The RITS 1993 and RITS 1994 cruises were conducted eight months apart in order to assess regional and seasonal variations in trace gases and aerosols along the long latitudinal transect. Measurements were made of sulfur, carbon and nitrogen gas phase species in the ocean and overlying atmosphere in order to quantify their cycling in the surface ocean and to calculate their emission to the atmosphere. The chemical, physical and radiative properties of atmospheric aerosol particles were measured and related to relate synoptic scale meteorology and air mass sources.
The ship departed Punta Arenas, Chile on 20 March 1993, crossed the Drake Passage to Palmer Station on the Antarctic Peninsula, continued southwest to approximately 67°S, 140°W, and then headed north to 57°N, 140°W, arriving in Seattle on 7 May 1993. The RITS 1994 cruise reversed this track, departing Seattle on 20 November 1993 and arriving in Punta Arenas, Chile on 7 January 1994.