Sunday, February 26, 2012

Stanley, Flakland Islands - February 25

We are docking early and as we head south towards Stanley numerous people are out on their deck – we are freezing our butts off with just our robes on but we can’t help it the wildlife is amazing. 

We first notice whales which we later note are sperm whales.  We have a few sightings of whales.  Bernie is excited to see the smaller albatross and then he shouts penguins!  At first we thought they were fish swimming at the surface but looking closer we see they are penguins diving down and back up to the surface to welcome us. 

that is a penguin in the water on the left

Today is a tender day and thankfully the waters are calm which will make the longer tender ride more comfortable.  The cruisecritic gang is all meeting in Explorer’s lounge for a group tender and we are directed off right after the ship’s tours.  We brave the elements and head up to the open area on the tender.  Sure it is cold but we see so much more and we are excited when pods of dolphins jump and play along side the tender.

As soon as we arrive in Stanley (the town dropped the Port name a while back since they don’t have a port) we see our name on a sign and introduce ourselves to Owen our driver.  He is one of Patrick Watt’s respected drivers and is coordinating things.  The tour we organized can be found at

Each driver takes four passengers and note that means three in the back seat and the ride is long so be prepared.  You drive for about 40 minutes on gravel road then 1.5 hours off road thru fields and it is bumpy but Owen was very professional and a great driver.

I've posted a video up on Youtube on the King Penguins here, you can watch it at

You arrive at Volunteer point and make sure you dress in layers.  The temperature isn’t that bad it is the wind that is cold.  Here you will see three varieties of penguins but the time of year that we are there there are only two the Gentoo and King penguins.  The King have some that are still with their eggs and some newly hatched penguins.  The area is large and you can wander around but they do ask you not to go past the white stoned area as this is where the penguins are nesting. 

After an hour and a half here we grab a provided lunch and we are back in the vehicle for our trip back. 

If you are interested in this tour to Volunteer Point to see the penguins make sure you reserve way in advance as the number of drivers he can coordinated is limited and spaces fill fast.  We paid in pounds and that was 115 pounds each, some paid in US and that was around $195 each, but the ship’s tour was $329 each and was sold out.

The town of Stanley is not large but reminds me of many fishing villages on the East Coast and many of the stores are open cause ships are in port.  We walk to the West Store (grocery store) and pick up some club biscuits (as we can’t find them at home and love them).  We cross the street to visit a few shops and pick up many items, t-shirts, post cards, penguin earrings, four limited number prints that we will frame when we get home, and a small stuffed penguin.  You will find almost everything possible with a penguin on it here!

There are a few pubs in town too where you can get a beer and fish and chips.  The whole area is easily walkable and we enjoy about an hour here before heading back on the tender.  This time our trip on the open area is a little colder as it starts to rain, but rain here is really sleet and it is cold! 

As soon as I get back on board I head up to the horizon court with my large mug and hot chocolate mix to make a hot chocolate and enjoy that on my balcony.  We head out around 6:15 pm and again Bernie and I are watching the wildlife, dolphins, penguins, whales, and birds.  We are tired, there isn’t much going on tonight and we both agree a quiet night is in order.  We order room service and watch a movie and we are both asleep at 9:30 pm.


  1. What a fantastic day you both had! Love your descriptions.

  2. Vickie, was this a private tour or a Princess tour? Could you please share their name or website. Thanks! Glad you are enjoying this great cruise, as I certainly am, while following your descriptive blog!