Author: Jessica Kelly
When it comes to planning a memorable honeymoon that you and your new spouse can enjoy together, certain destinations come to mind for their beauty, romance and ‘wow’ factor. Whether you’ve always wanted to see wildlife in their natural habitat, check off the 7th continent, or see fiery red and rusty orange leaves in New England during the fall, we’ve rounded up the top destinations that will make your honeymoon truly unforgettable.
Journey to Antarctica: The White Continent
Checking the 7th continent off the bucket list is a big goal for many seasoned travellers, so why not use your honeymoon as the perfect time to do it? The National Geographic Explorer, available through Lindblad Expeditions, gives guests a comfortable onboard experience with memorable expeditions on land. The rooms range from basic accommodations with portholes to roomy suites with a private balcony, based on availability and budget.
Begin the trip with an overnight stay in Buenos Aires before flying to Ushuaia, Argentina (aka “the end of the world”) to embark on the cruise. After crossing the infamous Drake Passage (the 500-mile stretch that separates the Antarctic Peninsula from South America, known to be quite treacherous at times), you’ll spend the next five days exploring the fascinating and beautiful landscapes of Antarctica.
You’ll be transported on zodiacs to walk among the Adélie, Gentoo, and chinstrap penguins, cross-country ski on land, kayak with the wildlife through glaciers, spot whales, and create lifelong memories together exploring the continent. Lindblad’s professional guides have access to a wide range of resources to amplify the experience, like underwater video cameras, double kayaks, microscopes, cameras, paddle boards, and even scuba gear for guests who have been prequalified.
Ideal for adventurous couples, this memorable honeymoon has it all. Between land excursions, you can sit down to a romantic dinner together on board, schedule spa treatments and massages, cuddle up with fresh hot chocolate while spotting wildlife, or even brush up on your photography skills.
View the impressive foliage in Vermont’s Green Mountains
Travellers come from far and wide to see the fall foliage in New England each year. With vibrant red, yellow, and orange leaves lining the backroads and the Green Mountains, the drive through Vermont is worth the trip alone. For a memorable honeymoon, you can begin with a stay in Burlington, a city full of great restaurants, shops, and entertainment.
For foodies, Vermont is a culinary experience unlike any other. High on the list is The Farmhouse Tap & Grill, known for their Steak Tartare with horseradish aïoli, Parsnip Apple Bisque with pumpkin seed oil, and Blue Cheese Garlic Toast on thick Red Hen bread. They also have juicy gourmet burgers, extra crispy Fish & Chips and the Adams’ Farm Chicken Dinner in a thyme brown butter pan sauce that will convince you chicken isn’t boring one bit. After your meal, a round of drinks is a must, with cocktails that infuse fresh vegetables and fruits.
Nearby, The Vermont Country Store is a destination in itself. Stop in to browse through games, toys, candies, chocolates, cheeses, home decor, and even clothing. It’s also a great place to buy local souvenirs like maple candy or an ornament for your tree. If you’re looking to extend your stay past Burlington, 45 minutes away is Stowe, a mountain town with boutique shops, hiking, skiing, and scenic covered bridges.
Spend the night at Topnotch Resort for cozy accommodations. Grab a hot apple cider from Cold Hollow Cider or a sweet maple latte at Vermont Artisan Coffee & Tea before driving along Smugglers’ Notch State Park through the Green Mountains to view the foliage.
Explore the Southeast Asia with Holland America
Have you always been intrigued by the mystique and culture of Southeast Asia? Use your memorable honeymoon as a way to experience it firsthand by sailing on the Westerdam with Holland America. The cruise line has an incredible itinerary that starts in Hong Kong and ends in Singapore, stopping in Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines. Prior to the cruise, spend a night in Hong Kong at The Cordis, a five-star property with a huge seafood buffet at The Place.
The concierges at The Cordis can also assist guests with finding tours of Hong Kong that meet their preferences and interests, from exploring the Fa Yuen Street Market to browsing through the Mongkok Market and Dundas Street. At the end of the day, relax in your room to watch a movie in bed, soak in the tub, or take a dip in the pool with city views. There are so many ways to stay entertained in Hong Kong, including surfing during the wave season that goes from November to January.
Once on board the Westerdam, guests will stay overnight in Hong Kong before sailing off to the next destination. When at sea, they can book a spa treatment at Greenhouse Spa, play a round of pickleball, or grab drinks at the bar before watching a performance at the World Stage.
After Hong Kong, the boat will dock in Manila and Puerto Princesa, Philippines, with shore excursions available to see such sites as the Subterranean River National Park. After leaving the Philippines, the ship heads to Sabahlaem, Malaysia, where guests can experience Borneo Traditional Living (among other excursions). In Phu My, Vietnam, Holland America offers an excursion called “A Taste of Vietnamese Cuisine,” where you’ll visit local markets and learn about Vietnamese cuisine.
In Laem Chabang (not far from Bangkok), you can sign up for an excursion like “Experience Local Life” or venture out on your own to explore and shop at the Pattaya Floating Market. The cruise ends in Singapore, but consider taking a night or two to scout out the city. Book a romantic overnight stay at Pan Pacific Orchard, nestled right in Singapore‘s shopping area and home to a great in-house restaurant, Mosella, where you can enjoy a three-course, romantic meal together. When venturing out in Singapore, take a culinary tour through Makansutra with KF Seetoh to discover the best of local cuisine. KF Seetoh is an expert, to say the least, when it comes to the street food culture in Singapore.
See mountain gorillas in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park
Planning your honeymoon around a life-changing, memorable experience like trekking to see a family of gorillas in the wild is something special you’ll always share. There are only 1,063 mountain gorillas left in the entire world, and Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park is one of the best destinations to view them.
Throughout the country, there are beautiful resorts like the 5-star One&Only Gorilla’s Nest located in Volcanoes National Park, or Virunga Inn Resort & Spa with private chalets and villas and a terrace overlooking the gardens. On the morning of your gorilla trek, visitors will meet their guide after being split into groups of eight. Each group is assigned a gorilla family based on athletic level, going off of where the trackers last saw the gorillas setting up their nests for the night.
Even if you get assigned an easy trek, be prepared with plenty of water and snacks in case your gorilla family is on the move and you have to hike further than expected. Once you reach your gorilla family, the guide will review some safety rules and lead you to view the gorillas for an hour. Watch the babies play in the trees, mothers breastfeed their newborns, and silverbacks watch over the family. It’s truly an incredible experience to have together.
If you want to keep your Rwanda adventure going, there is plenty more to see. Book an overnight stay at Akagera Game Lodge to experience a safari in Akagera National Park. Search the park with trained guides for elephants, lions, rhinos, hippos, giraffes, warthogs, and more. Lake Kivu is breathtaking, and a stay in one of Cleo Lake Kivu Hotel’s villas is worth the splurge for its private pools, soaking tubs, and terraces overlooking the lake.
Take a boat ride on Lake Kivu to visit Kinunu Coffee Estate to learn about the coffee making process from start to finish. The national parks in Rwanda are filled with dense landscapes, particularly Nyungwe National Park. The Canopy walkway experience is a great way to see the park from an aerial view, spotting monkeys jumping through the trees. There’s nothing quite like seeing wildlife in their natural habitat.
Treat yourself to a life of luxury along the Leela Palace Trail in India
As a honeymoon splurge, The Leela Palace Trail is second to none. Available with Leela Palaces Hotels & Resorts, a luxury hospitality brand known for tying in culture, architecture, cuisine and art into one stay, The Leela Palace Trail allows guests to curate their own multi-day itinerary to include six award-winning palaces and resorts in India’s most alluring destinations, including New Delhi, Jaipur, Udaipur, Bengaluru, Chennai and Kovalam.
Everything is set up for you, from the transportation to the activities. Instead of shuffling from city to city in a packed bus, guests will be transported in a private luxury vehicle to each destination, allowing you to sightsee with your coffee.
The properties themselves incorporate design elements created to really wow guests and leave a lasting impression. The itinerary is based completely on the guest’s interests, and is fully customizable. During the trip, your private butler will make sure that every destination you visit will include activities that meet your preferences.
After experiencing all there is to see along the Palace Trail, there are options to extend your trip to visit the Taj Mahal and encounter other unique things to do in India, like a tiger safari in Ranthambhore National Park.
When beginning your travel plans, consider booking your flights with Turkish Airlines in business class. The experience will start your lavish and memorable honeymoon on a high note, making the trip there a memory on its own. In addition to fully reclining seats, their gourmet meals will feel like a romantic date night in the sky. It’s certainly a big step up from the lukewarm pasta and minimal leg room you get while crammed in economy. For your honeymoon, it’s worth the extra fee for a stress-free arrival, champagne in hand.