The Falkland Islands
Located in the South Atlantic Ocean, about 490 kilometres east of the southern Patagonian coastline, the Falkland Islands are a 778-island archipelago rich with all kinds of wildlife, including penguins, seals and albatross. The environment here is harsh, and the landscape windswept, treeless and dramatic.
Although currently under British control, the islands have been surrounded by controversy ever since their discovery. The French, Spanish and Argentinians have all laid claim to the islands, although these claims continue to be rebuffed.
Stanley, the capital of the Falkland Islands, is the only major town and port in the archipelago, home to roughly 75% of the population. Life here remains rural and basic, yet Stanley’s natural beauty and rich history continues to attract scores of tourists to this isolated part of the world.
As cruise ships are unable to dock at the Port of Stanley, passengers are tendered ashore to a centrally located tender dock.
The tender dock at the Port of Stanley is equipped with no facilities. However, the Visitor’s Centre just outside the dock and the immediate area contain many of the facilities and services passengers need for a pleasant arrival in the Falkland Islands.
Facilities at the Visitor’s Centre and nearby include:
Tourist Information and booking office
Restaurant and bar.
Taxis can be arranged through the Visitor’s Centre for short tours and trips around the island.
How To Get Around
Stanley itself is easily explored on foot. Free maps in multiple languages are available from the Visitor’s Centre.
However, taxis or a tour service will need to be organised to explore most of the attractions in town and other outlying attractions.
Travel times from the Visitor’s Centre:
It is a 25 minute journey to the Stanley Cemetery & Memorial Wood.
It is a 10 minute journey (£3 taxi fare) to the Falkland Islands Museum
It is a 1 and a half hour journey (£35 taxi fare) to Volunteer Beach
It is a 6 minute journey (£3 taxi fare) to Christ Church Cathedral
It is a 10 minute journey (£3 taxi fare) to Cape Pembroke.
Currency – The local currency in the Falkland Islands is the Falkland Pound (FKP). It has the same value as the British Pound. Coins come in 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p, £1 and £2 denominations. Notes come in £5, £10, £20 and £50 denominations.
Time Zone – The Falkland Islands are on Falkland Islands Time (FKT), which is 3 hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).
Weather – The Falkland Islands enjoy a cool and temperate climate with strong winds. Average daytime temperatures during summer (December to February) range between 13 degrees Celsius and 15 degrees Celsius. In winter (June to August), daytime temperatures fluctuate between 4 degrees Celsius and 6 degrees Celsius. The islands see around 570mm of rainfall each year, with around 50mm falling each month.
Falkland Islands Museum – The central aim of the Falkland Islands Museum is to promote awareness and appreciation of the rich history and heritage of this isolated island chain. The museum contains a large collection of artifacts, natural history specimens and relics from its maritime history – including objects and instruments from the 120 or so ships that wrecked on its shores. Open from 9:30am to 4pm, Monday to Friday (2pm to 4pm on weekends), entry to the museum costs £3 per adult (children under 16-years get in for free).
Volunteer Beach – Home of the largest king penguin colony in the Falklands, Volunteer Beach is a must-do excursion from Stanley. Spend the day getting up close and personal with these fascinating creatures whilst taking in the incredible scenery, including white sandy beach, turquoise waters and rolling green hills. Large colonies of gentoo and Magellanic penguins inhabit the island, too.
Stanley Cemetery & Memorial Wood – A scenic walk through the heart of Stanley town takes you to the Stanley Cemetery & Memorial Wood. Not just a cemetery, the site also contains a memorial to islanders killed during WWI and WWII. Next to the cemetery lies the Memorial Wood where a tree has been planted for each fallen British solider during the 1982 Falklands War.
Christ Church Cathedral – Opened in 1892, the Christ Church Cathedral is Stanley’s most iconic landmark and the southernmost Anglican cathedral in the world. Accompanying the cathedral on its front lawn stands the Whalebone Arch – made from the jawbones of two blue whales – which was built to commemorate the centenary of British rule in the Falklands.
Cape Pembroke – Spend half a day walking around grassy Cape Pembroke – the easternmost point of the Falkland Islands – and visit its 19th century lighthouse. Spot scores of wildlife along the way, including albatross, hawks and peregrine falcons. Bring your walking shoes.