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Falkland Islands Cruise Port Guide

Falkland Islands Governor's House
Stanley tours include the Governor’s House. Credit: Wikimedia (Creative Commons License)

The Falkland Islands may be better known for a brief war than for tourism, but they manage to get the attention of cruise lines that go to South America.

The Falkland Islands cruise port at Stanley attracts cruise ships from Princess, Celebrity and Norwegian among others. The islands are located near the southern tip of South America and the cruise ports of Punta Arenas in Chile and Ushuaia in Argentina.

Only about 2,500 people live on the islands with about 2,000 living in and around Stanley, which is located on East Falkland Island.

Stanley does not have a cruise ship dock. Passengers will take a tender to reach the public jetty.

A visitors’ center at the head of the jetty has exhibitions, souvenirs and details about tour operators. It also has Internet access available and a shelter with views overlooking the harbor for passengers waiting to return to their ships.

Tourist Attractions

The British-controlled islands rocketed to worldwide attention in 1982 during a brief war between Britain and the nearby Argentina, which claimed territorial rights. The war ultimately ended with Britain maintaining control.

The remnants of that war add to the tourist attractions for cruise visitors.

Visitors can take battlefield tours around the Stanley cruise port that go to the hills, memorials and monuments where many of the battles took place.

Remnants of the battles included fox holes, bunkers, used munitions and field kitchens. Other sites include British and Argentine cemeteries and a small museum.

Walking and vehicle tours of Stanley itself include the Whalebone Arch, Anglican Cathedral, the Governor’s House, Tabernacle Church and the 1982 Liberation Memorial.

Wildlife excursions go to various colonies of penguins and other creatures. Boat trips go on whale watching tours and visit penguin colonies and shipwrecks.

Anyone with enough time can visit West Falkland Island, which is sparsely populated and known for its scenery. It can be reached by vehicle and ferry service, according to the Falkland Islands Tourist Board.

Getting Around

The islands don’t have a public transportation system, but they do have other options for visitors who want to explore them. They include taxis (unmetered), vehicles for lease and tour operators.

Two companies offer boat trips out of Stanley to view wildlife or visit nearby islands.

Weather / Best Time to Go

The Falkland Islands Tourist Board suggests that the best time to visit is December through February. They are the warmest months of the year and have the peak level of wildlife activity.

The islands have mild temperatures ranging from cool in the summer to cooler in the winter.

Average high temperatures reach the mid 50s Fahrenheit or the low teens Celsius from November through March, according to the Danish Meteorology Institute.

They drop to around 40 degrees Fahrenheit or about 4 Celsius during the southern hemisphere’s winter months of June through August.

The islands average about two inches of rain per month for most months of the year.

Other Facts

English is the official language of this British overseas territory.

The Falklands consist of more than 740 islands located 400 miles off the coast of Argentina.

The two main islands are East Falkland and West Falkland.

Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas. He is the author of four books about cruising in the Caribbean, Alaska and Mexican Riviera.
February 17, 2020

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