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Falkland Islands Cruises

An archipelago in the South Atlantic Ocean, the Falkland Islands are an interesting place to travel to, especially on a cruise. 

Lying almost 300 miles east of the southern Patagonian coast, the Falklands are comprised of East Falkland, West Falkland and 776 smaller islands. As a British overseas territory, the Falklands have internal self-governance – their capital is Stanley, on East Falkland. 

The majority of the population is of British descent, but French, Gibraltarian and Scandinavian descendants are also represented, as well as some Argentine immigrants. Since the brief war in April 1982 (when Argentine forces temporarily occupied the islands), the Falklands have enjoyed relative stability, and its inhabitants are now British citizens.

Top 5 interesting facts

  • ‘Falkland’ comes from Falkland, Scotland (‘folk’s land’).
  • The islands’ coastline is over 800 miles long.
  • Falkland Islanders are predominantly of Welsh and Scottish ancestry.
  • Fuegians from Patagonia may have visited the Falklands in prehistoric times.
  • Virtually the entire land area is used as pasture for sheep.
 

Highlights

Flora and fauna

The Falkland Islands lie on the boundary of the subantarctic oceanic and tundra climate zones, which makes them a strange yet pretty place, with dwarf shrubs instead of trees and many birds. Both of the major islands have mountain ranges reaching 2,300 feet high. Tourism has become a major industry here, along with fishing, sheep farming, and high-quality wool exports. When you take a Falkland Islands cruise, you’ll see long stretches of shoreline, where marine mammals gather and sea birds circle. Over 60 bird species breed on the islands, including 16 endemic species and some of the largest albatross colonies on earth.

Wildlife spotting

Volunteer Point is a short trip from the capital, Stanley, and is a great place for watching wildlife, particularly king penguins, as well as gentoo and Magellanic penguins. The beach here is long and wide, and you’ll also see elephant seals, sea birds, turkey vultures and dolphins.

On Sea Lion Island you’ll find a gentoo penguin colony, a beach where the elephant seals hang out, a small rockhopper colony and some rock cormorants too. If you’re lucky, you might even see killer whales swimming offshore. The island is often used by film crews and visited by cruise ships on the way to Antarctica.

 

Culture

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The Falkland Islands Museum in Stanley celebrates the islands’ cultural heritage. With five themed galleries – social, maritime and natural history, the 1982 war, Gateway to Antarctica – and several small outbuildings which includes the Smithy and Gear Shed.Tthe complex also features a speciality coffee and chocolate shop. Exhibitions include early history, farming, wildlife, and even some 1800s graffiti on the rafters of the maritime section.

Interestingly, the Christ Church Cathedral in Stanley is home to a whalebone arch in the grounds. Wooden pews and stained glass windows inside make this a beautiful outing.

Food here is best identified as ‘British’ – fish and chips are among the most popular meals. The Falkland Islands are also known for having some of the best organic meat – whether you want lamb, mutton or beef. Seafood is ever popular thanks to the proximity to the sea, and the uniquely-named Diddle Dee berry is a popular fruit for any jam on the islands. 

 

Ports in the country

 

Cruises visiting the Falkland Islands

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