Posted April 21st, 2007, 02:51 PM
Dileep I watched your video and that one king penguin really did put on a show. The rest of the penguins are so tiny so I see what you mean. I found Kennedy's name on the official website and am in contact with him. It seems like alot of money and we won't get a chance to see the town so I have to think about that. All your posts have been very helpful to us who are planning. Is Bluff Cove and Volunteer Point 2 1/2 hrs. from the ship. Ian Doherty recommends Volunteer Point.
We did Bluff Cove on a Princess tour in March. It was a great tour, but there had been several days of rain and the 4 wheel drive vehicles bogged down on the first run of the day, putting all the tours behind, and finally ending up with the final tour of the day (on which we were booked) being cancelled. We got 'waitlisted' on the tour before ours and made it, and it was a wild ride, but fun.
Bluff Cove is privately owned, and the 4 wheeling portion is conducted by friends and family of the farmer who owns it. You take a bus out of Stanley for about 45 minutes or so, then transfer to this wildly diverse assortment of 4 wheel drive vehicles. Your driver may or may not be chatty and informative - some were, some just thought all the people from the ship who were doing this were quite mad - and you take off across open farm land - no roads - and drive for another 30 or 40 minutes - probably less if the weather cooperates.
You are let out on a ridge above the cove where the rookery is. The penguins here are Gentoo, and there are a couple of pair of King penguins as well. The area is beautiful, rugged, and very much covered in manure of various kinds, as there are sheep and/or cattle around, as well as the penguins.
I strongly recommend that you obtain either some disposable shoe covers or, preferably, some of those cheap plastic boots that you can put on to tramp around in the penguin poo and then discard before you go back on board ship. The terrain is gently sloping, but there are no trails or real paths, so you are going to need to watch your footing as well.
There is a sort of track from the cove up to a structure that serves as the summer cottage for the farmer and his family, but which is pressed into duty as a sort of cafe for the visitors during penguin season. The family puts on a very nice tea with coffee, tea and other beverages available, and some wonderful home made cakes and cookies.
It was overcast, drizzling and COLD when we were there and gloves and heavy socks were a real necessity. You return, normally, via the 4 wheels to the same spot where you were dropped off, and reboard the big bus to get back to town. As we were running about 45 minutes to an hour late (thankfully on a ships tour so they waited - the flights out of Stanley go once a week!) the 4 wheels took us all the way back to the pier. All in all, it was a wonderful tour and we got to see hundreds of penguins, plus we had an 'adventure' ride over the farmland!