Antarctica: The Best White Wedding Or Honeymoon Destination?
- The Considerable Romance of the White Continent
- Getting Married in Antarctica
- Antarctica Honeymoons
- The Perfect Antarctica Honeymoon Vessel for You Both
- The Unique Pleasures and Opportunities of Honeymooning in Antarctica
- Antarctic Honeymoon Itinerary Add-ons
- A Once-in-a-Lifetime Romantic Escape to the Bottom of the World
Antarctica may not be the first place that comes to mind when planning a wedding or a honeymoon, but the White Continent actually offers a superb destination for lovebirds: an utterly unique choice for such a momentous occasion.
More remote than any other continent, possessing no permanent human population, and harboring ravishing, must-be-seen-to-be-believed polar beauty, Antarctica provides a getaway for betrothed and newlywed couples like none other. In this article, we’ll spell out why, and cover some of the basics of how Antarctica weddings and honeymoons can go down.
Part of the appeal of Antarctica as a wedding or honeymoon destination is its sheer isolation. Relatively few people have ever seen its polar grandeur for themselves, and while vacations here have become increasingly accessible and popular, the White Continent still exudes a rich and intoxicating sense of adventure, discovery, and mystery. That vibe—and the bragging rights, of course—provide enough reason for smitten partners of a certain outside-the-box disposition to choose the bottom of the world to say their vows or celebrate their union.
As a backdrop for a wedding ceremony or honeymoon escape, Antarctica holds its own with any other place in the world. The scenery is utterly monumental and breathtaking: toothy, snow-streaked mountains rising from untouched cobble beaches, icebergs of fantastical shape (and often imposing dimensions), the glistening glazed rims of towering ice shelves.
And the wildlife is world-class, with the opportunity to spice up your romantic proceedings with spouting whales, clamoring penguins, fuzzy seal pups, and wheeling albatrosses.
The luxuriously long days of the Antarctic summer; the singular quality of polar sunlight playing across snow, ice, and black rock; the impeccable night skies enjoyed during the “shoulder seasons” of the tourism window; the sense of being as close to the ends of the Earth as is possible—we find ourselves repeating that the White Continent is simply in a class of its own when it comes to wedding and honeymoon destinations.
Can you get married in Antarctica? As it happens, you can, and, indeed, White Continent nuptials are likely to become more and more of a thing.
People have ceremonially tied the knot in Antarctica for some time, but the first official legal ceremony took place in February 2022 on a Happy Ever Atlas cruise by Atlas Ocean Voyages that launched (appropriately enough) on Valentine’s Day. That cruise saw four weddings, in fact, plus three vow renewals for good measure, kicking off the White Continent’s formal matrimonial log with a flurry.
Those cruise-based wedding ceremonies—held on scenic Danco Island off the Antarctic Peninsula and associated with an onboard wedding reception, bachelor and bachelorette parties, and other festivities—were presided over by a British Antarctic Territory-registered Marriage Officer. The newlyweds obtained wedding licenses issued by the B.A.T. Administration which are officially recognized not only in the U.K. but also the U.S. and many other countries.
Atlas Ocean Voyages isn’t the only tour operator to offer wedding ceremonies in Antarctica, and the Antarctic Peninsula isn’t the only possibility for ceremony sites. The company Red Savannah, for example, offers a wedding package that flies you from Cape Town, South Africa to the astonishing Wolf’s Fang runway on the ice sheet of Queen Maud Land for a couldn’t-get-more-remote ceremony and reception. Accommodation options are available at some of the nearby luxury camps run by White Desert.
Among other outfits offering or arranging weddings in Antarctica include Poseidon Expeditions and Your Adventure Wedding.
Treat the logistics of an Antarctic marriage ceremony like any other overseas wedding, and make advance arrangements with any tour operator to ensure they can offer such an experience.
And, hey: Embrace the one-of-a-kind possibilities of this whitest of white weddings! Maybe eschew the traditional wedding gown and tuxedo and don penguin suits instead for the occasion? (Just an idea.)
Perhaps an Antarctica wedding isn’t feasible for you. Maybe you desire a larger guest list than is possible on the White Continent, or a destination wedding that’s a little less extreme of a destination.
Well, why not consider a honeymoon in Antarctica, then? This option certainly gives you plenty of flexibility and the full gamut of Antarctic tour options. Depending on how much time you have, your Antarctica honeymoon could be a comparatively short fly-and-cruise trip to the White Continent, a longer Antarctic cruise working in such fabulous along-the-way destinations as the South Shetlands, South Georgia, and the Falkland Islands, or even a daytrip flight. (Daylong sightseeing flights to Antarctica are also available from South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand.)
If you’d like the most luxurious Antarctica honeymoon, you might consider a large cruise ship with the most upscale of accommodations and onboard amenities. Such a lavish vessel gives you the otherworldly scenery of Antarctica as a backdrop to your romantic voyage, but you won’t be setting foot on the continent.
For greater flexibility and more variety in the activities department, definitely consider an expedition-type vessel for your honeymoon in Antarctica. These smaller ships deliver a more intimate experience, and launch Zodiacs for up-close sightseeing amid icebergs and polar headlands and making landfall on everything from islands and mainland beaches to offshore sea ice.
You can check out our roundup of the vessels most suited to Antarctica honeymoon cruises right here.
Adventurous couples can’t do better than an Antarctica honeymoon. Go kayaking amid brash ice, watching for spyhopping seals and whales as you paddle. Camp out together for a night under the Antarctic stars. Take a skiing or snowshoeing tour over unblemished snow, with wilderness mountainscapes and coastlines forming an unbelievable panorama. Stroll hand-in-hand within view of hordes of cute-as-heck penguins. Cheer each other on in a swimsuited polar plunge. Schedule a trip at the tail-end of Antarctic tourism season to see whether a dazzling display of the Aurora Australis (the Southern Lights) might anoint your freshly “officialized” love.
Depending on the tour you sign up for, you can venture beyond the Antarctic Peninsula for a honeymoon cruise across the Antarctic Circle (maybe doing a photo-op kiss to mark that momentous crossing?), perhaps foraying to the ice-shelf ramparts and signal volcanoes of the Ross Sea. Or arrange a fly-in to the Geographic South Pole for the sort of bragging rights very few newlyweds can lay claim to.
Because the majority of cruises and fly/cruise packages to Antarctica embark from South American ports—namely Ushuaia, Argentina and Punta Arenas, Chile—you’ve got ample opportunity to extend your honeymoon experience with sightseeing on that continent.
For example, you could tack on some wining, dining, and dancing in Buenos Aires, or enjoy a honeymoon trek or safari amid the unbelievable landscapes and wildlife of Patagonia. (A Patagonia-Antarctica combination is about as amazingly epic a trip as you could ask for.)
Imagine feeding each other pieces of your wedding cake against the stunning white surrounds of the Antarctic Polar Plateau. Imagine toasting magic-hour light setting an ice shelf or glacier-wrapped mountain aglow. Imagine minting lifelong memories left and right amid looming icebergs, bellowing elephant seals, waddling penguins. Imagine gazing into one another’s eyes against a sublime skyline few human eyes have ever taken in.
To sum up: Antarctica weddings and honeymoons take romance to a whole other level. Definitely something to keep in mind if your biggest of big days—or an overdue honeymoon—is on the horizon!
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