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Dr.Dobro

Recommendation for Patrick Watts Tours, Falkland Islands

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From our Holland America (Zaandam) cruise, Feb. 2018:

 

We arranged a trip to Bertha's Beach and Gypsy Cove through Patrick Watts. He was waiting as promised at the dock and as soon as the other couple who shared our driver came off the ship, we were on our way.

 

Our driver was Dave, a former Royal Marine from Liverpool who was among the 40 or so defenders of the Falklands when the Argentines invaded in 1982. He had lots of great information about the 76-day war.

 

It was about 45 minutes on asphalt and gravel roads out to Bertha's Beach, where we saw hundreds of Gentoo penguins up close, walking among them on the beach and the adjacent grassland. There were no roped-off areas or other restrictions; we were out among the birds. Then we went to Gypsy Cove, where two large groups of Magellan penguins were down on the beach below a viewing area; we could not go down there because of possible mines left over from the war. We also got a tour of battle sites, monuments and points of interest around Stanley.

 

Cost was $130 per person. We found this tour preferable to Volunteer Point, which involves two-plus hours each way, much of it off-road over rough terrain (although you do see the larger king penguins at Volunteer, and if that is a must for you, you should do that). But we were very, very happy with our experience and can recommend Patrick highly.

 

He said he does not contract with the cruise lines at all because he wants to give people a good experience at a more reasonable price, and he said he hires only experienced drivers. We saw first-hand evidence of this when a 10-passenger van got stuck in the sand approaching Bertha's Beach, with clients on an official Holland America tour, We spoke to some of them back on the ship; they were not pleased at the distance they had to walk from the spot they got stuck. The van eventually got winched out by an independent jeep driver (unsure if it was one of Patrick's or maybe Estancia Tours), but the van did not proceed to the beach to get the passengers. It stayed where it was and the passengers had to walk all the way back. Patrick struck us as a tour operator with integrity and we are pleased to recommend his company.

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I can second your recommendation for Patrick and his organization. We did the excursion to Volunteer Point in December 2016. Our driver was very personable and her fascinating stories of life in the Falklands made the trip to and from Volunteer Point go very quickly. The ride was very boggy and each company traveled in their own caravans because there was frequent need for assistance to tow vehicles out of the muck but that was just part of the experience! The Princess excursion gave up half way thru the drive and returned to the ship! All the private excursions made it to and from Volunteer Point.

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I was trying to find this operator as it seemed so limited but do not find any website. How do you contact him

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We also did Patrick Watts tour - amazing!! We would highly recommend this tour to others. The ride out, AND of course, the penguins was fabulous!!! Enjoy.

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From our Holland America (Zaandam) cruise, Feb. 2018:

 

We arranged a trip to Bertha's Beach and Gypsy Cove through Patrick Watts. He was waiting as promised at the dock and as soon as the other couple who shared our driver came off the ship, we were on our way.

 

Our driver was Dave, a former Royal Marine from Liverpool who was among the 40 or so defenders of the Falklands when the Argentines invaded in 1982. He had lots of great information about the 76-day war.

 

It was about 45 minutes on asphalt and gravel roads out to Bertha's Beach, where we saw hundreds of Gentoo penguins up close, walking among them on the beach and the adjacent grassland. There were no roped-off areas or other restrictions; we were out among the birds. Then we went to Gypsy Cove, where two large groups of Magellan penguins were down on the beach below a viewing area; we could not go down there because of possible mines left over from the war. We also got a tour of battle sites, monuments and points of interest around Stanley.

 

Cost was $130 per person. We found this tour preferable to Volunteer Point, which involves two-plus hours each way, much of it off-road over rough terrain (although you do see the larger king penguins at Volunteer, and if that is a must for you, you should do that). But we were very, very happy with our experience and can recommend Patrick highly.

 

He said he does not contract with the cruise lines at all because he wants to give people a good experience at a more reasonable price, and he said he hires only experienced drivers. We saw first-hand evidence of this when a 10-passenger van got stuck in the sand approaching Bertha's Beach, with clients on an official Holland America tour, We spoke to some of them back on the ship; they were not pleased at the distance they had to walk from the spot they got stuck. The van eventually got winched out by an independent jeep driver (unsure if it was one of Patrick's or maybe Estancia Tours), but the van did not proceed to the beach to get the passengers. It stayed where it was and the passengers had to walk all the way back. Patrick struck us as a tour operator with integrity and we are pleased to recommend his company.

 

We did Patrick in 2010 to Volunteer point, and are doing this tour when we're there again in 2019.

 

A question about your driver - was he the former police chief of Stanley and current (or maybe former) ambulance driver? Also taken prisoner in the war but came back because his girlfriend was there? If so, he was our driver to Volunteer. I hope we can have him for our tour. He was great.

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Thanks, interesting reading. We are glad we booked the tour and sounds fantastic.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

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We did Patrick in 2010 to Volunteer point, and are doing this tour when we're there again in 2019.

 

A question about your driver - was he the former police chief of Stanley and current (or maybe former) ambulance driver? Also taken prisoner in the war but came back because his girlfriend was there? If so, he was our driver to Volunteer. I hope we can have him for our tour. He was great.

 

Yep, same Dave. You should ask Patrick if Dave will be driving next year and maybe he can arrange it.

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We just completed the Royal Princess 2019 SA cruise and booked Patrick Watts on his Volunteer Point tour. He was HIGHLY recommended and this was an unforgettable excursion...3 species of penguins that included the Gentoo's, Magelleanic & King. Its known to have the worlds largest King population. We booked more that a year in advance and was lucky to be one of the early birds. They say its a 50/50 chance to have your ship get into port for a tender operation...we were one of the lucky ones and had an UNBELIEVABLE experience, especially with the Kings that a comfortable around humans. Patrick's information noted the 4x4 trip over some rough terrain, but it was very manageable without any problems. His 4x4 vehicles caravan together in the event of any problems...there's no worries about an independent tour & getting back to the ship in plenty of time. We had about an extra 1.5 hrs of shopping in the dock area. this is a MUST DO adventure.

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I highly recommend Patrick Watt's tour to Volunteer Point. He is extremely organized, very reliable and offers a much better price then the cruise ships do for the same type of tour. I describe the last 1 & 1/4 hour ride like riding a bucking bronco! It was worth it! I cannot imagine anything else like this where you can walk up close to these 3 types of penguins. Make sure you go over by the water, that is where we got some of our best photos. Pete was our guide. After visiting the penguins we enjoyed a sandwich, cookie, chips and water provided by Patrick. We were also given photos taken by the warden of the property. Our tour had us back at the pier by 4pm-Feb.23/19.

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We toured with Patrick Watts group to Volunteer Point last month and really enjoyed it.  One thing to know is they will NOT wait for you if your not on the first or 2nd tender.  Unfortunately we had to leave people but they were accommodated on another tour just not Volunteer Point.  All tour groups pretty much go together however P.Watts group of 6 vans have access to a slightly better and less worn out track that the other 50 cars don't so that is nice.  Also make sure to leave some time to eat/drink before the drive back because that would be a challenge in itself  :)

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Posted (edited)

We are arranging a tour to Volunteer Point with Patrick for January 2021.  Luckily we will be in a top suite so will have access to the 1st tender.  Hope others on this tour can make it off.  One person said they have no status with Celebrity.

 

Curious, how did he have access to a different track.  Did they use vans or 4X4's?

Edited by CHEZMARYLOU

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3 hours ago, CHEZMARYLOU said:

We are arranging a tour to Volunteer Point with Patrick for January 2021.  Luckily we will be in a top suite so will have access to the 1st tender.  Hope others on this tour can make it off.  One person said they have no status with Celebrity.

 

I co-ordinated a group on the Eclipse for his shorter tour.  I had 20 people, and 2 had no status.  We had them go with the Elites, and said if asked, the no status wife was with a status husband and vis versa.  It turned out to be no problem, but they all joked about divorces at the pier.

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On Princess, it was easy to get on the first 2 tenders. Our group of 22, on the Patrick Watt's Volunteer Point were sitting at the International cafe 30-45 minutes before the line up started to form. You really need the time for the drive out there is 2 & 1/2 hours. We had a convoy of 6 ---4x4 vehicles, no one got stuck. Most of the other groups went the same way. The last hour & 1/4 is  off road. Patrick uses very experienced drivers.

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Re: Falkland Islands Tours

 

Hello all,

 

I am a great fan of Patrick Watts and his tour to Volunteer Point. Guaranteed fun ride to get there and thousands of King, Magellanic and Gentoo penguins. I am booked for my second visit to Volunteer Point on Feb 28, 2020. Unfortunately, somebody has been writing that Patrick has no spots left for 2019-2020. Patrick just told me that he has lots of openings Just email him at pwatts@horizon.co.fk. Three photos from our trip in Dec 2014 are attached.

 

Judith

 

D7K_2126.jpg

D7K_2109.jpg

D7K_2140.jpg

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Posted (edited)
On 4/4/2019 at 1:44 PM, Snidjud said:

I am booked for my second visit to Volunteer Point on Feb 28, 2020.

 

Snidjud:  We will be on Patrick Watts tour the day after you.  Our neighbours must be on the same ship as you.  (Insignia)  We will be on the Marina and will pass you somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean that night.  I am looking forward to his tour and hoping the weather co-operates.  

Edited by mjox32
grammer

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I just booked our place on his 12/24/19 tour. Patrick advised of an unprecedented interest for this tour and that he only has a hand full of places available. Anyone interested should consider contacting him right away.

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