The sub-Antarctic island group of the Falkland Islands has much to offer. Voyages that visit the Falklands are between 18 and 22 nights in duration and, far more than just a convenient break in the crossing to South Georgia, the islands are a highlight of any of these voyages. The wonderful landscape, often pastures and rolling hills, is reminiscent of more northern climes than of the sub-Antarctic (at least on a warm day!) and offers some great walks.
There are many scattered reminders of the 1982 Falklands War (referred to locally as ‘the conflict’) and an excellent museum in Port Stanley details the events of this recent history. But it is the wildlife that is usually the high point of any visit here: five species of penguins, two endemic bird species – the Falklands flightless steamer duck and Cobb’s wren – as well as sea lions and elephant seals. The island group is of global significance for three bird species, having 40% of the world’s Southern Giant petrels, 30% of its Gentoo penguins and 65% of the world’s Black-browed albatrosses.
To help you understand the options, and there a many, we have a specialist and dedicated Antarctic Luxury & Expedition Cruises web site featuring (Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia, Falkland Islands, Ross Sea and New Zealand Sub-Antarctic Islands). Click here and you’ll be taken to this site.
The other option is to call us 1300 668 112 and we will share our first-hand knowledge of the Falkland Islands and suggest ships and itineraries we think will best suit your interests, style and budget. Most of the time the Falkland Islands will be part of a longer itinerary that also includes South Georgia & the Antarctic Peninsula.
West Point Island offers many things to any visitor. It is a working sheep farm and often an excursion here will conclude with a cup of tea and a slice of home made cake as well as the opportunity to understand life on a remote sheep farm. A reasonably easy (level and not too steep or long) walk across the saddle of the island affords a wonderful visit to a black-browed albatross colony at Devil’s Nose. Mixed in amongst the 2,000 albatross you’ll also find rock-hopper penguins.
You’ll also likely encounter ruddy-headed and kelp geese, Falklands steamer ducks, long-tailed meadow larks, striated caracaras (locally known as ‘Johnny Rooks’) and Cobb’s wren.
A stunning island with three small peaks, the highest being Mt Richards (457m). Sandy beaches are home to a small breeding colony of Southern elephant seals at Elephant Point. Birds for which the site is of conservation significance include Falkland steamer ducks (250 breeding pairs), Ruddy-headed geese, Gentoo penguins (6700 pairs), Rock-hopper penguins (6900 pairs), Macaroni penguins (4200 pairs), Black-browed albatrosses (11,000 pairs) and White-bridled finches.
The capital of the Falklands is a small community on the edge of a sheltered harbour. There are many things to do here: a visit to the museum is time well spent, while a walk along the shore to the wreck of the iron barque, Lady Elizabeth, that has lain there since 1936 will offer some magnificent photographic opportunities. There are several good shops for locally produced artwork as well as the opportunity to enjoy a pint in one of the three pubs.
The incredible bird life of the Falkland Islands is awe-inspiring. Some of the species you may encounter include; black browned albatross, blackish oystercaster, brown hooded gull, chilean wigeon, dark faced ground tyrant, dolphin gull, double banded plover, Falklands flightless steamer duck, Falklands grass wren, kelp geese, long tailed meadowlark, magelannic snip and night heron (just to name a few!). What many would argue as the stars of the bird show are the incredible numbers of penguins on show including the Rockhopper, Magellanic and gentoo penguins.