8 alternative honeymoon ideas for adventurous couples

Travel Advice

It's a common misconception that all honeymooners are looking for the same thing: somewhere you can lie on a beach for a week or two, in a luxury resort cocooned from the world, doing nothing more taxing than ordering another cocktail or choosing a treatment from the spa menu.

But we all have different tastes when it comes to holidays, and a honeymoon is no different. At Mundy Adventures we're well aware that a cruise is not usually the first idea that springs to mind when planning a honeymoon, but the small expedition cruise lines that we work with offer a host of intrepid and unusual itineraries, perfectly suited to couples looking for a more adventurous escape.

Here are just a few of our favourite alternative honeymoon destinations…

1. Antarctica

If a honeymoon is all about pushing the boat out and ticking off one of those once-in-a-lifetime bucket list destinations, then surely there can be no better choice than Antarctica. There's no need to rough it, either, with luxurious ships from the likes of Silversea and Hapag-Lloyd providing an exceptional level of comfort and the finest of fine dining as you explore otherworldly landscapes and meet some of the cutest wildlife on earth. An Antarctica expedition can also be combined with a romantic stay in South America, whether it's a trip to the majestic Iguazu Falls or a few nights of steak and tango in Buenos Aires.

Emperor penguins in Antarctica

2. Myanmar

Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, is one of Asia's most alluring destinations, but a lack of reliable infrastructure and a dearth of quality accommodation means it's not the most obvious honeymoon choice. A luxury cruise along the Ayeyarwady river with the likes of Sanctuary Retreats or Belmond offers another way of experiencing the magical temples of Bagan and Mandalay, while Silversea Expeditions operate a number of ocean expeditions exploring the rarely visited Mergui archipelago, home of the unique Moken people, also known as the 'sea gypsies'.

Balloons over Bagan, Myanmar

3. Galapagos

The Galapagos Islands are the ultimate honeymoon destination for wildlife lovers, a unique volcanic archipelago home to an incredible array of quirky and colourful indigenous species. An expedition cruise will allow you to visit several different islands, and you'll see wildlife including blue-footed boobies, sea lions and the stars of the BBC's Planet Earth II, the endearingly odd marine iguanas. You can also combine your Galapagos adventure with a visit to the legendary lost city of Machu Picchu, or the fascinating Ecuadorian capital, Quito.

Marine iguanas in the Galapagos

4. Madagascar

There's more to the Indian Ocean than just lounging on the beach, and there are a number of fascinating expedition cruises that include the unique, wildlife-rich island of Madagascar. From adorable lemurs to colourful chameleons, Madagascar's famous endemic species will linger long in your memory, and a cruise will also give you the opportunity to visit some of the Indian Ocean's hidden gems, such as Réunion, the Lakshadweep Islands and the lesser known reaches of the Seychelles and the Maldives.

Green chameleon in Madagascar

5. The Sea of Cortez

Mexico's Sea of Cortez is not the most obviously appealing honeymoon choice, situated in a region characterised by arid, barren landscapes and prickly cacti. But the appeal of the Sea of Cortez lies below the waterline, since this is one of the world's premier whale watching hotspots, famously described by Jacques Cousteau as 'the aquarium of the world'. An expedition cruise with one of our recommended small ship operators such as Lindblad Expeditions or UnCruise Adventures will get you up close and personal with these gentle giants, and show you a side of Mexico that most honeymooners don't even know exists.

Whale watching in the Sea of Cortez, Mexico

6. Alaska and the Pacific North West

Spectacular landscapes, bountiful wildlife and a host of outdoor pursuits make Alaska a great choice for honeymooners in search of something a little bit different. The small ship voyages operated by UnCruise Adventures are a particularly appealing proposition, with a laid back and informal style that is far removed from what most people imagine a cruise to be like. UnCruise also offer various themed voyages in the Pacific North West, including special wellness cruises featuring onboard yoga and fitness experts.

Brown bear in Kodiak, Alaska

7. West Papua

It's not every day that you get to swim with a whale shark, but then West Papua is no ordinary honeymoon destination. This hard-to-reach part of Indonesia is the focus of one of the extraordinary itineraries offered by Australian expedition specialists True North Adventure Cruises, on board their luxurious mega-yacht True North. While these voyages command a hefty price tag, the chance to come face-to-face with the biggest fish on earth in the warm waters of Cenderawasih Bay is a tantalising prospect.

Whale shark in Cenderawasih Bay, West Papua, Indonesia

8. Borneo

The island of Borneo is becoming steadily more popular as a honeymoon destination, thanks to the combination of iconic wildlife, untamed jungle and fascinating indigenous tribes. Most holidays to Borneo focus on the Malaysian provinces in the north, since the tourist infrastructure here is more established, but an expedition cruise gives you the opportunity to explore far from the beaten track in the lesser known Indonesian province of Kalimantan. Silversea Expeditions operate a unique itinerary between Bali and Singapore, spending two days at the famous Camp Leakey orang utan sanctuary, the best place in Borneo to meet these wonderful creatures.

Orang utan in Borneo

Meet the author

Tom is a Communications Manager at the Galapagos Conservation Trust and former Marketing Manager at Mundy Adventures

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