Falkland Islands Cruises & Tours

Head east for nearly 500 kilometres from South America’s southern Patagonian coast and you will reach the remote, isolated and ruggedly beautiful archipelago of the Falkland Islands. Falkland Islands Antarctica cruises allow you to explore these sparsely inhabited islands, with their rough windswept terrain, coastal wetlands, beautiful white sand beaches and dramatic rock faces set against stunning skies. Comprising more than 750 islands in the South Atlantic Ocean, the Falkland Islands are a haven for wildlife - home to large colonies of elephant seals and fur seals, vast populations of black-browed albatrosses and other abundant birdlife including five species of breeding penguin.
 
Surrounded by decades of controversy, the Falkland Islands (or Islas Malvinas as they are known in Argentina) have been settled and claimed by France, Spain, Britain and Argentina. Travel to the Falkland Islands will give you an insight into the area’s fascinating history and reveal some of the haunting relics and memorials of war. The colourful seaside town and capital, Port Stanley, boasts many reminders of its British heritage including a selection of traditional English-style pubs, old red phone boxes and numerous Land Rovers - in fact some say that the people here are more British than the British themselves!
 
Set sail on a Falkland Islands Antarctica cruise and discover this unique part on the world, one of the rare places on Earth where nature and man live in harmony.  
 

"It was so awesome making landings and getting up close to the icebergs, whales, penguins and seals...I would definitely recommend this trip to anyone who is considering a trip to Antarctica" - Carly

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Featured Falkland Islands Trips & Deals

POPULAR  From 19,500

Cruise to the wild areas of the Falkland Islands and South Georgia plus explore the icy limits of Antarctica.

2019/20 DEPARTURES  From 11,999

Go further south and cross into the Antarctic Circle. Go beyond the normal Antarctica tour areas.

2020 DEPARTURES  From 18,599

Experience vast penguin rookeries & seal colonies on this awe-inspiring voyage to Antarctica, South Georgia & the Falkland Islands on the M/S Expedition.

Falkland Islands Cruises

18 NIGHTS From 16,930

On this far-reaching 19-day polar expedition we visit the sub-Antarctic Falkland Islands, South Georgia Island and the Antarctic mainland. Learn more.

22 NIGHTS From 19,500

Cruise to the wild areas of the Falkland Islands and South Georgia plus explore the icy limits of Antarctica.

21 NIGHTS From 13,999

Time to tick Antarctica off your bucket list? Cruise South Georgia, the Falkland Islands and Antarctica for a mixt of the most amazing wildlife & scenery.

16 NIGHTS From 19,564

A 17-day expedition taking you to the impressive Falkland Islands & South Georgia, before reaching an enchanting Polar desert & the mythical Antarctic Circle at the end of the world.

20 NIGHTS From 18,599

Experience vast penguin rookeries & seal colonies on this awe-inspiring voyage to Antarctica, South Georgia & the Falkland Islands on the M/S Expedition.

11 NIGHTS From 15,560

On this exceptional 11-day voyage, we explore the South Shetland Islands, the spectacular waters of the Antarctic Peninsula & then the Weddell Sea.

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Falkland Islands Cruise Reviews

All Chimu Adventures' clients are given the opportunity to review their trip once they return home. These reviews are administered by a third party and as such are unfiltered by Chimu Adventures.

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Pinktarctic paradise A big thank you for putting such an amazing group together. This trip was a life long ambition for me and it is a trip I will never forget. From our wonderful host, Greg to Alex our expedition leader, this trip was just incredible. Not only did I experience one of the world's last great wilderness' but our intimate encounters with wildlife is something I will treasure forever. I feel truly blessed. Chimu Adventures should be applauded for the wonderful work they do in Latin America with charities and this fundraising adventure testifies what an amazing company they are. I will have no hesitation to book with them again, and will be telling everyone I know the same!
Date published: 2015-12-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Images of Antarctica trip Just returned from an incredible trip to Antarctica onboard the MV Ushuaia. Wow. The trip to was impeccable from start to finish. We had some incredible landings, and saw any absolute abundance of wildlife. Our host, Craig Deuchar of Chimu was delightful, and went well put of his way to assist everyone aboard. A big well done to him. Despite one awful person on the trip - quote possibly one of the rudest, unlikeable people I have met who refused to embrace the experience and other passengers, we all had a wonderful trip. All in no small let due to Craig! Our onboard auction was wonderful too!
Date published: 2016-04-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The best place we have ever been! Words cannot sum up how amazing this destination is. Everything ran impeccably, and the service aboard the MV Ushuaia was simply fantastic. Craig, our Chimu host was wonderful, and went out of his way to make sure everyone aboard had a great time. His service and interest in everyone was outstanding, and they way he dealt with one particularly nasty passenger aboard is to be commended. I would not hesitate to recommend Chimu Adventures to anyone. Thanks for an amazing trip. From Colombia, to Guatemala, Argentina, Chile and our Antarctica cruise - everything ran smoothly, and we commend you!
Date published: 2016-05-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Antarctic Peninsula - Each Day was a Feast Reflecting back, I was so glad Jason Dudson changed our ships. All gear for the snow and ice was included in the new one, so not having to hire gear and being able to make changes onboard ship was a relief. The friendliness of everyone on board made for a great trip. Photos & videos were shared and returned to us as a slide show before we disembarked. So many memories and I've barely touched the surface with the checking out of files.
Date published: 2016-01-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Antarctica My trip on the MV Sea Spirit was everything I had hoped for and more. The expedition staff and hotel staff were flawless. The passengers well traveled and a great range of ages, I have made many lifelong friends on the trip! Of course, the bird life, marine life, mammals, penguins and landscapes are incredible. I am still unable to put into words how jaw droppingly beautiful and exciting it was to set foot on the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and Antarctica. I would highly recommend a trip to the area to anyone with a sense of adventure and a love of animals and photography.
Date published: 2015-12-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Incredibly beautiful place I had a very firm picture of what I expected Antarctica to be like, and it exceeded all my wildest dreams! What surprised me most was the variety, so many different weather conditions which helped make places just a few miles apart seem vastly different. We were also given such a variety of ways to experience Antarctica, through wildlife sighting, camping, zodiac rides, hiking, historical places, scientific seminars... never time to get bored, rarely even time to write a diary! The ship (Sea Adventurer) was comfortable and practical - the library and the bridge became 2 of my favourite places. The food on board was great quality and very plentiful and the staff were helpful and friendly across the board. I cannot recommend this highly enough!
Date published: 2015-12-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Adventure of a lifetime! We had an amazing experience on this trip; it was truly the adventure of a lifetime. Craig Deuchar from Chimu was super helpful and informative, both with our booking and throughout the trip, and the expedition staff were enthusiastic, professional, knowledgeable, and responsive to the Antarctic conditions and the needs of the passengers. It was so awesome making landings and getting up close to the icebergs, whales, penguins, and seals, and I would definitely recommend this trip to anyone who is considering a trip to Antarctica. It was worth every cent!
Date published: 2016-04-11
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good in many ways but ultimately disappointing. I booked on the Shackleton's Antarctica trip in March 2018, intended to go to the Antarctic islands and mainland, South Georgia and the Falklands. The time at sea (about 16 days) would only have been adequate if everything had gone perfectly. However, a combination of rough weather in the landing sites on South Georgia and a medical emergency meant we lost S. Georgia completely. I would only recommend this trip if it is extended to at least 18 days. On the other hand the ship and the levels of service were immaculate, and the arrangements for meeting me at airports and the standard of the hotels booked were entirely satisfactory. There were plenty of landings at the places we did reach and the expedition staff were friendly and knowledgeable.
Date published: 2018-04-22
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Country Information

WHEN TO GO TO THE FALKLAND ISLANDS

The best time to take a Falkland Islands Antarctica cruise is during the Austral summer, between October and April. November to February are the optimum months within this timeframe, as this is the warmest time of the year and also when wildlife activity is at its peak. Although temperatures range between 5 and 10°C, conditions are often windy due to the location of the Falklands in the latitudes of the south westerly “Roaring Forties” winds.

Later in the season in March and April, the magellanic penguins congregate on the beaches, preparing for their long journeys overseas.

October and November are the best months to see elephant seal pups.

For a taste of local culture, important events on the calendar include the May Ball and Liberation Day (June 14th). 

WEATHER IN THE FALKLAND ISLANDS

The Falkland Islands experience a cool temperate climate, regulated by the surrounding oceans and the winds. Temperatures fluctuate within a narrow range, from a minimum of -5°C (July) to a maximum of 24°C (January). Average monthly temperatures range from around 9°C in summer (January & February) to around 2°C in winter (June & July). The mean annual temperature is around 5.6°C.

Rainfall is comparatively low and constant throughout the year with the western side of the archipelago, shielded by the Andes, being drier than the eastern side. Port Stanley receives over 600 millimetres of rain annually whereas Westpoint receives just over 400 millimetres.

The islands are hit by westerly winds with gales frequent during the winter months.

WILDLIFE IN THE FALKLAND ISLANDS

 The Falkland Islands offer a fascinating and abundant range of wildlife. The South Atlantic waters are rich in marine life, supporting a variety of species that breed on the Falkland Islands archipelago including over 30 species of breeding birds that depend on the ocean for food.

Birds: Over 220 species of bird have been recorded on the Islands, with more than 60 species being known to breed here. The Falkland Islands are home to 80% of the world’s breeding population of black-browed albatross. Several rare and threatened species of petrel nest on offshore islands. Upland geese and ruddy-headed or Brent geese are found around fresh water ponds, along with silver teals, Chiloe or southern widgeons and white-tufted grebes. Other birds found on the Falklands include the striated caracara, the endemic Cobb’s wren and the Falklands flightless steamer duck. Five species of penguin breed on the Falkland Islands - rockhopper, magellanic, gentoo, king and macaroni. The Islands are the most important world site for the endangered rockhopper penguin.

Marine mammals: 14 species of marine mammals have been recorded in Falkland waters. The elephant seal, sea lion and fur seal all breed on the Islands, the largest elephant seal breeding site being found on Sea Lion Island with over 2,000 individuals. On rare occasions leopard seals and Ross seals are seen on the shorelines but porpoises and dolphins such as Peale's and Commerson's dolphins are often spotted. Orcas, sei and sperm whales are the most abundant whales to be sighted in the Falklands.

Land Mammals: There are no native land mammals found on the Falkland Islands, but introduced species include reindeer, hares, rabbits, Patagonian foxes, brown rats and cats.

TOURISM AND SUSTAINABILITY IN THE FALKLAND ISLANDS

Tourism is an important source of revenue to the Falkland Islands and sustainable development and preservation of the environment and the abundant flora and fauna are key to maintaining and increasing tourism. Wildlife tourism in particular is growing, and steps are being taken to protect the wildlife of the islands.

The key legislation aimed at protecting the wildlife and flora of the Falkland Islands is the Conservation of Wildlife and Nature Ordinance 1999. All birds are protected except the upland goose, domestic goose and mallard duck. Nineteen plants are protected and of the fish species, the zebra trout is protected. The black-browed albatross, southern giant petrel and white-chinned petrel are threatened species and have additional protection under the international Agreement for the Conservation of Albatross and Petrels (ACAP).

Sea Lion Island and Bertha’s Beach, East Falkland are protected under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. This is the only global environmental treaty that deals with a particular ecosystem.

GEOGRAPHY OF THE FALKLAND ISLANDS

The Falkland Islands are situated in the South Atlantic Ocean, 483 kilometres from the South American mainland and 1,365 kilometres north of the Antarctic Circle, midway between Argentina and South Africa. They are an archipelago consisting of two main islands (East and West Falkland) and over 750 smaller islands. The islands cover an area of approximately 12,000 square kilometres, with East and West Falkland accounting for over 90% of the land area.

East and West Falkland are separated by the Falkland Sound. This channel has an average width of 20 kilometres. The main islands are generally hilly, with low-lying undulating terrain in the south of East Falkland. The highest point is Mount Usborne on East Island at 705 metres. West Falkland’s highest point is Mount Adam at 700 metres. The distance from Stanley, on the extreme east, to New Island, on the extreme west, is 238 kilometres.

HISTORY OF THE FALKLAND ISLANDS
  •   Exploration and colonisation of the Falkland Islands began in the 18th century

  • France established a colony on the islands in 1764 at Port St. Louis on East Falkland

  • The islands were claimed for Britain by the British captain, John Byron in 1765, with a permanent settlement being established at Port Egmont the following year

  • In 1770 the Spanish forced the British to leave Port Egmont, sparking the Falkland Crisis, but the colony was soon re-established, becoming an important port-of-call for British ships sailing around Cape Horn

  • British forces withdrew in 1776 leaving Spain to rule the Falkland Islands from Buenos Aires until 1811

  • 1833 saw the British returning to the Falklands and Charles Darwin visiting the Islands

  • Charles Darwin revisited the Falklands in 1834 with the settlements of Darwin and Fitzroy taking their names from this visit

  • The construction of Port Stanley began in 1843 after the area was surveyed by James Ross of the Antarctic Expedition

  • Government House opened in 1847 becoming the Governor’s Residence in 1859

  • Christ Church Cathedral was completed in 1903, receiving its famous whale-bone arch in 1933 to commemorate the centenary of continuous British administration

  • President Juan Peron of Argentina attempted to buy the Falkland Islands in 1953

  • Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands on 2 April 1982 and took control briefly before being forced to surrender on 14 June 1982


 

FOOD AND DRINK IN THE FALKLAND ISLANDS

 Food on board cruise and expedition ships is of a very high standard - plentiful, tasty and nutritious. Breakfasts and lunches tend to be buffet style, with dinners generally served to your table and featuring 3 and sometimes 4 courses. The range of food is diverse with professional chefs preparing a wide selection of excellent dishes.

Beverages such as tea, coffee and hot chocolate are included whereas soft drinks and alcohol must be paid for. Most ships have very well stocked bars and a good selection of wines.

The cuisine of the Falkland Islands is influenced mainly by that of Britain. Seafood is plentiful and includes sea trout, mussels, oysters, snow crabs and scallops. The traditional British meal of fish and chips is very popular. Lamb and beef also feature heavily, the Falkland Islands being known for the organic meat produced on the islands.

FURTHER READING
  • Falkland Adventure by Andrew Coe

  • 74 Days: An Islander's Diary of the Falklands Occupation by John Smith

  • Going Back by Simon Weston

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to be fit to go to the Falkland Islands ?

A high level of fitness is not necessary for Falkland Islands Antarctica Cruises, but you need to be in good health as although there is generally a doctor on board the ships, you are a long way from any other medical assistance. The majority of activities are focused around shore excursions and zodiac cruising and so you need to be agile and able-bodied enough to climb into and out of the inflatable zodiacs from both the ship and the shore. On shore landings you may need to negotiate uneven and slippery ground. Shore excursions generally involve some walking.

Is it safe to travel to the Falkland Islands?

All of our tours are 100% tried and tested to ensure that when you travel with us, you are doing so in a controlled and safe environment with trained experts. We consistently monitor weather conditions and will always provide you with the best possible adventure without risk of injury to you or the vessel. While some landings and activities may need to be rescheduled or cancelled due to weather, every effort is made to have a contingency plan should such conditions become a reality during your expedition. Chimu have been the experts in Falkland Islands and Antarctic travel for well over 10 years and use our vast experience and knowledge when picking the vessels we sell to provide you with an adventure that is unforgettable for all the right reasons.

Do I need a visa to travel to the Falkland Islands?

Cruise ship passengers do not need a visa to visit the Falkland Islands and participate in shore excursions. If you are flying into Port Stanley to board a Falkland Islands Antarctica Cruise, or if you are planning to spend additional time in the Falkland Islands before or after your cruise, you may need a visa. Visas are not required by citizens of Australia, New Zealand, UK, Ireland, European Union, Canada, USA and South Africa. Citizens of other countries are advised to contact their nearest British Embassy or Consulate to check visa requirements for the Falkland Islands.

If your Falkland Islands Antarctica cruise is departing from an Argentinian port such as Ushuaia, no pre-arranged visa is required to enter Argentina by citizens of the UK, Australia, Ireland, European Union, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa and the USA. Other nationalities should check with their closest Argentinean embassy or consulate.

Australian, Canadian and USA citizens must pay a "reciprocity fee" to enter Argentina. This is not a visa, but a fee based on the fees that Argentinean citizens pay for visas to these countries. The fee must be paid online and in advance for arrival at all airports. 

How long will it take to reach Falkland Islands?

Falkland Islands Antarctica cruises that set sail from Ushuaia generally arrive and start exploring the Falkland Islands on Day 3. From South Georgia or Elephant Island there are usually 2 days at sea before reaching the Falkland Islands. Some tours fly from Punta Arenas in Chile to Port Stanley and embark on the ship in Port Stanley.    

How long will I spend in the Falkland Islands ?

Most Falkland Islands Antarctica cruises typically spend 2 days exploring the Falkland Islands on their way to or from South Georgia and/or the Antarctic Peninsula.