Uncover the natural wonders of the Falkland Islands

The unspoilt islands offer a rich variety of wildlife for cruise guests to discover as they explore the archipelago

Uncover the natural wonders of the Falkland Islands

Falkland Islands Tourist Board

Guests to the Falkland Islands can spot a variety of seal and penguin species on a visit to the archipelago

By Alex Smith |

The Falklands archipelago is made up of two main islands, East and West Falkland. Teeming with nature and wildlife, both islands have an unpolluted environment, white-sand beaches, and plenty of open spaces, providing ample opportunities for walking and hiking experiences. 

The local wildlife is one of the main attractions in the Falklands, with the limited number of people living on the islands providing plenty of space for nature to thrive. Guests have the chance to see five different species of penguins (king, gentoo, Magellanic, rockhopper and macaroni), as well as a variety of other bird species. Enthusiasts will have the opportunity to spot a black-browed albatross, with 70 per cent of the species’ population making their home on the Falkland Islands.  

Among the best spots for spotting wildlife is Volunteer Point, which can be reached within two hours’ drive of the cruise pier in a 4x4 vehicle. A white, sandy beach stretches for two miles along the coast, and the area provides shelter for gentoo and Magellanic penguins, as well as terns, skuas, gulls, oystercatchers, and other birds. Volunteer Point is also home to the largest breeding group of king penguins on the islands, where the birds spend more than a year raising a single chick. Visitors to the area will be able to see the chicks, which were once classified as a separate species of penguin due to their size and fluffiness compared to the sleek, grey and yellow look of a fully grown adult. 

Cruise passengers can also visit Carcass Island and West Point on day trips to experience the natural landscape of the Falklands. Carcass Island has been a sheep farm for more than a century, but due to careful management it is rich in wildlife such as songbirds, waterfowl, penguins, and elephant seals. Sealions and dolphins are also often seen in the waters nearby, while fur seals can occasionally be found in the tall tussac grass. Taking a short boat trip across to West Point allows visitors to see the black-browed albatrosses amongst the rockhopper colony. 

This article was first published in the Spring/Summer 2024 issue of  Cruise & Ferry Review. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed. Subscribe  for FREE to get the next issue delivered directly to your inbox. 

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