The morning began with the arrival of the Port Stanley pilot who came aboard to assist in sailing National Geographic Explorer through the narrows and into Stanley Harbor, capital of the Falkland Islands. It was a rare day of clear skies and only a slight breeze on the normally windswept islands.
Following breakfast, we headed down the gangway to the pier for walks around town or to hop on the awaiting shuttles. Guests enjoyed the Stanley Highlights Tour as well as visits to Christ Church Cathedral–the world’s southernmost cathedral, the 1982 Liberation Monument, Government House, the 1914 Battle Memorial, a small whaling display, and the Historic Dockyard and Museum. Other guests joined the trip out to Gypsy Cove. They passed runners participating in the annual Stanley Marathon on their way to the coastal walk and to view Magellanic penguins. The penguins looked uncomfortable in their natural habitat; they are in the middle of their annual molt before winter comes. We enjoyed a leisurely walk back into town with spectacular views of Stanley and the surrounding mountains.
Even though it was Sunday, many of the businesses and restaurants stayed open for our visit, so some guests enjoyed lunch in town at one of the historic pubs, like the Victory, or at the more elegant Windjammer Inn. Others hopped on the shuttle back to National Geographic Explorer.
In the afternoon, the tours continued with the inclusion of two additional options. Guests could visit the Stanley Growers Hydroponic Garden or take the Mount William Tour, a spectacular four-hour hike across Tumbledown Ridge, the location of one of the fiercest battles of the Falkland War. The weather was warm and windless as we moved across the scarred battlefield, taking in incredible views across the island.
At sunset, we pulled away from the pier, made our way through the narrows and back out into the open ocean, and sailed east toward our next destination, South Georgia.