Volunteer Point is home to the world’s largest easily accessible King Penguin colony. Whilst your fellow travellers take a 2½ hour off-road 4×4 drive you can travel in style with just a 20 minute helicopter flight.
Your experience will start when you are collected from your landing point in Stanley and driven to Stanley Airport just 10 minutes away. As you depart from Stanley Airport you will have views of your ship and the colours of Stanley, the southernmost capital city in the world.
To the west of Stanley you will see the curious stone runs that exist here in the Falklands. These ice age relics are unique to the Falklands and the best way to see them is from the air. As you continue onwards you will skirt around Berkeley Sound, and fly past the sheep farms of Long Island and Johnsons Harbour in addition to the original French settlement at Port Louis.
At Volunteer Point your guide will meet you for the short walk towards the King Penguin colony and beyond to the beautiful white sand beach where the penguins commute to and from the sea. In addition to the majestic King you will also encounter numerous Gentoo and burrowing Magellanic Penguins. On the beach you may possibly glimpse a Southern Sea Lion lurking in the surf. If you have never encountered penguins before (and even if you have) you will be enchanted by these fantastic fearless birds. While the countryside code states that you must not approach closer than 6m (20ft) providing you are quiet you may find this impossible to maintain as curious birds come to check you out.
At all times during your trip it is worth keeping a watchful eye seawards as from December onwards there is a good chance of distant views of passing Fin and Sei whales as these huge animals (once persecuted) continue their recovery in the Southern Ocean. Later in the summer you may be lucky to see Southern Right whales close to the shore.
Duration – up to 2 hours including approximately 1 hour at Volunteer Point
Moderate activity – distances are relatively short but over undulating grassland and sandy beach
Footwear – sensible footwear for soft ground
Clothing – as with any outdoor activity in the Falklands take some warm windproof layers. The weather can often be very changeable, even in mid summer. Hats, gloves and scarves are advisable to have with you although they do need to be secure in your bag when near the helicopter.
Weight limit – unfortunately due to the nature of transport there is an individual weight limit of 120kgs/265lbs and a backpack limit of 5kgs/11lbs. If your bag is too large for the aircraft it will be possible to leave it securely with the company representative.