Stewart Adams

United Kingdom

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?”

Stewart Adams 's Trip:

Into the Polar Bear’s Realm

Stewart Adams 's Trip Date:

14th Jul - 25th Jul 2019

Stewart Adams 's Ship:

Ocean Adventurer

Overall, how was your trip?

The highlight was watching a mother polar bear and her cubs feeding on a carcasse at midnight in zodiac alongside fellow travellers and expert guides, all of whom shared the overwhelming experience in reverential silence.That was magical. We loved the fact that there was no set itinerary and that we were taken where the ice, weather and wildlife sightings dictated. The guides were amazing ! Their commitment and passion was second to none and the leadership of Woody was inspirational. We were very pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food and by the outstanding service of the ship's crew.

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

Our trip exceeded all expectations. To have had the opportunity to spend time in the Arctic and to be able to see seven polar bears , blue whales, Arctic fox, Ivory Gulls and walruses plus so many glaciers and historical sites was such a privilege.

Would you visit again?

Maybe

How was the service that Swoop provided?

We have nothing but praise for the service we received from Swoop from stat to finish. Loli convinced us to travel to the Arctic and her enthusiasm , passion and warmth sealed our decision to go with Swoop. The service then received from Michelle and Liz was quite superb. The only frustration about the whole trip was the difficulty encountered in securing convenient flights but that was not Swoop's fault ! We would unreservedly recommend Swoop to anyone looking to take a Polar trip.

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 very interesting to spend some time in Svalbard both before and after our expedition. In retrospect, perhaps we should have pre booked an activity to undertake during our time in the town.

You chose a/an Into the Polar Bear’s Realm experience. How was that experience?

We were desperate to see a polar bear on this trip and we ended up seeing seven ! This was therefore the perfect trip for us. What impressed us greatly was the determination and commitment of the tour leader and his team as well as the ship's captain and his team to seek out polar bear sightings for the party. The trip was ideally named and lived up to all our expectations.

How were your experiences on the guided excursions?

First and foremost, we would like to pay tribute to the expedition staff. Every single one of them was polite, pleasant, helpful, supportive and absolutely passionate about making our trip a success. We would also like to pay tribute to the outstanding quality of Woody's leadership as he clearly had the full support of his team and that ensured a highly successful trip for everyone. The opportunities to spend time walking onshore were much appreciated but sometimes we felt that we could have done and seen more in the time available onshore. One suggestion we might respectfully make would be to add to the walking groups a "Photography Group " which would ideally be accompanied by the onboard photography expert and his/ her back up photographer . We make this suggestion as I was aware that those who were very keen on capturing memories through photography often held back a walking group and probably caused frustration to the guides and also felt frustration themselves. ( I certainly fell into that category and often felt embarrassed to be holding up my group while I took photos). Just a thought …….

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

We would make it clear to any prospective Arctic traveller thinking of going aboard the Ocean Adventurer that they would experience a genuine Arctic Expedition in addition to a casual but superb cruise package. We didn't actually expect to enjoy such excellent food, drink and service on what is correctly termed an expedition rather than an Arctic cruise. It was the perfect combination for travellers of all ages.

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

Quite simply, we couldn't have asked for better service from Swoop. Nothing was ever too much trouble for the staff and everything was explained clearly and efficiently both on the phone, by email and online. Loli, Michelle, Liz and Ben (who travelled with us) are all terrific ambassadors for the company and each and every one added a great deal to our Arctic experience. Our warmest thanks to all.

Has your experience changed your perspective in any way?

Our trip has made us appreciate the challenges our Planet faces due to global warming and how delicate the balance is in the Arctic. We learned a lot about the Arctic and have been inspired to read further and to support relevant charities.

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

Given that we were so fortunate to have an excellent photographer/ filmmaker onboard (Kyle Marquant) , it might be worth advising some people who are not committed photographers themselves not to obsess about having the perfect camera and lenses. Kyle produced a beautiful set of photos and a stunning film for us all as a high quality record of or trip. This was another outstanding feature of our trip that we didn't expect.

Is there anything you would recommend we change to make trips like yours more environmentally sustainable?

Nothing springs to mind except that, in the future, hopefully ships taking tourists to the Arctic might be able to avoid using so much fuel and could be powered by electric motors. It might be worth the company giving clients a nudge towards contributing to appropriate charities that work to support the polar regions and its wildlife. The onboard auction was a nod to that and we were happy to bid over the odds for one of the lots in order that we might support a polar bear charity.

Anything else? Tell us anything you’d like to share that we forgot to ask! It’s ok to leave this empty too :-)

We always harbour concerns that when we travel to areas that are fragile we are doing further damage with our presence so we always look to see how a little of the money we spend on any such trip can be apportioned to directly supporting the people, the wildlife and/or the environment visited. It is really good to note that each completed feedback form engenders a donation by Swoop of $5 to charity but we would like to have seen more emphasis placed on financial support of the Arctic environment in the comprehensive material provided both before the trip and during it. But , finally, we would like to thank Swoop and Quark for affording us the opportunity to enjoy such a wonderful polar experience.

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