go for a trip with only a few people that share their same interest and love for Nature. Having only 54 passengers makes getting in and out of the zodiacs a swift experience. The Russian crew was excellent. The chefs, stewardesses and rest of the personnel were very attentive and helpful.

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

All the arrangements made by Swoop prior to the trip were perfect, keeping us always updated about the documentation we needed to fill, providing some advices for the trip, etc. We'd like to specially thank Loli Figueroa for her great commitment and support during all the booking process.

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

Bring thick socks for the gumboots! And lots of SD cards for your camera!

6 people found this review helpful

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