Wedding in Antarctica: An Epic Adventure
Read two wedding stories from two couples and past guests who got married during expeditions to Antarctica.
An Expression of Love in Antarctica
A wedding in Antarctica is for adventurous people looking for a destination to celebrate their love and ceremony in a unique and special place on the planet. It is a place that changes people after experiencing the immense and majestic beauty of the Last Continent and brings them together with other world travelers.
In this Journal article, we highlight two weddings in Antarctica from our pasts guests who sailed on Ocean Nova and tied the knot – Kevin and Debra in February 2015 and Barbara and Jeff in February of 2020. We also want to wish them a happy anniversary that both couples will celebrate this month!
Kevin Raber is a longtime polar traveler and photographer who has done 26 expeditions to Antarctica since 2004. Kevin organizes chartered photography workshops and expeditions to Antarctica to capture the surreal, dynamic, and immense landscapes home to the Southern Pole.
Kevin fell madly in love with Debra after meeting her and, after some time, invited her to travel with him on his photography workshops; however, Debra didn’t have a passport. “If you get a passport, we’ll travel to Antarctica and get married,” Kevin proposed to Debra with glacier-inspired and designed rings, and their adventure began.
The Wedding Day
Ocean Nova sailed across the peninsula with 60 photographers and friends, many of which had traveled tighter before on Kevin’s workshops. It felt like a family expedition to explore the majesty of nature and celebrate love.
The expedition and hospitality team worked with the couple to make all the arrangements to decorate the zodiac for their on-land ceremony. From the ship, they boarded zodiacs to a beach on the peninsula with their gang of friends and a colony of penguins as witnesses. A highlight of the ceremony was all the penguins running around in celebration. As the captain pronounced the bride and groom as “Kevin and Debra Raber,” behind them, a glacier magnificently breaks and avalanches into the bay in a most epic fashion.
After the ceremony, they took a private and decorated zodiac cruise through Roshkin Harbor, where they found another sign of glacial love in the form of a heart. They arrived back to the ship, where they had a celebratory dinner and sang songs with the other guests and crew during the evening.
Two years later, they embarked on Magellan Explorer on another photography expedition to Antarctica and South Georgia and were amazed by the abundant wildlife in South Georgia. Although they have been to Antarctica before, the landscapes are dynamic and ever-changing. There is always something new to see, and they have gotten to know the crew and photographers who share the same love for Antarctica.
Read Kevin and Debra’s entire story in more detail here.
Searching for a destination that was just as special as their marriage, Barbara and Jeff sought out something remote with incredible landscapes and wildlife for their marriage ceremony. After visiting Greenland in 2018 and falling in love with the Arctic, they started planning their destination wedding in the Seventh Continent. Although crossing the tumultuous Drake Passage and possibly getting seasick was not how they wanted to begin their marriage, instead, they booked an air-cruise to guarantee an incredible and memorable experience for their celebration.
The Wedding Day
During their expedition on Ocean Nova in February 2020, Barbara and Jeff could not hold back their excitement to have their wedding in Antarctica. Ever since their engagement on Valentine’s Day in Paris, that day has been an important celebration in Jeff and Barbara’s relationship. It was their wish to be married on that day in Antarctica, and the Ocean Nova team came through in a big way!
The crew recognized how important it was to them and went out of their way to make it the wedding of their dreams. Karen Parada, the Cruise Manager, helped them plan their ceremony incorporating the items on their wish list, like using their own written vows and arranging their marriage on land with a wedding party of hundreds of penguins chattering away behind them.
The hospitality manager helped the bride change into her wedding attire and took a video of the ceremony presided over by the captain. Karen and the crew added several surprises to make the day even more special, like a private zodiac ride complete with a large “Just Married” banner.
When Barbara and Jeff returned to the ship for dinner, they were served a beautiful wedding cake decorated with swans formed out of caramelized sugar. While the idea of getting married in Antarctica is quite grand, Barbara and Jeff had planned for a simple celebration. The crew accommodated their wishes, and at the same time added many extra touches that made it so very special.
“It was spectacular and far exceeded our expectations. The entire trip was beautiful and fascinating. In addition to a memorable wedding, the wildlife, icebergs, landscapes, and the knowledge of our guides offered everything we could have imagined for a dream wedding and vacation.” – Barbara.
“Karen and the crew helped make our wedding the most memorable, epic moment of our lives.” – Jeff.
Want to start planning your wedding in Antarctica? Book a call to get started.
Photos and stories provided by Kevin Raber and Barbara Fritzinger.