How to get to the Falkland Islands

  • The Falkland Islands are just over a day's sail from Ushuaia, the gateway port to Antarctica, and two days by sea from South Georgia
  • Visitors typically reach the Falkland Islands on a small expedition ship on a classic voyage that also includes Antarctica and South Georgia
  • A small number of fly-sail cruise options exist for those wanting to cut down their time at sea
  • There are direct flights to the Falkland Islands from Punta Arenas in Chile

By sea from South America

Two sealions lie on the jetty at Stanley in the Falkland Islands. A cruise ship is at anchor in the harbour behind them

Sealions sun themselves on the jetty at Stanley

The traditional way for visitors to travel to the Falkland Islands is by expedition cruise ship sailing from Ushuaia in Argentina, as part of a trip that includes South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula. These voyages operate from late October to the end of the austral summer in March and typically lasting between 17–23 days, depending on the time spent in each destination.

While the weather in the Southern Ocean is famously hard to predict, under normal sailing conditions it takes around 36 hours to make the transit from Ushuaia to the Falkland Islands, and two days to sail onto South Georgia.

A small number of cruise ship operators sail from Puerto Williams in Chile, just across the straits from Ushuaia, but the sailing time remains the same.

By air: fly-sail cruises

A Latam plane in flight

Latam airlines

There are a small number of fly-sail cruises to South Georgia that incorporate the Falkland Islands by starting in Stanley. These voyages can be a great way of reducing your time at sea., but typically take in just the Falklands and South Georgia and do not visit the Antarctic Peninsula.

There is a weekly scheduled flight with LATAM from Punta Arenas in Chile (airport code PUQ) to Mount Pleasant (airport code MSD), 35 miles from Stanley. The flight takes 90 minutes and will save you around 36 hours at sea travelling from Ushuaia. On arrival in the Falklands, if you’re booked on a voyage you will be transferred to your waiting ship to set sail.

There is also a twice-weekly direct flight from RAF Brize Norton in the UK. The flights takes around 18 hours, with a short refuelling stop in Cape Verde (passengers are not allowed to disembark here). Civilian passengers may only request seats on these flights directly via the London office of the Falkland Islands Government.

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Getting to the Falkland Islands: FAQs

  • Can I fly to the Falkland Islands?

    Yes. Although most visitors arrive by cruise ship it is possible to fly once a week on Saturdays from Punta Arenas in Chile to Mount Pleasant airport near Stanley. It is also possible (if complicated) to fly direct to the Falkland Islands from the UK on a service operating from RAF Brize Norton. 

  • Do I need a visa to visit the Falkland Islands?

    If you are visiting on an expedition cruise ship you will automatically be stamped into the Falkland Islands when you call at Stanley. This is arranged by your ship operator – they will even make sure your passport gets stamped! Cruise ship passengers do not require a visa for their trip.

    If you are arriving by air to spend any time on the Falkland Islands before your cruise, you will undergo immigration on arrival. The islands are a British Overseas Territory: citizens of the USA, Canada, the EU, Australia, New Zealand and the majority of countries in Europe, the Americas and Asia do not require a visa. For the complete list of countries requiring a visa see the website of the the Falkland Islands Government. 

  • How much time will I spend in the Falkland Islands?

    Most trips spend two full days in the Falkland Islands. Itineraries are generally arranged to maximise the time spent in South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula. If you'd like to spend longer there are some trips that have more time here or you can consider a fly-sail trip that starts in Stanley and arrange more time on the islands. 

  • When is the best time to visit the Falkland Islands?

    The austral spring and summer are the best times to visit the Falkland Islands. This is the time when you will see albatrosses and penguins on the nest or rearing their chicks. Conveniently this coincides with the season for visiting the Antarctic Peninsula and South Georgia. 

  • How rough are the seas around the Falkland Islands?

    The Falkland Islands sit north of the Drake Passage but the Southern Ocean always remains unpredictable. Modern expedition cruise ships have stabilisers to help reduce movement in heavy seas, with the newest x-bow ships offering even more stability. Our specialists are experienced with the whole polar fleet – if seasickness is a concern, they can help choose the right ship for your voyage.

Plan your Falkland Islands trip

A view of Christchurch Cathedral in Stanley on the Falkland Is;ands, with its arch made of blue whale jawbones

Stanley

The pocket-sized capital of the Falkland Islands is full of history and easily explored on foot by visitors from expedition cruise ships. 

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