The AMT (www.amt-uk.org) is a multidisciplinary programme which undertakes biological, chemical, and physical oceanographic research during an annual voyage between the UK and a destination in the South Atlantic such as the Falkland Islands, South Africa, or Chile. This transect of >12,000 km crosses a range of ecosystems from subpolar to tropical, from euphotic shelf seas and upwelling systems, to oligotrophic mid-ocean gyres. The year 2015 has seen two milestones in the history of the AMT: the achievement of 20 years of this unique ocean going programme and the departure of the 25th cruise on the 15th of September. Both of these events were celebrated in June this year with an open science conference hosted by the Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML) and will be further documented in a special issue of Progress in Oceanography which is planned for publication in 2016. Since 1995, the 25 research cruises have involved 242 sea-going scientists from 66 institutes representing 22 countries. AMT was designed from the outset to be a collaborative programme. It was originally conceived by Jim Aiken, Patrick Holligan, Roger Harris, and Dave Robins with Chuck McClain and Chuck Trees at NASA to test and ground truth satellite algorithms of ocean color. The opportunities offered by this initiative meant that this series of repeated biannual cruises rapidly developed into a coordinated study of ocean biodiversity, biogeochemistry, and ocean/atmosphere interactions.