It is probable that more people cross the Brooklyn Bridge into Manhattan each morning than ever visited the Falkland Islands since time began. However, the growth of cruise ship visits to the Falklands and the increased access provided by a commercial air link have meant that what seemed previously to be small exclusive club suddenly grown much bigger.
John AT Fowler - Manager - Falkland Islands Tourism Board.
Specialist operator Island Holidays is profiling two land tours and a cruise to the Falkland Islands at the British Bird watching Fair, Rutland (August 15-17, 2003) - and on its stand will be tour leader, cruise senior lecturer, author and top Falklands' wildlife specialist, Will Wagstaff.
Mr. Wagstaff will be giving a lecture on Sunday morning (August, 17) at the Fair entitled "Fabulous Falklands - a Penguins Idea of Heaven".*
He is tour leader on the 18-day, fully inclusive Island Holidays tour to the Falkland Islands departing Sunday, January 11, 2004.
The intinerary includes visits to the capital, Stanley on East Falkland, Port Howard on West Falkland, and to Pebble, Saunders, Carcass and Sea Lion Islands, as well as a trip to Volunteer Point, the No.1 spot for King Penguins in the Falklands. Price £4,425 per person plus insurance.
The second Falkland Islands fully-inclusive tour follows the same itinerary at the same price, but departs Sunday, January 9, 2005 and this will be led by specialist Eric Meek.
Located in the South Atlantic, consisting two main Islands and over 700 smaller ones, the Falkland Islands is home to over 60 different species of breeding bird, over half of which are dependent on the sea for food. Perhaps best known are the penguins.
There are five species of penguin breeding in the Islands - Rockhopper, Magellanic, Gentoo, King and Macaroni - and this is the most important world site for the endangered Rockhopper. Some 80% of the world's breeding population of Black-Browed Albatross is found in the Islands too, although most of the major colonies are remote and inaccessible. Several rare and threatened species of Petrel nest on offshore Islands.
On fresh water ponds birders will find amongst other species, the Upland Goose and the Ruddy-Headed or 'Brent' Goose, the Silver Teal, Chiloe Wigeon, and the White-tufted Grebe.
Other marine wildlife breeding in the Islands include the Elephant Seal, Sea Lion and Fur Seal. The largest breeding site of Elephant Seal is found on Sea Lion Island, where there are over 500 individuals. Porpoise and dolphin are often seen from the shoreline.
Island Holidays Stand is located at Marquee 3, Stands 3/4, British Birdwatching Fair, Oakham, Rutland.
For more information on the Falkland Islands visit www.tourism.org.fk
* Will Wagstaff is also author of the Bradt Guide to the Falkland Islands. In addition to leading Island Holidays tours to the Falklands, he will be lecturing on the nine-day 'Falklands Odyssey' cruise (November 21 - 29, 2003) operated by Quark Expeditions. Berths on this cruise are being sold by Island Holidays.
The 'Falklands Odyssey' voyage sails from Stanley to Stanley aboard the Professor Multanovskiy. Stops include visits to wildlife sites on Sea Lion and Bleaker Islands, Beaver and Staats Islands, New Island and West Point Island, Saunders and Keppel Islands, Port Howard on West Falkland, George and Barren Islands. Some of these destinations can only be accessed by sea. For further information visit www.quarkexpeditions.com or call: +44 (0)1494 464080
Quark Expeditions will be represented on the Island Holidays stand at the BirdFair by Anne Catterson Smith.
Libby Weir-Breen, Island Holidays can be contacted at the Fair on mobile: 07808 010 939
Falkland Islands UK contact: Sam Allanson-Bailey, Falkland Islands Government Office on Tel: +44 (0)20 7222 542 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org