Port Stanley, Falkland Islands Cruise Port
As you cruise through the South Atlantic Ocean toward Antarctica, you may want to float through Blanco Bay to the charming port called Stanley (also Port Stanley) in the Falkland Islands. Located on the island of East Falkland, it's the archipelago's capital city. Central to shopping and most of East Falkland's roadways, the town of around 2,100 residents contains many attractions to appeal to tourists. Named after British statesman Lord Stanley, and originally settled in 1843 in order to facilitate shipping, Port Stanley soon grew as a deep-water port and was a main stopping point for ship repair before the construction of the Panama Canal. Though it was occupied briefly in 1982 by Argentine troops during the Falklands War, the islands returned to British control. To this day, however, there are still Spanish names for some of the attractions. Here are some of our favorite experiences when cruising to Port Stanley, Falkland Islands:
The Anglican Christ Church Cathedral was consecrated in 1892 and built from local stone and brick. One of the cathedral's prize possessions is an Order of the Garter banner belonging to Baron Edward Shackleton, a British geographer and Labour Party politician (and younger son of Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton). The interior is lovely, especially with its stained glass windows and old-world feel.
If you skip the church, be sure to check out the famous Whalebone Arch in front of it. Made into its current form using jawbones of two blue whales in 1933, they were a gift to the community to commemorate a century of continuous British government.
For wildlife adventures, visit Gypsy Cove, only ten minutes from Stanley. Created from a small bay with white sands, you'll find the adorable Magellanic penguins mingling with rock cormorants and black-crowned night herons.
The Falkland Islands Museum has its goal "To promote awareness and appreciation of the history and heritage of the Falkland Islands and to protect and preserve this history for future generations." There are multiple collections inside, including maritime, costume, the 1982 war, and natural history. The friendly docents are happy to answer any questions about the exhibits.