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The Ocean Nova was operated by Quark Expeditions. It was chartered for this cruise by Michael Reichmann, who runs the Luminous Landscape web site. The ship has a crew of 38, and normally carries 68 passengers. There are 5 decks, a Panorama Lounge on deck 5 near the bow, a Library on deck 4 at the stern, and open areas on deck 5 forward of the Panorama Lounge and at the stern. Passenger cabins are on decks 3 and 4. The bridge is on deck 4.
In addition to the ship's crew, we also enjoyed the support of an expedition crew of 8. Each person had a specialty, e.g., whales, birds, history, geology, etc., as well as safety, conservation, and sea training. The leader, Brandon, has summered on cruise ships in the Antarctic region for about 10 years. This was his 80th cruise.