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South America

Falkland Islands Tourist Attractions

Port Stanley Cathedral
Port Stanley Cathedral and the Whale Bone Arch

Despite its small size, Stanley provides a wonderful escape with an unpolluted environment complete with clear blue skies, seamless horizons and stunning white sand beaches.

Whether you are looking for adventure or seeking quieter pleasures, Stanley and by extension the Falklands is a wonderful place for South American cruise visitors to enjoy numerous natural and manmade attractions.

1. Stanley - The Capital City

Stanley, also known as Port Stanley, is a small town located on the island of East Falkland and is the capital of the Falkland Islands. Small and picturesque, Stanley is located on a north-facing slope in one of the wettest parts of the islands and is widely regarded as the safest capital on earth.

Visitors will find beautiful Victorian buildings with Falkland influence as well as churches and a wonderful museum. The town can be explored on foot, by rented vehicles or tours. An information staff at the Falklands Visitor Information Centre and Falklands Tourist Board is located right next to the public jetty, providing more than enough travel information.

2. Falkland Islands Museum

The Falkland Islands Museum is located in the capital Stanley on Holdfast Road. The museum chronicles the history of the Falkland Islands by way of artefacts, pictures, murals, etc. For a nominal fee, visitors can spend hours viewing the displays.

3. Whale Bone Arch

Everyone who has been to the Falklands would have at least heard of the arch outside the Anglican cathedral made from actual whale bones. Whale Bone Arch was constructed in 1933 as a gift from the South Georgia Islands in honour of 150 years of British rule in the Falklands.

Simply visiting the arch is not enough as visitors can tour the nearby cathedral as well. This is the oldest cathedral within the Falklands – more than 100 years old—and supposedly the southernmost cathedral in the world. Inside the church, visitors will find unusual stained-glass windows, medieval historical structures, a tinned roof, etc.

One glass window is of a District Nurse who served the community in the first half of the 20th century. The building is a true example of an engineering feat when one takes into consideration the materials available on the island at the time of construction.

4. Wildlife

The Falklands are a haven for nature. The islands are the home to many different varieties of wildlife:

Penguins: A trip to Bluff Cove Penguin Rookery will certainly promise sightings of the Gentoo, Magellenic, and King Penguins. Furthermore, one of the main attractions of the island is the Rockhopper Penguin that has its nests on the rocky drops of the islands. So many tourists travel to the Cove that tours are often book out quite early.

Skua: Skuas are small birds that are plentiful all over the islands. Visitors will find plenty of nesting Skuas and their chicks around, hidden in the shrubs.

Seals: The shores off the Falklands are busy with swimming seals on the hunt for food. Visitors always find it fun to watch seals playing in the surf or on the shore.

As one may expect, there are numerous places for viewing wildlife around the islands. As an example, Yorke Bay is popular due to its close proximity to Stanley and offers a great opportunity to view wildlife in their natural habitat.

5. Explore the Lighthouse and see Lady Elizabeth

About 11 kilometers East of Stanley, Cape Pembroke is the easternmost point of the Falkland Islands. When the weather is fine, it makes for a pleasant walk starting from Stanley airport to the lighthouse.

The Falkland Islands has many shipwrecks dotted around the coastline. At the eastern end of Stanley Harbour lies the wreck of the Lady Elizabeth, the most photographed of the shipwrecks. This iron ship, which was built in Sunderland, England in 1879, lapsed into difficulties off the Cape Horn in 1913 due to severe gale, thereby losing cargo and men.

The Falkland Islands are truly a natural experience with large, easily accessible colonies of some of the world’s rarest and most enchanting animals. One of the lovely things about the Falkland Islands is that most of the town-related sights are situated within walking distance of each other. Such cruise visits are especially well suited for senior citizens and families with children as well.

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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