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, they embarked on a once-in-a lifetime honeymoon to the Great White Continent.
While dreaming about our honeymoon, Juan and I reflected on all of our spectacular travels. We’ve trekked alongside families of gorillas through the rainforests of East Africa, and swam in the clearest crystal blue waters of French Polynesia. We’ve immersed ourselves in the historical splendors of the Great Pyramids, and we’ve 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. 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 Antarctica aboard Quark Expeditions’ World Explorer vessel.
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. 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 marvelled at humpback whales from water level, as they slowly 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.
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. Together, we’ve braved the elements, and came face to face with the world’s most distant and wondrous region.