After two very successful landings on New Island and Carcass Island, our passengers enjoyed a day in Stanley. We were once again lucky with the weather and only had 10 minutes of rain. Like they say here in the Falklands, “if you don´t like the weather, just wait a few minutes”.
Passengers were able to hop on free shuttle buses that drove to the city centre and back every 30 minutes. They were able to enjoy the landmarks and museums and went for some shopping. Even our crew went on a last Christmas gift hunt.
Besides the normal landing, our guests were able to join excursions to experience Stanley and the surrounding areas even further. They were able to choose amongst the following:
- The Falkland Nature Walk:
This (approx.) 3 hour walk was a great success. About 20 people joined the excursion that took them on a beautiful nature path through the stunning landscapes of the nature surrounding Stanley. Peter and Louise (the local guides) kept telling us this was the perfect moment to do this walk as the many plants were flowering. We saw at least 5 of the 17 endemic flowers that call the Falklands Home and got to taste some of the legendary plants like the Scurvy Grass that is high in Vitamin C and prevented people from getting scurvy. We also saw the famous Diddle-dee, the Devil Strawberry and the Tea Berry. The wildlife was very abundant as well. We saw many flightless Steamer Ducks, Crested Caracaras and Magellanic Penguins in their nesting holes and on the beach at Gypsy Cove.
- Stanley Highlight Tour:
The tour allowed participants to see all the highlights Stanley has to offer and see these extra things you wouldn´t see when you visit on your own. It was the perfect way to get a good inside view and knowledge of what this city really has to offer and experience the rich history this place has.
- Scenic Air Tour:
Four of the passengers joined a (approx.) 45 minutes flying excursion over Stanley in a twin engine Britten-Norman Islander aircraft with war pilots. We were able to get unique views of Stanley and its surrounding areas and learn a lot about the town. We got a real taste of the mountainous terrain, wild landscapes and natural coastal beauty. During the flight we got to see places like Gypsy Cove, Cape Pembroke, the lighthouse, Lady Elizabeth shipwreck, Kidney Cove, Port Louise, Mount Tumbledown, Longdon, Two sisters and Harriet, Stone Runs, Fitzroy Farm and Bluff Cove Lagoon.
– Bluff Cove Lagoon:
This beautiful privately-owned farm with a pristine white wilderness beach is home to over 3000 Gentoo Penguins, and a small growing colony of King Penguins. We were only able to reach the site by four-wheel drive vehicles on a very exciting (in a bumpy way) safari! We did this with small groups of 4 people per car. We were greeted by the rangers who quickly informed us about the site and took us to see a very rare Leucistic (partial albino) Gentoo penguin.
After tea/coffee/hot chocolate and over 15 sorts of home-made cookies and cakes with Diddle Dee, we were ready for the wild ride back to the ship or the town, depending on the guest's wishes.
– Bird Watching in Falkland Islands:
This (approx.) 3 hours walk aloud the passengers to witness the beautiful nature and spot birds with the help of local guides. On this excursion they got to see the following birds:
- Rufous-chested Dotterel
- Magellanic Snipe
- Blackish Oyster Catcher
- Turkey Vultures
- Upland Goose
- Flightless Steamer Ducks
- Southern Giant Petrel
- Rock Shags (cormorants)
- Ruddy-headed goose
- Long-tailed Meadowlark
- Correndera Pipit
We left Stanley at around 4 PM and got to see a few nice beaches with penguins on the way out. Once on sea, our ship was surrounded by many birds like the Wandering Albatross. A great start to our journey towards South Georgia!