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For newlyweds Suzy Guttler and Juan Castillo, life is defined by extraordinary adventures. Following their engagement in Jordan’s Lost City of Petra, and a fairytale wedding in Lake Como, Italy, Suzy and Juan embarked on their happily ever after with a honeymoon to the Great White Continent.
Traveling the world has always been a big part of our lives and of our relationship. Juan and I have swam in the clearest crystal blue waters of French Polynesia, and we’ve immersed ourselves in the historical and cultural splendors of the Great Pyramids.
We’ve trekked alongside families of gorillas through the rainforests of East Africa, and hiked the majestic, alpine ranges of Everest Base Camp. Our quest for the most profound place in the world to honeymoon lead us to our 7th continent – Antarctica!
We wanted to travel to the last frontier of our planet, make and be part of its history. And so began our journey…a 3,200 nautical mile, 10-day voyage to the South Pole aboard Quark Expeditions’ World Explorer vessel.
We Wanted to Travel to the Last Frontier of Our Planet
Our voyage commenced in Ushuaia, the capital of Argentine Patagonia, and the southernmost tip of South America. Proverbially regarded as “The End of the World,” Ushuaia serves as the gateway to the 7th continent. After two days at sea through the treacherous Drake Passage, we’ve reached the Antarctic Peninsula.
Each day in Antarctica presented a new discovery. We marched alongside colonies of penguins in their natural habitat and watched them curiously waddle right up to our camera lens. We quickly learned that the wildlife aren’t scared of us. In fact, they were receptive to our relatively close encounters.
Onboard Zodiac boats, we navigated through towering, incandescent icebergs, being careful not to get too close in case they tipped. Knowing that these majestic icescapes were thousands of years old was awe-inspiring.
We kayaked through the peaceful polar seas, and marveled at humpback whales from water level, as they gently glided through the current just inches from our kayaks. Following our curiosity, we hiked in the footsteps of bold explorers who discovered the continent only two centuries ago.
The Best Part After a Long Day of Exploring
The best part after a long day of exploring – warming up in our cozy cabin and enjoying a private, romantic moment with the Great White Continent from our balcony.
Amidst all of the invigorating experiences, one of our fondest memories on the passage and ultimate bucket list item was the ceremonial polar plunge – jumping into the frightfully cold Antarctic waters in nothing but our bathing suits.
The custom purportedly began in the Arctic, where it’s known as the Polar Bear Plunge. Traditionally taking part on New Year’s Day, brave participants would plunge into the icy water to commemorate a new beginning. What better way for us to celebrate our marriage and the beginning of our happily ever after?
From wildlife to landscape, Antarctica was an out-of-this-world experience – endlessly intriguing, and breathtaking in every direction. There really isn’t another destination that’s more transformative, and romantic than the Great White Continent. (Think Titanic without the sinking situation.)
Together we’ve braved the elements and voyaged to the world’s most distant and isolated region. There’s no beaten path there.
Travel Tip: Best Time to Visit Antarctica
The Antarctic summer begins in November and runs through early March. The best time to visit tends to be midway through the season when wildlife is the most active, the weather is nicest, and the days are the longest. When we went in January, we had 21 hours of daylight!
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Author Bio: Suzy Guttler and her husband, Juan Castillo, are Go World Travel readers who love a good adventure. They recently honeymooned in Antarctica.