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Falklands see Penguins at Volunteer pt , Seal Bay or Bluff cove?

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Recommendations for seeing penquins and Falkland Island?  With our cruise can go to Bluff cove for penguins, or Port Louis Farms at Seal Bay  or can book with Patrick Watts o Volunteer Point who everyone raves about.

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In March 2018 I went to Volunteer Point with Estancia Excursions. Nyree was great with her communications and I had a wonderful driver. There were hundreds of King penguins and also Gentoo and Magellanic penguins. I had a wonderful day and it is the best excursion I have ever been on. 

 

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IMG20180306110800.thumb.jpg.6f028c0a761aa2a04fdac54332e1102b.jpg

 

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Without a doubt go to Volunteer Point!  Many, many more penguins than anywhere else on the island and, of course, it includes most of the Kings.  According to Wikipedia

 

Volunteer Point has been identified by BirdLife International as an Important Bird Area (IBA). Birds for which the site is of conservation significance include Falkland steamer ducks (75 breeding pairs), ruddy-headed geese (100 pairs), gentoo penguins (100 pairs), Magellanic penguins (2000 pairs) and white-bridled finches.[2]

Volunteer Point is notable for having about 150 pairs of king penguins breed here, at the most northerly part of their range. King penguins were once nearly extinct in the Falklands, and Volunteer Point contains most of the Falkland population. There are also southern elephant seals.

 

We highly recommend Patrick Watts and heard other passengers on our cruise also speak highly of Estancia.

 

Wonderful pictures PurpleTraveller!

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We did Bluff Cove a little over 2 years ago. It was great (including the drive out there) but there were only about six or eight King Penguins among all the others. We are doing Volunteer Point with Patrick Watts next January having booked months and months ago. It seems as though you have to book very early with him, but at least there is no payment until you get there. 

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There is a reason that people rave about Volunteer Point. I don't think it matters who you book your tour with, everyone that goes to Volunteer Point ends up at the same place. Well worth the cost and the rough ride!

 

Here is a video I made from our day at Volunteer Point this past February that will give you a good idea of what to expect.

 

 

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The only problem with Volunteer Point is the long, rough ride.  If you think you're up for that, it's certainly the best option for seeing penguins.  Another option in Stanley which you didn't mention is Gypsy Cove.  Not a heck of a lot of penguins (maybe a hundred or so), but you will see them up close as they nest and wander around right next to the paths.  It's also very close to the port with a $10 shuttle (each way), so it's also a cheap alternative to Patrick Watts and gives you time afterwards to explore Port Stanley.

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11 minutes ago, mollyredone said:

How long is the ride to Volunteer point?

About 2 hours each way.

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It doesn’t matter who you book to do the trip to Volunteer Point with because you all travel in a convoy as only a certain number can go there each day.

What you will notice though is that the ship excursions are more expensive but as I said everyone travels together so if there are any breakdowns etc there is no problem.

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37 minutes ago, I_Luv_To_Travel said:

It doesn’t matter who you book to do the trip to Volunteer Point with because you all travel in a convoy as only a certain number can go there each day.

What you will notice though is that the ship excursions are more expensive but as I said everyone travels together so if there are any breakdowns etc there is no problem.

 

In our experience each excursion company formed its own convoy and followed different paths.  The Princess excursion gave up and returned to the ship.  This was after rain a day or two earlier resulting in boggy ground conditions.  Our driver/guide said companies were instructed by the land owners (it is private land) on which routes or paths to take so no single one was impacted adversely.  

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On ‎5‎/‎16‎/‎2019 at 11:45 AM, AryMay said:

There is a reason that people rave about Volunteer Point. I don't think it matters who you book your tour with, everyone that goes to Volunteer Point ends up at the same place. Well worth the cost and the rough ride!

 

Here is a video I made from our day at Volunteer Point this past February that will give you a good idea of what to expect.

 

 

 

Wonderful, thank you for sharing! What time of year were you there?

Edited by lorri111

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13 hours ago, lorri111 said:

 

Wonderful, thank you for sharing! What time of year were you there?

 

Thanks for watching! The video was filmed when we were in the Falklands on February 15 of this year (2019). 

Edited by AryMay

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On ‎5‎/‎21‎/‎2019 at 1:31 PM, FredZiffle said:

The only problem with Volunteer Point is the long, rough ride.  If you think you're up for that, it's certainly the best option for seeing penguins.  Another option in Stanley which you didn't mention is Gypsy Cove.  Not a heck of a lot of penguins (maybe a hundred or so), but you will see them up close as they nest and wander around right next to the paths.  It's also very close to the port with a $10 shuttle (each way), so it's also a cheap alternative to Patrick Watts and gives you time afterwards to explore Port Stanley.

I watched the video Lori 111 posted above and that rough ride does not look like a lot of fun.  Is it truly that bumpy for an hour?  Do you bounce up and down?  I imagine my husband would be OK with it but I am not sure I would. 

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1 hour ago, Song in my heart said:

I watched the video Lori 111 posted above and that rough ride does not look like a lot of fun.  Is it truly that bumpy for an hour?  Do you bounce up and down?  I imagine my husband would be OK with it but I am not sure I would. 

 

I can't answer your question because the prospect of a bumpy ride was enough for us to pass on Volunteer Point and do Gypsy Cove instead.  We had also driven to Punta Tombo and seen penguins at an earlier port, so it didn't bother us not to go out to Volunteer Point.

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1 hour ago, FredZiffle said:

 

I can't answer your question because the prospect of a bumpy ride was enough for us to pass on Volunteer Point and do Gypsy Cove instead.  We had also driven to Punta Tombo and seen penguins at an earlier port, so it didn't bother us not to go out to Volunteer Point.

Which earlier port did you see penguins at?  Somebody mentioned earlier you have to take binoculars to see penguins at Gypsy Cove.

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37 minutes ago, Song in my heart said:

Which earlier port did you see penguins at?  Somebody mentioned earlier you have to take binoculars to see penguins at Gypsy Cove.

Puerto Madryn. You can do an excursion or just drive down to Punta Tombo. It's a long drive, but almost all is on nice roads.  At Gypsy Cove, you can't get down to the beach, so binoculars would be nice to look at the penguins there, but there weren't that many. Most were wandering around closer to the trails or in nests nearby. I think we came within a couple of feet of several.

 

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4 hours ago, Song in my heart said:

I watched the video Lori 111 posted above and that rough ride does not look like a lot of fun.  Is it truly that bumpy for an hour?  Do you bounce up and down?  I imagine my husband would be OK with it but I am not sure I would. 

 

That was my video you are referring to, and YES to both of your questions. It is bumpy for an hour (actually more because you are on gravel roads as well as the off-road portion of the drive). And you do bounce up and down a lot. After the drive, the health app on my iPhone showed that I had climbed 92 flights of stairs just from the rough ride. 😲

 

image.png.7eb9dcb8f525210fe7052697532e602b.png

 

But...to me the trip was worth the effort. Seeing the king penguins was amazing!! (There is a link to my blog in the signature where I have posted many photos from our cruise.)

 

IMG_3210.JPG

 

Edited by AryMay

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          Just watched your video! it is outstanding. We are booked to do this trip in January of 21.

What type of camera did you use to capture those amazing pictures?

 

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13 hours ago, cunnorl said:

          Just watched your video! it is outstanding. We are booked to do this trip in January of 21.

What type of camera did you use to capture those amazing pictures?

 

 

The photos and video clips are from a variety of cameras. The majority of them are from my Canon SX50...an older bridge camera. It is great for wildlife because it has a 50x zoom! I know there are more up-to-date versions of this camera. 

 

Some of the other clips were ones my friend took on her Panasonic FX200. This is also a bridge camera with a 24x zoom. At the end of the trip the two of us shared all of our photos with each other. Having thousands of my own photos wasn't enough...now I have thousands of hers as well!

 

And any of the footage taken on the drive were on my iPhone 8+. 

 

Here is my blog post from our day in the Falklands if you are interested in more details about our day:  Falkland Islands Blog

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I am booked to go with a helicopter company that operates to Volunteer Point. I am on their first trip on the day I am in port and all things being equal will have an individual guided experience before the majority of other tourists get there.  I am told that I will get an hour and a half with the penguins.  The amazing thing is it is not that expensive at only about $450 per person at the time Current exchange rate.  They sell their tours in sterling.  Here is the link www.falklandshelicopterservices.com.  I have read some reviews on tripadvisor and they are new but seem to be delivering a good product.

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