Wind and turbulent sea conditions mean there are no guarantee’s on landing sites in the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvina’s) when taking an expedition cruise but the below are some of the most common ones you may encounter.
West Point Island:
Located in the north west of the archipelago, the island is owned by Roddy & Lily Napier. The zodiacs will arrive in to main pier area on the east of the island and from here you can then take a 2km walk across the middle of the island to the dramatic Devil’s Nose and surrounding cliffs. Upon arrival you can make your way through the long tussock grass to get to the breathtaking black browed albatross and rockhopper penguin colony. Having spent some time observing the birds at the colony you may like to take a brisk hike up the nearby hillside. If time prevails and you would like to give your legs a bit of a work out you may like to continue around the coast of the island or take the more direct option back to the gatekeeper’s house where you will be greeted with a warm welcome and tea, biscuits and cakes.
The island was purchased in 1987 by Tony & David Pole-Evans and currently has a population of 7 people. It was selected as the site for the first British settlement in the Falklands and is well known for it’s huge white sand beach that is home to 4 different penguin types including King, Gentoo, Magellanic and Rockhopper. A short walk on the hillside past the whale bones will bring you to a small black browed albatross colony. Sheep can also be seen grazing amongst the penguins and geese providing a unique environment and a beautiful setting.
With a population of 2,500, Stanley is the main settlement on the Falkland Islands. Highlights on the island include the fantastic museum, war memorial and the church with its whalebone arch. After taking a stroll around town you may like to try some fish and chips in one of the many pubs or restaurants and try a pint of the locally brewed beer, Iron Lady. Further out of town in the northwest corner of Yorke Bay, Gypsy Cove is approximately 6km’s away and home to a white sand beach and an array of wildlife.
The Jason Islands stretch 64km’s north west off the Falkland Islands and their exposure to the Southern Ocean mean luck will need to be on your side to make a landing here. However if that is possible the rewards are magnificent as Steeple Jason Island is home to the largest black browed albatross colony in the Falklands with approximately 200,000 breeding pairs. The geography of the island means that the landing will usually take place in the low lying central neck of the island which raises either side to a steep rocky ridge. A walk of approximately 30 minutes past Gentoo and Magellanic penguin colonies as well as curious cara cara’s and a whole host of other bird life will bring you to the tussock grass from where you can observe the albatross from only a few meters away – a truly impressive site and one of nature’s wonders.
Carcass Island also lies to the northwest of West Falkland and has been owned by Rob and Lorraine McGill for over 30 years. They have a small B&B meaning visitors can stay there but if you’re taking an expedition cruise then a landing will allow for a few hours on the island. The island is home to a significant white sand beach and you can often see Magellanic and Gentoo penguins here. There is also a large amount of tussock grass which attracts a variety of small birds, geese and cara cara’s. A landing will often include a short walk around the island and ends with tea, biscuits and cakes in the McGill’s house.