Marek Kamiński

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Marek Zdzisław Kamiński
Marek okulary1.JPG
Marek Kamiński in 2013
Born (1964-03-24) 24 March 1964 (age 55)
Alma materUniversity of Warsaw
Occupationexplorer, author, entrepreneur, philosopher
Known forfirst person to walk solo to both the North Pole and the South Pole in one year
Height194 cm (6 ft 4 in)
Katarzyna (m. 2004)
Children2 (Pola and Kay)
HonoursThe Order of Polonia Restituta , The Ecco Homo Order, The Order of 100 years of Independence

Marek Kamiński (born 24 March 1964) is a Polish Polar explorer, author, entrepreneur and philosopher with over 30 years of exploration experience. Kamiński holds the Guinness World Record for being the first person to walk to both the North Pole and the South Pole, without external support,[1] He is also famous for the 2004 Together to the Pole Expedition to both Poles in a single year with disabled teenager Jan Mela.

Besides polar activity, he also took part in other expeditions like crossing afoot the Gibson Desert in Australia, sailing across the Atlantic, attending the National Geographic expedition to the source of Amazon River, walking 4000 km pilgrimage from Russia to Santiago de Compostella in Spain and many others.

Marek Kamiński is an expert in motivation and leadership, laureate of many prizes, lecturer and mentor. He has written 10 books and is co-author of 3 books. Kamiński is the creator of Pole Method – motivational program based on his polar expeditions, in which he proves that it is possible to reach one's dream in 10 simple steps.

He is the founder of Marek Kamiński Foundation, which primarily helps children who are disabled and in a difficult life situation. Marek Kamiński Institute organizes expeditions, wherein each of them is focused on certain social or environmental issue. He is also the founder and owner of Invena – Polish company in the sanitary industry.

Currently Marek Kamiński is involved in global expeditions related to new technologies, ecology and sustainability.

Kamiński creates new standard of travelling consistent with the rules of nature, promoting ecological and sustainable values.


Marek Kamiński has been travelling for more than 40 years. His first alone trip was from home city Gdańsk to Łódź, when he was 8 years old.

In 1993 he took part in the „Trans Greenland Expedition” along with Wojciech Moskal, which was the first Polish crossing of the Island (600 km in 35 days).[2]

He gained popularity in 1995, when throughout few months he managed to get to the both Poles. First, on 23 May 1995 he got to the North Pole with Wojciech Moskal. Expedition lasted 72 days and included 770 km of walking through Arctic.[2] After few months, on 27 December 1995, Marek Kamiński solitarly got to the South Pole, becoming the first person in the history to see both Poles in one year.[3] The journey to the South Pole took 53 days during which Marek walked 1400 km. marek-kaminski-dotarl-do-bieguna-poludniow,nId,1580245 This achievement granted him a Guinness World Record.

In 1996 Marek Kamiński organised expedition called „Solo Trans Antarctica”, during which he attempted solo crossing of the continent. The expedition ended on the South Pole, after 1450 km.[4]

Marek Kamiński – first person to walk to both Poles in one year

In 1997/1998 Marek Kamiński accompanied by Leszek Cichy, Anna Czerwińska, Czesław Jakubczyk, Jacek Jezierski and Wojciech Ostrowski took part in the Ellsworth Mountains expedition, during which explorers reached the summit of Mount Vision on 1 January 1998.[5] In 1998, accompanied by Borge Ousland, Marek Kamiński reached the summit of Huayna Potosí in the Bolivian Andes. In 1999 Kamiński crossed the Atantic Ocean abroad the yacht ‘Gemini’, accompanied by Andrzej Piotrowski.[6]

Again in 2000 Marek Kamiński crossed the Greenland island creating ‘Purmo Greenland Expedition’. Kamiński was accompanied by Wojciech Ostrowski, with whom he traveled 600 km in only 13 days, which was one of the fastest documented Greenland traverse in history.[7]

Marek Kamiński took part in ‘Amazon Source 2000’, expedition to the source of Amazon, sponsored by National Geographic Society. Intention of the expedition was to designate proper source of the Amazon to correct its official length.[8]

In 2001 Marek Kamiński for the first time travelled to North Pole as a guide for Polish turists (‘North Pole 2001’).[2]

Marek Kamiński expedition through the Gibson Desert

In 2004 Marek Kamiński managed to reach both Poles in one year with disabled Polish boy Jan Mela. It was a remarkable expedition as Mela was at that time 15 years old and after an accident where he lost one leg and one arm. The Arctic journey began on 4 April 2004 in Spitzbergen and finished on 24 April reaching the North Pole. The Antarctic journey started on 30 November 2004 and finished 31st December 2004 reaching the South Pole. Jan Mela became the youngest and also the first disabled person to reach the Poles.[9]

Marek Kamiński celebrated the 25th anniversary of Solidarity movement in 2005 by a five-day trip ‘Around the Baltic by dinghy’ with Mirosław Kukuła and Wojciech Ostrowski.[2]

In 2006 and 2007 Marek Kamiński completed two expeditions „Baby on Board” with his daughter Pola and wife Katarzyna. First expedition was though Poland following Poland's longest river Vistula. Second expedition was abroad, travelling with family through Norway. The idea in this project was to show people that it is possible to travel even with small children.[10]

In 2009/2010 Marek Kamiński realised a Vistula River Expedition. It consisted of two kayak trips, one in summer and one in winter, along Poland's longest river. The summer expedition lasted almost one month, from 25 August 2009 to 27 September 2009. The winter expedition in 2010 lasted 15 days in which explorer swam around 950 km.[11] The main idea behind the Vistula Expedition was to inform about dangers of polluting the water and to also to promote Vistula River.[12]

During the expedition „Third Pole” in 2015, he traveled on foot more than 4000 km from Immanuel Kant grave in Kaliningrad to St. Jacob grave in Santiago de Compostella. He traveled as a Camino pilgrim for around 100 days, from the Pole of the Mind, to the Pole of the Faith. Based on the expedition, the film „Pilgrim” was made which shows the way, hardships of the journey and conversations with people that Marek met on his way.[13]

In 2018 Marek Kamiński took part in No Trace Expedition. He travelled 30 000 km in 144 days using electric car Nissan Leaf. Journey started on 24 May 2018 in Zakopane and finished on 15 October 2018 in Warsaw. The project showcased new concept of travelling by using new technologies with no negative impact on environment (zero CO2 emissions). Journey went through 9 countries (Poland, Lithuania, Lativia, Estonia, Russia, Mongolia, China, South Korea and Japan).[14]

In the winter of 2019 new concept of No Trace Expedition is planned to happen. Marek Kamiński plans to travel around the world with electric car, using the newest technologies including robotics.

Personal life[edit]

He was brought up in Połczyn-Zdrój (Pomerania). In 1982 he graduated from Władysław Broniewski high school in Koszalin. He studied philosophy and physics at Warsaw University and an Advanced Management Program at IESE Business School. He is the founder and co-owner of a company called Invena S.A. and founder of the Marek Kamiński Foundation.

He lives in Gdynia with his wife Katarzyna, daughter Pola and son Kay.

Major expeditions[edit]

  • 1977 – Denmark – first independent expedition, by cargo ship to the port of Aalborg; MR.Kris
  • 1978 – Morocco – by ship to the port of Safi;
  • 1984 – USSR (now the territory of Russia), Scandinavia, Germany, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey and Yugoslavia – hitchhiking;
  • 1985 – Cuba, Mexico (Mexico DF, Yucatán, Chiapas) – hitchhiking;
  • 1987 – Cuba, Mexico (Mexico DF, Yucatán, Oaxaca, Chihuahua, Chiapas) – hitchhiking;
  • 1990 – Spitsbergen – first solo Polar expedition (about 350 km on skis);
  • 1993 - “TransGreenland Expedition”– first Polish crossing of Greenland, with Wojciech Moskal (about 600 km in 35 days);
  • 1995 - “Poles to the Pole” – reaching the North Pole from Ward Hunt Island, with Wojciech Moskal (770 km in 72 days);
  • 1995 - “A Pole at the Poles” – solo expedition to the South Pole from Berkner Island (1,400 km in 53 days);
  • 1996/97 - “Solo TransAntarctica” – attempted solo crossing of Antarctica (1,450 km);
  • 1997/98 – Antarctica – crossing of the Ellsworth Mountains and reaching the summit of Mount Vinson, with Leszek Cichy;
  • 1998 – Kilimanjaro, Kościuszko Mountain in Australia;
  • 1998 – Bolivia – expedition to the Bolivian Andes, reaching the summit of Huayna Potosi, journey to Amazonia, with Børge Ousland;
  • 1999 – sailing across the Atlantic by yacht, the “Gemini”, with Andrzej Piotrowski;
  • 1999 - “Earth Expedition”, Australia – crossing the Gibson Desert (700 km in 60 days);
  • 2000 - “Purmo Greenland Expedition” – crossing Greenland, with Wojciech Ostrowski (600 km in 13 days);
  • 2000 - “Race 2000”, sailing across the Atlantic by catamaran, the “Polfarma – Warta”, with Roman Paszke;
  • 2000 - “Amazon Source 2000”, expedition to the sources of the Amazon under the patronage of the National Geographic Society;
  • 2001 – Zanzibar, Kilimanjaro, with Katarzyna Pisera;
  • 2001 - “North Pole 2001”, first expedition of Polish tourists to the North Pole, as a guide;
  • 2001 – Dolomite (Cortino d’Ampezzo), with Katarzyna Pisera and Leszek Cichy;
  • 2002 – expedition to the North Pole as a guide;
  • 2002 – Dolomite (Marmolada), with Katarzyna Pisera;
  • 2003 – Holy Land: Jerusalem, Cesarea, Netania, Masada, Tel Awiw – Jafa, with Katarzyna Pisera;
  • 2004 - “Together to the Pole” – expedition to both Poles in a single year with disabled teenager Jan Mela, with Wojciech Ostrowski and Wojciech Moskal (North Pole);
  • 2005 - “Around the Baltic by Dinghy” – a five-day trip, a celebration of a 25th anniversary of Solidarność, with Mirosław Kukuła and Wojciech Ostrowski;
  • 2006 - “Baby on Board – Across Poland with Pola” – a journey across Poland, following the River Vistula, with wife Katarzyna and daughter Pola;
  • 2007 - “Baby on Board – Across the World with Pola” – a journey to Norway (Oslo, Finnmarksvidd, Lofota, Flamsban), with wife Katarzyna and daughter Pola.
  • 2008 – "HiFlyer Polar Ice Expedition" – reaching the Gunnbjørn Fjeld summit, the highest peak in Greenland (3694 m), with Leszek Cichy, Tomasz Walkiewicz, Mirosław Polowiec, Ryszard Rusinek.
  • 2009 – Summer Expedition Wisła
  • 2010 – Winter Expedition Wisła
  • 2015 – "Third Pole", on foot through Camino de Santiago, from Kaliningrad to Santiago de Compostella, around 4000 km
  • 2018 – "No Trace Expedition 2018", 30 000 km through 9 countries with electric car (144 days).
  • 2019 – "No Trace Expedition 2019", planned for October 2019 – February 2020


Marek Kamiński has written a number of books about his travels:

- Moje bieguny. Dzienniki z wypraw 1990–1998 (My Poles – Expedition Diaries 1990–1998), Ideamedia, Gdansk 1998 – awarded the Artus Prize in the Best Book of the Year 1998 category and the Amber Butterfly prize in the Arkady Fiedler Competition for the best Polish book on travel and tourism;

- Moje wyprawy (My Expeditions), Pascal, Bielsko-Biała 2001;

- Razem na Biegun (Together to the Pole), Marek Kamiński Foundation, Gdansk 2005;

- Together to the poles, Mreak Kamiński Foundation, Gdańsk 2008

- Marek. Chłopiec, który miał marzenia (Marek, the boy with dreams), GWP, Gdańsk 2009

- Wisła. 1047 Tajemnic (Vistula. 1047 Mysteries), Marek Kamiński Foundation, Gdańsk 2010

- Wyprawa (Expedition), Marek Kamiński Institute, 2011. The book is now being translated to 8 languages (Russian, English, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, Turkish, Korean, Hebrew), planned to be published in the third quarter of 2019.

- Warto Podążać za Marzeniami. Moja Podróż przez życie (It's worth following your dreams. Journey of my life), National Geographic, Warszawa 2012

- Alfabet (Alphabet), National Geographic, Warszawa 2013

- Trzeci Biegun (The Third Pole), Agora, Warszawa 2016

He co-authored three books:

- Nie tylko Biegun (Not Just the Pole), Muza, Warsaw 1996, Sławomir Swerpel, Marek Kamiński, Wojciech Moskal

- Poczta polska, czyli niezwykłe dzieje pewnego listu (The Polish Post, or the Unusual History of a Letter), Wydawnictwo Europa, Wrocław 2000, Jacek Bunsch, Marek Kamiński

- Idź Własną Drogą (Follow your own path), WAM 2017, Joanna Podsadecka, Marek Kamiński

His articles and photographs have also been published in many periodicals including National Geographic ,Voyage and TIME.


  • Zdobycie Bieguna Północnego (“Reaching the North Pole”), dir. J. Surdel (1995)
  • Przystanek Resolute Bay ("Stop: Resolute Bay), dir. T. Zając (1995)
  • Dwa Bieguny w jednym roku. Arctica (“Two Poles in a Single Year – the Arctic”), dir. J. Surdel (1995)
  • Dwa Bieguny w jednym roku. Antarctica (“Two Poles in a Single Year – the Antarctic”), dir. J. Surdel (1996)
  • Tamtego lata w Patriot Hills (“That Summer in Patriot Hills”), dir. J. Surdel (1996)
  • Trzeci Biegun. Przerwana wyprawa (“The Third Pole – an Interrupted Expedition”), dir. J. Surdel (1997)
  • Wakacje Pod Biegunem ("Holidays under the Pole"), dir, J.Surdel (1997)
  • Transantarctica 96/97, dir. J. Surdel (1997)
  • Dlaczego? Wyprawa na Mt. Vinson (“Why? Expedition to Mount Vinson”), dir. W. Ostrowski (1998)
  • Portret męski we wnętrzu (“Portrait of a Man Inside”), dir. F. Bajon (1999)
  • Grenlandia za plecami Marka Kamińskiego (“Greenland Behind Marek Kamiński’s Back”), dir. W. Ostrowski (2000)
  • Razem na Biegun (“Together to the Pole”), dir. W. Ostrowski (2005)
  • White out. Wyprawa poza cień (“White-out – an Expedition Beyond the Shadows”), dir. W. Szumowski (2005)
  • Pontonem dookoła Bałtyku (“Around the Baltic by Dinghy”), dir. W. Ostrowski (2005)
  • Z Polą przez Polskę (“Across Poland with Pola”), dir. W. Szumowski (2007)
  • Ekspedycja Wisła ("Vistula Expedition"), dir. J. Łęska and D. Adamkiewicz (2010)
  • Pielgrzym ("Pilgrim"), dir. Jan Czarlewski (2017)

Major awards[edit]

  • Young Businessman of the Year 1994 in the Polish section of the international World Young Business Achiever competition (1994)
  • Knight’s Cross of the Order of Poland’s Renascence, for reaching the North Pole, awarded by President Lech Wałęsa (1995)
  • Sports Minister’s Gold Medal for reaching the North Pole (1995)
  • TV Polonia Award “For Glorifying Poland and the Polish Spirit” (1996)
  • St Wojciech’s Medal, an honorary decoration awarded by the Gdansk City Council, “For Making Gdansk Famous Worldwide” (1997)
  • Amber Butterfly Award in the Arkady Fiedler Competition for the book Moje bieguny. Dzienniki z wypraw 1990–1998 (1999)
  • Explorer 2000 prize awarded at the Explorer’s Festival, Łódź (2000)
  • “Butterfly 2003” prize awarded by the Jolanta Kwaśniewska Foundation, for courage and presenting the disabled as fully able participants in public life (2004)
  • “Super Kolos 2004” prize awarded for the greatest sporting achievement in the history of Polish Polar exploration, which was reaching the North Pole on 23 May 1995 (2004)
  • Foreign Minister’s diploma for outstanding services to promoting Poland worldwide (2005)
  • “Intrepid Carer for the Sick and Disabled”, medal awarded by the Metropolitan of Gdansk, His Excellency Father Tadeusz Gocłowski (2005)
  • A special certificate – Hans Christian Andersen Ambassador (2005)
  • Business and Passion Prize awarded at the Explorer’s Festival, Łódź (2006)
  • St Brother Albert Medal for proving that a disabled person can be a fully able participant in public life, perform difficult tasks and make his dreams come true (2007)
  • Honorary citizenship of the City of Koszalin, Połczyn-Zdrój and Tarłów County


Marek Kamiński belongs to the following organisations: the Polish Business Roundtable, the Polish Writers' Union, the Polish Academy of Sciences Committee for Polar Research (honorary member), and the Sopot Sailing Club.


Marek Kamiński has many lectures in Poland, USA, and many other countries including Antarctica. Titles of his lectures include: "How the Impossible Becomes Possible" and "Expeditions to the Edges of My Dreams." He also conducts workshops and training for major Polish and foreign corporations, banks and insurance companies.

Marek Kamiński Foundation[edit]

The Marek Kamiński Foundation was founded in 1996. It is involved in creating and running educational programmes, fund-raising for prostheses for those in need, and integrated camps for the disabled. Its statutory aims also include supporting exploration of the Polar regions and other places worldwide, promoting Polar studies and ecology and supporting young participants in expeditions.

The Foundation's major achievements include:

  • “Let’s Help Sick Children To Make Their Dreams Come True”, the first campaign by the Society, as a result of which the Foundation was founded. The funds raised were used to buy IV drips for children and to finance the upgrading of the Children’s Chemotherapy Ward at the Gdansk Medical Academy (1995)
  • Solo TransAntarctica, the organisation of a Polar expedition, part of which was an International Educational Programme run on the Internet (1996/97)
  • Organisation of a trip to Antarctica at Christmas for two children from the Ełk and Ostrołęka Children’s Homes. The trip was first prize in a competition testing knowledge of the South Pole region. (1996/97)
  • Organisation of an expedition to Mount Vinson, the highest peak in Antarctica (1997/98)
  • Organisation of a competition for children testing knowledge of Australia during an expedition to cross the Gibson Desert. Funding of the top prize, a trip to Sydney for the competition winners (1999)
  • Together to the Pole, organisation of expeditions by Marek Kamiński and disabled teenager Jasiek Mela to both Poles (2004)
  • Give Others a Chance, fund-raising to buy prostheses for the disabled during the first “Together to the Pole” expedition. The total raised – 733,227 zlotys – was used to finance the purchase of prostheses for 65 people nationwide (2004)
  • School At the Pole, organisation of an educational campaign (2004)
  • World Day of the Sick – nationwide campaign to distribute 10,000 copies of a book entitled Lulie’s Big Journey to children who were in hospital that day (February 2005)
  • School for Crossing Borders, organisation of a free camp for disabled children. For two weeks 30 disabled young people took part in sports activities and a wide variety of themed workshops (July 2005)
  • Help for Pakistan, raising donations for victims of the Pakistan earthquake (November 2005)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ FIRST PERSON TO WALK TO BOTH POLES SOLO AND UNSUPPORTED. Guinness World Records. Last accessed 26 Feb 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d "Kaminski Marek – ExploraPoles – International Polar Foundation's adventure website". Retrieved 2019-01-11.
  3. ^ "Marek Kamiński – człowiek dwóch biegunów, który nie wyklucza wyprawy w kosmos". Retrieved 2019-01-11.
  4. ^ "Marek Kamiński | SCEC". Retrieved 2019-01-11.
  5. ^ "GŁOS SENIORA". Retrieved 2019-01-14.
  6. ^ "Kamiński Marek". (in Polish). Retrieved 2019-01-14.
  7. ^ "Trawers Grenlandii". Onet Kultura (in Polish). 2001-03-09. Retrieved 2019-01-14.
  8. ^ "Source of the Amazon River Discovered | History Channel on Foxtel". History Channel. 2016-06-19. Retrieved 2019-01-14.
  9. ^ LYOFOOD. "TOGETHER TO THE POLE 2004". LYOFOOD. Retrieved 2019-01-14.
  10. ^ "Marek Kamiński: Podróż za uśmiech... dzieci". Retrieved 2019-01-14.
  11. ^ "Marek Kamiński zakończył spływ Wisłą". (in Polish). Retrieved 2019-01-14.
  12. ^ "Ekspedycja Wisła – Wystawy czasowe – Archiwum – Narodowe Muzeum Morskie w Gdańsku". Retrieved 2019-01-14.
  13. ^ "3 Biegun | Fundacja Marka Kamińskiego". Retrieved 2019-01-14.
  14. ^ "No Trace Expedition". Marek Kamiński (in Polish). Retrieved 2019-01-14.

External links[edit]