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If anyone has questions about the Falklands...


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I would be happy to try and answer them for you as I live in Stanley. I actually registered to cruise critic to find info about Disney cruises as we are taking the children on a trip in January, and just had a look in this forum out of curiosity!

 

Hope I can be of some help to those of you planning a future trip :)

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I guess it would be a visit to Volounteer point to see the King penguin colony, a remarkable sight. The penguins are all very curious and will often come and peck at your boots :D It takes you breath away to see these animals in the wild, especially when they have their fluffy chicks! Just sitting and watching them will change your perspective of these creatures, they are very aggresive with one another, very noisy and quite smelly too. They are very funny though and no matter how many times I see them they still make me laugh. Its a good 3 hour drive across bumpy terrain from Stanley but the trip is so worth it, the scenery along the way is beautiful, miles and miles of nothingness.

 

If your lucky you will see seals and dolphins playing in the surf too.

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I would be happy to try and answer them for you as I live in Stanley. I actually registered to cruise critic to find info about Disney cruises as we are taking the children on a trip in January, and just had a look in this forum out of curiosity!

 

Hope I can be of some help to those of you planning a future trip :)

 

Hi,

We are interested in hiring a taxi to take us around the island and stop at just a few places. Is there taxis service in the port area and how long would it take to go around the island?

We will be on the Star Princess and it will be in Pt. Stanley on Feb. 22. Can US dollars be used to pay or will we need to exchange money to pay for the taxi.

Really appreciate any information you can give.

Sherry

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Hi

 

East Falkland is a big place, to drive from North Arm which ironically is in the south of the Island to Cape Dolphin in the north would take hours. Stanley itself is a very small town, and you wouldnt really need a taxi to get around it, everything is pretty much located along Ross rd which runs along the sea front. If your interested in going out to Gypsy cove to see the penguins then that is a 10min taxi ride away, You could also take a taxi out to Fitzroy to the war memorial which is about 20mins away.

 

If you have walking difficulties then you could hire a taxi for maybe 2 hours to take you on a private tour, the will take you to see the penguins, shipwrecks, stop at the cathedral & museam, goverment house etc for you to take photos. (taxi's will be waiting at the jetty centre or just wave at one to stop it as it drives by) There is also a double decker bus that runs through town on cruise days taking visitors to all the places of interest around the town and that's just a few $ each you just wave it down and hop on as it comes past. The bus doesnt go out to see the penguins though or any of the battlefield sites.

 

If your Ok with walking around the small town then when you arrive at the Jetty center there are always minibus taxi's waiting with signs in the window that say ''Penguins $10 per person'' they fill the bus up, go to Gypsy cove, come back, reload with the next lot of visitors so thay are running consistently all day.

 

US dollars are accepted everywhere, there is no need to change money, you can pay for everything with them from taxi's, lunch in one of the restraunts in town or any of the local shops.

 

Feb is a great time to visit, we had great weather in Feb this year, warm enough to spend the day at the beach and our kids even went swimming in the sea. The penguin chicks are all out of their burrows by then too and they have no fear of people at all, you will get some great photos!

 

Hope this helps! :)

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Gixer,

How does seeing the penguins at Gypsy Cove compare to those at Volunteer Point? Are there any tours from the ships to Volunteer Point? What is the cost? Is Gypsy Cove a decent alternative?

Our ship will be there (weather permitting) on 4 Dec, from 8am to 6pm, so that may be too tight on time to go to Volunteer Point. Plus, I'd like some time in Stanley, too. (I like that it's got a hop-on, hop-off bus!)

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Gixer,

 

Thank you so much for all the good information - really appreciate it. We now know there are taxis available at dock area. We want to take a ride along the road to look at the coastline and coves.

Certainly hope next February's weather is as great as this years. We were totally surprised at how we enjoyed Pt. Stanley in 2003 when we were on the Royal Princess.

Sherry

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Gixer,

How does seeing the penguins at Gypsy Cove compare to those at Volunteer Point? Are there any tours from the ships to Volunteer Point? What is the cost? Is Gypsy Cove a decent alternative?

Our ship will be there (weather permitting) on 4 Dec, from 8am to 6pm, so that may be too tight on time to go to Volunteer Point. Plus, I'd like some time in Stanley, too. (I like that it's got a hop-on, hop-off bus!)

 

You cant really compare the two, they are very different experiences, when you go to Volounteer point you really are out in the wilderness, and king penguins are most peoples favourite, when people picture penguins they tend to think of kings. It is a privilege to be able to see them in the wild and in their natural enviroment, a real ''one off'' Tours are available from town either by 4 x 4 or sometimes by boat if the seas are not to rough. This excursion doesnt come cheap however, your looking at probably $100 per person. This trip is really for real wildlife enthusiasts or photographers.

 

However that doesnt discredit Gypsy cove, its on a beautiful penninsular, Dolphins swimming in the bay, white sand, vast areas of land bright red from all the Diddle dee berries. Meg penguins or Jackasses as we tend to call them are comedians, they are smaller but just as noisy and not shy of people, and its very easy to walk along a purpose built path to the best viewing points. It doesnt feel as ''wild'' as Volounteer, as your only a few minutes from town, but for your first penguin encounter its still very special, and it will still take your breath away to see them in their natural enviroment. We do have a King Penguin who visits Gypsy cove each summer, so hopefully he will be there when you visit!

 

I think if your only hear for a short time, then a look around town and a visit to Gypsy cove would suit most people.

 

Im not sure if Im allowed to post pictures in this forum? If I am able too then I could post some photos of Gypsy cove and volounteer so you can see the differences?

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Thanks so much for your invaluable information. Whatever we decide for our cruise, your input will help in the decision-making. We sail from BA 1/6/08 and hope for some good weather and lots of penguins!

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Greatly appreciate your posting this super info, Gixer. I am really looking forward to visiting your home land! And cannot wait to see the penguins there!

So..since you brought up shopping...what would you recommend as unique purchases in Stanley? Any foods that are peculiar to your area? Any crafts or wool or other specifics?

Thanks again!

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There are some lovely gift shops around town, you can buy all sorts of penguin keepsakes, magnets, keyrings, t-shirts etc, they have great Fleece jackets in the harbour view gift shop.

Falkland wool is some of the finest in the world, and the hand knitted pieces are beautiful, hats, scraves, sweaters and so on, they are not cheap, but they are timless, elegant and exceptional quality pieces.

Food stuffs, well we dont really have any packaged items that you could take away with you, if you have lunch in town then lamb casserole or squid are local specialities, along with teaberry scones or biscuits. Diddle dee preserve is sold in the gift shops in small pots and that always makes a nice and unusual gift for friends or family.

The pink shop has gorgeous prints of local scenes around Stanley and wildlife, The Pod gift shop has local made pottery items, cant really think of anything else off the top of my head, but for such a small place there are some neat little stores to browse around in.

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Thank you very much for info on Falklands! We are scheduled to arrive at Port Stanley on January 31. We are on Oceania Insignia. The only penguin tour offered so far is to Sparrow Cove for 2.5 hours. We would appreciate your comments. Enjoy Disney World

 

Thank you

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Sparrow Cove is a great trip, its about 20mins by launch boat from Stanley, you usually stop at Kidney cove then go by 4 x 4 to Sparrow cove. You will see a few king penguins, Jackasses, Gentoo's but the highlight of this trip is that you will get to see Rockhopper penguins. They are not usually found on the large main Islands of the Falklands, you usually need to travel out to one of the small offshore Islands such as sealion. As the trip is under 3 hours you will also have plenty of time to expolre around town.

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Gixer you have given very valuable information to all of us going to the Falklands and we thank you for your time. I am sorry that you will be gone during our visit. It would be a real treat to meet you.

easyed we are on the same cruise ..Insignia out of Buenos Aires 1/26/08. I tried to start a roll call thread but it vanished! I did sign up on the roll call for that date though.We do have some private tours planned if your interested, but not in the Falklands.

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The $10pp on a mini bus to Gypsy Cove, is that one way or is it roundtrip?

Thanks for all of the information you have give us.

 

I think its $10pp round trip, I'm not 100% on that though, I will double check and find out for you :)

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Ohhh dear! you will be surrounded by Jackasses on your trip here and not all of them are of the penguin kind :D

 

Just to confirm, The trips to Gypsy cove are $10pp round trip. You jump in a mini bus at the jetty, travel for 5mins to the cove, you then have 45mins to view the penguins and then hop back on the mini bus and are taken back to town. On cruise days there is always a conservation ranger on hand at the cove to answer any question you may have.

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Gixer,

Thank you for the invaluable information! I plan to print the entire thread to reference for my trip.

Okay, so what are Diddle Dees?! I will certainly buy a jar of the preserves! I really do appreciate your listing the unique items that may be purchased. I definitely plan to purchase knit items. Is there a particular shop you would recommend to purchase wool yarn and knit wear?

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There are Falkland wool products in all the gift shops but the best selection is at the actual Falklands wool shop itself. Its just around the corner from the jetty and marked on the free tourist maps that are available (pick them up at the jetty centre)

 

Diddle dee berries are small and red, a bit like a tiny cranberry. The taste sort of similar too, sweet but slightly acidic. We eat it with roast turkey or lamb, and it is delicious with pate or cold cuts. I have been known to mix a little with vodka & lemonade too ;)

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Gixer,

 

Do you know anything about Patrick Watts and the tour he provides to Volunteer Point? Any comment would be appreciated. On your question re: St. Thomas vs St. Johns - it depends on what you want. St. Johns i spristine beach ... A taxi tour of St. Thomas will get you all around the island with some wondeerful views and still leave plenty of time for shopping. (My favorite jewelry store in the world is in St. Thomas).

 

Let me know if you have other questions.

 

Bucskin

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There are tours available to visit the war memorials and Battlefield sites. Coming from the UK you will really appreciate and get a sense of just what it means to be British to us Islanders, you will see the Union Jack flying proudly everywhere. When you see the terrain and the conditions our guys were fighting under it takes your respect for the courage, bravery and skill of our troops to a whole new level. Tony Smith specialises in Battlefield tours, he can be contacted on email at discovery@horizon.co.fk Patrick Watts also does tours of Tumbledown and Mount Longdon, Goose green etc his email is pwatts@horizon.co.fk

 

All the guides to volounteer point point offer pretty much the same thing, Patrick knows a lot about the history etc of the islands so you are sure to learn a lot along the way! I guess the advantage of doing a private tour is the fact that your picked up from town and taken straight to Volounteer point so generally arrive before the ''cruise ship excusrsion crowd'' arrives. (It never really gets overly crowded though, they place a limit on the number of visitors at anyone time for the sake of protecting the breeding ground.)

 

p.s thanks for the advice on StThomas! I have decided to book a private charter with Rumbaba and go sailing/snorkelling for the day, it will be nice to get away from the crowds for a while, hopefully we will get to swim with turtles :)

 

THanks very much for the information.

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I am confused by all these different Penguins. ;-)

 

So if only going to Gipsy Cove, using the minibuses at the dock is sufficient.

 

However, anything else, such as the Bluff Cove, one must arrange for a tour (or using the ship's excursion which is what I would try to avoid.)

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