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If anyone has questions about the Falklands...


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I tried to phone Ian today to double check his email but I think he is out of the Islands at the moment, as soon as I get some info I will post :)

 

I agree with all the info being spread over a lot of pages makes it difficult to trawl through and people dont always have time to read 5+ pages. All the info of tour guides, contact details/email addresses etc and lots of other great info can be found at www.visitorfalklands.com I will see if there is a way to incorporate the website into a signature or something at the bottom of each of my posts.

 

Thanks aswell for all the lovely comments, its a pleasure trying to help!

 

Ohh I almost forgot, the camera I use is just a panasonic FZ8, its not expensive and I am by no means a ''photographer'' I have it on the easy/automatic setting so it does all the focus etc for me :o The photos usually come out pretty well I think because you get so close to the wildlife, you dont have to zoom in from miles away so end up with grainy shots!

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Hi Gixer,

 

A huge thank you for all the wonderful information! The photos of Sea Lion Island are amazing. Unfortunately our cruise line isn't offering this tour when we come on the Star Princess next March and the local operator won't schedule in case of delays. I guess I'll just have to come back again someother time to take it in!

 

Again, my thanks for all the information......

 

Joe

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Hi Gixer,

I just got done reading this thread. Thank you for all the wonderful information and the beautiful pictures. I am on the Star Princess at the end of March (we will be in the Falklands on April 3rd). I'm curious about the Rockhopper Penquin tour. I didn't find much mention of it in the thread. Is it a good tour or are the others such as Bluff Cove or Sparrow Point better? I'd appreciate your views.

Thanks Shelly

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There are 4 of us arriving in Feb 2008 on Azamara Journey and have decided to us Patrick Watts for a private tour to Volunteer Point. We understand that his tour company is very good but would like to know if anyone has used his services and how you rated him...Thanks

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Gixer, I heard from the visitors bureau that Ian Doherty had left the island. Do you know anything? We had a reservation with him but I guess we will go with Patrick Watts, instead. He has resonded promptly and seems very knowledgable and professional. Can hardly wait to see your beautiful island!

 

Kelley

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Hi,

 

We are booked with Ian Dougherty next month. My husband emailed him due to the news on this thread and it is true that he has left the Falkland Islands. However, our tour has been rescheduled with another guide on the island, Neil Rowlands. Gixer, any feedback on this particular guide? Should we try to book with Patrick Watts?

 

Thanks.

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Is it reasonable to take a trip to Volunteer Point (or is it Volounteer Point?) in very later December IF we're only in port from 8am - 4pm??? Is that enough time?

 

IF NOT - what do you suggest for plan b?

 

 

A trip would be possible, but you wouldnt have much time at the colony. Depending on what your intersts are there are lots of options, you could do a trip to Bluff or Sparrow cove in the morning then spend the rest of the day exploring town, take a taxi up to gypsy cove, if you enjoy hiking then a climb up tumbledown mountain to the war memorial and spectacular views is great on a sunny day, or maybe a trip out to one of the farms to see shearing demonstrations and get a view of camp life. (anywhere on the Islands that is outside of town is called camp)

 

Be sure to call into one of the pubs though for a warm welcome, unfortunatley no local ale is brewed on the Islands anymore, but a quick beer in one of the pubs will give you a great insight into Falkland Islands life and there are always people happy to chat to you about the Islands, its history and what its like living here :)

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Hi,

 

I am deciding on whether to book a cruise to SA on the Star Princess at the end of January. One of the deciding factors is the Stanley port of call to see the King penguins. I understand that the weather is very inclement and therefore ships quite often don't make port here. I found out that only 10 ships missed port last year out of the entire season so that seems okay for chances but maybe you could tell me if the end of January offers a better chance with the weather being at the height of summer. Thanks for all your knowlegable posting here. It is great to have someone like you providing first hand info.

 

P.S. Your information on going to Volunteer Point has made me even that much more excited to make this excursion should I take the cruise.

Thanks again.

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Hi,

 

As far as the Rockhopper tour goes, if that is what you particularly want to see then you willl get a chance to see them during the tour, but not the mass colonys that you would probably hope for. There are stragglers left until mid April and they are all gone by the end of the month, I guess it just depends on how badly you want to see rockhoppers and if you would be happy seeing a smaller crowd of late moulters instead of hundreds and hundreds of squaking, bickering, fighting, bad tempered lil'guys!

 

Tribeca007 -

 

Nobody can predict the weather, but I think its pretty safe to say that you stand more chance of being able to dock if you arrive in January, infact we had some of our best weather this year at the end of Jan and all through Feb. Volounteer point is an awesome trip, if your a keen photographer or serious wildlife enthusiast then this is definatley the trip for you!

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I have been looking at options for booking an independent tour during my day in Stanley on 19 January 2008. I wondered if Gixer or anyone had any knowledge of a company called Falkland Islands Tours and Travel Limited. The name on the website is Andy Williams. They offer a helicopter tour to Sea Lion Island. I have written an email but no response yet. I see by the posts above that someone heard they will not deal with ship passengers. Another company I emailed was Penguin Travel, again have not had time to hear back from them. The VisitorFalklands.com website lists several other tour operators that I may also contact, however Sullivan Shipping is not listed there. If any of you have suggestions, I would appreciate them, especially as to the companies that will or will not deal with ship passengers. Thanks.

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We appreciate your input on your hometown. It gives us a better idea of what we'll do when we arrive....can't wait!

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 - you're so generous with your time and information. Thank you for sharing your knowledge of your wonderful islands!

 

Like everyone else, for me, it's all about the penguins. Coming out on the Star Princess 13 January. Think I have it narrowed down to Volunteer privately or perhaps Kidney Cove. The ship's excursion to Kidney Cove is only 3 hours from departure to return. I'm guessing that will give about 1.5 hours at the cove itself? Is that enough time to see the main colony and also get up to the rockhoppers? The trip out is by catamaran.

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Kidney Cove is a great trip, because you get too see a little of everything, the Rockhopper Colony is quite large, and will be a mass of Bickering chicks when you arrive, and there are loads of Gentoos and Jackasses, you will also see some kings, but not in vast numbers, and of course the trip still allows enough time for having a look around town.

If I wanted a ''wildlife taster'' so to speak the Kidney Cove tour is the one that I would personally choose, but if your ''all about penguins'' so to speak, then a trip to Volounteer is a must, it is unique, the second largest breeding colony of Kings in the world, and you arrive at a great time, right when all the chicks are hatching. So unless your cruise takes you to the breeding sites at South Georgia, you really will be seeing nature at its best at Volounteer, and something very few people in the world ever get to witness.

 

For anyone taking a trip to Volounteer or trying to decide if you should book it, I am hoping to take a trip out there either next saturday or the one after, I will let you know and take plenty of photos so you have an idea of what its like :)

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Kidney Cove is a great trip, because you get too see a little of everything, the Rockhopper Colony is quite large, and will be a mass of Bickering chicks when you arrive, and there are loads of Gentoos and Jackasses, you will also see some kings, but not in vast numbers, and of course the trip still allows enough time for having a look around town.

If I wanted a ''wildlife taster'' so to speak the Kidney Cove tour is the one that I would personally choose, but if your ''all about penguins'' so to speak, then a trip to Volounteer is a must, it is unique, the second largest breeding colony of Kings in the world, and you arrive at a great time, right when all the chicks are hatching. So unless your cruise takes you to the breeding sites at South Georgia, you really will be seeing nature at its best at Volounteer, and something very few people in the world ever get to witness.

 

One final question I have for you is regarding the rockhopper penguins. I understand there aren't any at Volunteer, correct? If I'm also going to see the Magellan Penguins in Punta Arenas, would a trip to Berkeley Sound be a good option? Are there any Kings in Berekely Sound? What about other species? Want to try to get the best balance of species I have available to see.

 

Thank you!

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Kidney Cove is a great trip, because you get too see a little of everything, the Rockhopper Colony is quite large, and will be a mass of Bickering chicks when you arrive, and there are loads of Gentoos and Jackasses, you will also see some kings, but not in vast numbers, and of course the trip still allows enough time for having a look around town.

If I wanted a ''wildlife taster'' so to speak the Kidney Cove tour is the one that I would personally choose, but if your ''all about penguins'' so to speak, then a trip to Volounteer is a must, it is unique, the second largest breeding colony of Kings in the world, and you arrive at a great time, right when all the chicks are hatching. So unless your cruise takes you to the breeding sites at South Georgia, you really will be seeing nature at its best at Volounteer, and something very few people in the world ever get to witness.

 

For anyone taking a trip to Volounteer or trying to decide if you should book it, I am hoping to take a trip out there either next saturday or the one after, I will let you know and take plenty of photos so you have an idea of what its like :)

Gixer, I have to agree with all the fellow posters... your information has been wonderful!!

I'll be going to Volunteer Point when we stop in Stanley on January 30th (Star Princess departs BA 1/26), and would love to see your pictures. I noticed there is a new photo posting area, don't know if it's easier to post a large number of pictures there and just reference it on the message board, but plse post a reply again here when you have the pictures uploaded.

Thank you!

Wendy

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One final question I have for you is regarding the rockhopper penguins. I understand there aren't any at Volunteer, correct? If I'm also going to see the Magellan Penguins in Punta Arenas, would a trip to Berkeley Sound be a good option? Are there any Kings in Berekely Sound? What about other species? Want to try to get the best balance of species I have available to see.

 

Thank you!

 

There are no Rockhoppers at Volounteer, Kings, Jackasses and gentoos only. Berkley sound is a passage of water, if your going to the Rockhopper colony at Berkley your actually going to the colony up the coast from Kidney cove. If you choose this tour you will get to see Gentoo, a few kings, jackasses and of course the Rockhoppers, providing your tour stops at Kidney cove first that is and doesnt just go straight up to the Rockhopper colony! If you want a broad spectrum of wildlife then this would be the tour I personally would choose. :)

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There are no Rockhoppers at Volounteer, Kings, Jackasses and gentoos only. Berkley sound is a passage of water, if your going to the Rockhopper colony at Berkley your actually going to the colony up the coast from Kidney cove. If you choose this tour you will get to see Gentoo, a few kings, jackasses and of course the Rockhoppers, providing your tour stops at Kidney cove first that is and doesnt just go straight up to the Rockhopper colony! If you want a broad spectrum of wildlife then this would be the tour I personally would choose. :)

 

Are there tours to Kidney Island that you can pick up once in port? Gail

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Are there tours to Kidney Island that you can pick up once in port? Gail

 

Yes, several tours are bookable to Kidney Island, however finding someone to take you there who isnt already booked up by the cruise ships will be very difficult, most have stopped taking independant bookings from cruise ship passangers and now only deal with land based tourists. I think you would be better off trying secure a tour before you arrive, trying to arrange something when you actually dock would be very difficult, we are only a very small community and its ''all hands on deck'' when a cruise ship comes into town! Most people have already arranged excursions way ahead of time, you will probably end up dissapointed if you leave it to chance, although you will still be able to get to Gypsy cove and there is lots to see around town :)

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Hello Gixer,

Like BabyDoc must be, I'm a researcher and read every single post in this thread overnight, with the assistance of mucho coffee. :) I personally appreciate the honest effort you have put into assisting those who plan visits to your island. It is such a great thing to watch someone be so nice to others.

 

We're coming in on 13 January on Star Princess so we'll miss you. DARN! I'd give up my day just to hang out and have some tea with you after reading your posts. We do live in Florida so do you want to trade houses for a bit? Ha!

 

We're intersted in the penguins but we also want to see Stanley as well. We'll get ashore and hop on a minibus to Gypsy Cover and then back so we can explore town. I am a military historian as well and would LOVE to see the battlefields but I want to be fair and not spend my wife's day studying battles. She gets a bit testy about this, ha. Have you seen taxis or individuals at the Jetty Centre offering Battlefield Tours? I know there are organized tours available through the ship and pre-arrangement but I'm just talking about a whirlwind drive out and back with a little narrative. Then my sweetie can get to shopping and I can find a pub. :)

 

Once again, thank you for what you are doing.

 

Kyle and Cindy

Clearwater, Florida

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