Antarctica Marathon 2014: Marathon Tours and OneOcean Cruise

Antarctica Marathon 2014: Marathon Tours and OneOcean Cruise

This is a post about how the OneOcean cruise was set up by Marathon Tours for the marathon.


Marathon Tours and One Ocean

OneOcean Expedition is a company that has two ships that does Antarctic and Artic cruises. The ships go from Antarctic to Artic circles during the spring/fall time. During this three month cruise, researchers come aboard to use the ship while in transit north or south. Here is their website:

Marathon tours contracts a company to take us to Antarctica. Marathon tours can dictate the number of crew and then negotiate how many guests can be aboard the ship, limited by the maximum capacity of the ship due to life raft, living space, and so forth.

On this trip, Marathon Tours requested to have a bare minimum crew (ship captains, deck hands, kitchen staff, cleaning crew, other support crew) and staff (OneOcean tour guides, trip leader, kayak guides, wildlife biologists). Because of the minimum crew and staff, some of the OneOcean staff had to do double duty to help tend to the bar, serve and pick up plates during meal service and at the bar, etc. This allows Marathon Tours to bring more passengers aboard. However, due to IOATA regulations, we are not allowed to have more than 100 people on shore per ship at Antarctica at a time. Having 16 people kayak during every excursion makes this limit easier to hit as the number of passengers was 109 for our ship. I am not sure if the limit includes support staff that operates the boats and also act as guides on shore. For race day, some spectators were not allowed on shore until some of the runners came back. Being that many of us where out there for 6 hours, it was better that the spectators watched from afar the first few hours and then stand in the cold on the last lap.

As far as I know, they have been using OneOcean as their cruise company for a few years as many people on the staff on our ship has worked the marathon for 3-5 past years.

On this particular trip, there were two ships coming down to Antarctica, one day apart. Each ship had their own race day which complicated some of the race logistics. The main team was on the first boat and setup the course. The next day ship 1 ran the race and then ship 2 ran the race on the following day. The Marathon Tour staff was on that island for three days. They stayed on ship 1 before race day 1 and they came aboard ship 2 after race day 1 so they can stay in the bay for race day 2. Ship 1 set sail for their next destination that night.

The Marathon Tour staff stayed on ship 2 and set sail towards ship 1. We met the following day and the plan was to have a BBQ. Weather did not cooperate with rain and snow so we had a quick award ceremony on ship 1. People from Ship 2 had to take Zodiacs to ship 1 for the award ceremony.

Thom had noted that Ship 2 was a bit nicer than Ship 1 so they made sure the award ceremony was on ship 1.

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