Viking Cruise: The Falkland Islands

What an absolutely pleasant surprise the Falklands were. VERY remote (as you can see from the map).

Very unpopulated (only 3,500 residents)

Yet an absolutely beautiful place with amazing scenery and tons of wildlife.

Their main industries are fishing, sheep farming and tourism.  There are only 3 flights there a week from anywhere in the world (once a week from London, England and once a week from Santiago, Chile).  Plus there are very few (and very small motels) so the only real way to visit is by ship.  But they had almost 60,000 visitors last year come that way. It is a growing industry.

One of the things people get to see is the large penguin population. These are wild birds but they roost here and are pretty friendly (even though they sit on their eggs for weeks). They let you get really close and seem curious more than afraid. THIS CLOSE!

One of the main fish here is the Patagonian Toothfish.  (From the pic you can see why it’s called that)

The funny thing is, this is one of the best (and most famous) marketing successes ever. What they did was—someone figured out that if they changed the name from Patagonia Tooth fish to something more yummy-sounding, more people might be willing to eat it.

So…Voila!  Allow me to introduce you to the Chilean Sea Bass.  Sounds MUCH better (though it tastes—and is—the same exact fish). (Sorry to tell you 😀).

We also got to see some sea lions.  It’s funny because on these cruises, they spoil you so much. Don’t have to cook or clean or shop—they make it easy.  I thought “this is the life”.  But after watching these guys do this for like 4 hours today, THIS is the life! 😀

On to Ushaia, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world.  Big storm coming tonight. Hang onto your hat!

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