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Our staff

Oceanwide staff

The polar regions are what we do. From our expert expedition guides to our impeccable crew to our diversely skilled office staff, the OEX team is all about giving you the utmost experience of the Arctic, Antarctica, and the sub-Antarctic. Seasoned passengers of our own epic voyages, we bring to the table not only a love of the exotic polar world but also a combined wealth of expertise unrivaled by any other polar tour operator. Join us on one of our adventurous voyages, and let us share with you all there is to see, do, and explore in Earth’s most remote frontiers.

Expedition staff

  • Rinie van Meurs
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationaliteit: Dutch

Rinie van Meurs has been an expedition leader since 1989, leading hundreds of expeditions all over the polar regions. The Arctic island of Spitsbergen, the largest in the Svalbard archipelago, is as familiar to him as his own back yard.

After he finished his education in forestry management and nature conservation, Rinie traveled the world to photograph and study wildlife, living for almost a year in the Falklands.

Many of his photographs have been published in magazines and photography books.

Rinie has also written several books about the polar regions, including a coffee table book about areas that are off the beaten track.

  • Arjen Drost
  • Function: (Assistant) Expedition leader and guide
  • Nationaliteit: Dutch

From a young age, Arjen could be found outside with his binoculars, looking for birds and mammals. It came as no surprise, then, when he decided to study biology.

  • Ali Liddle
  • Function: (Assistant) Expedition leader and guide
  • Nationaliteit: British

Ali Liddle grew up in the north of England where, after leaving school, she qualified as a primary school teacher.

  • Birgit Lutz
  • Function: Expedition Leader
  • Nationaliteit: German
  • Philipp Schaudy
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationaliteit: Austrian
  • Christian Engelke
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationaliteit: German
  • Phil Wickens
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationaliteit: British
  • Jordi Plana
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationaliteit: Spanish
  • Sarah Gerats
  • Function: Expedition guide
  • Nationaliteit: Dutch
  • Tobias Brehm
  • Function: Expedition Leader
  • Nationaliteit: German
  • Beau Pruneau
  • Function: (Assistant) Expedition leader and guide
  • Nationaliteit: Canadian
  • Jan Belgers
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationaliteit: Dutch

Captains

  • Mika Erik Appel
  • Function: Captain
  • Nationaliteit: Finnish

Mika Erik Appel was born and raised in the town of Vaasa, Finland, where cold weather and ice was just part of daily life.

A master mariner, he holds a Bachelor of Marine Transportation degree from Aboa Mare Maritime Academy. He began his captaining career by tug towing and pushing barges in the North Sea and Baltic, later moving on to passenger vessels.

During his years in the Baltic, he gained young-ice navigation expertise. Arctic and Antarctic waters are both familiar to him, and he is an expert in multi-year ice navigation.

Prior to captaining expedition vessels, Mika spent five years as a nautical instructor and training manager in Subic Bay, Philippines. There he became an accredited IMO trainer and assessor.

Mika draws on more than 25 years of experience in passenger vessels and cruise ships, now focusing mainly on polar expedition work. His area of specialization is remote, ice-laden waters.

  • Arthur Yakovlev
  • Function: Captain
  • Nationaliteit: Russian

Arthur Yakovlev was born in Petrozavodsk, the capital and largest city of the Republic of Karelia, in northwestern Russia.

  • Ernesto Barria
  • Function: Captain
  • Nationaliteit: Chilean

Ernesto Barria was born in Santiago, Chile, into a family with strong bonds to the sea: His father, grandfather, and several uncles all share a love of the ocean.

Read an interview here >
  • Remmert Koster
  • Function: Captain
  • Nationaliteit: Dutch
  • Alexey Nazarov
  • Function: Captain
  • Nationaliteit: Russian
Lees meer >
  • Alexander Schmidt
  • Function: Captain
  • Nationaliteit: German

Office

Head Office:
Phone: +31 (0)118 410 410
Fax: +31 (0)118 410 417
Email: info@oceanwide-expeditions.com
USA & Canada reservations:
Phone: +1 800 453 7245
Fax: +1 (0)281 749 8220
Email: usa@oceanwide-expeditions.com
  • Ad van Bokhoven
  • Function: Finance
  • Nationaliteit: Dutch
  • Mark van der Hulst
  • Function: COO
  • Nationaliteit: Dutch
  • Florian J. Piper
  • Function: Arctic Program Coordinator
  • Nationaliteit: German
  • Gabi Merten
  • Function: Reservations for the German speaking market
  • Nationaliteit: German
  • Mellany van der Hulst
  • Function: Marketing & Inhouse Design
  • Nationaliteit: Dutch
  • Loraine van Huizen
  • Function: Internet Marketeer
  • Nationaliteit: Dutch
  • Elza Back
  • Function: Account Assistant
  • Nationaliteit: Dutch
  • Sietse Vonk
  • Function: Ship Operations for Marine Services
  • Nationaliteit: Dutch
  • Grace Vidal
  • Function: Reservations, North-America
  • Nationaliteit: American
  • Dorita de Bruijn
  • Function: HR Manager
  • Nationaliteit: Dutch
  • Maria del Pilar Fernandez
  • Function: International Sales Manager
  • Nationaliteit: Chilean
  • Ingrid van de Loo
  • Function: Food & Beverage Manager for Marine Services
  • Nationaliteit: Dutch
  • Majanda Fens
  • Function: Reservations Manager
  • Nationaliteit: Dutch
  • Michel van Gessel
  • Function: CEO
  • Nationaliteit: Dutch
  • Geert Kroes
  • Function: Art Director
  • Nationaliteit: Dutch
  • Marina Joglar
  • Function: Reservations, North-America
  • Nationaliteit: American
  • Rima Deeb Granado
  • Function: Director of Sales, North-America
  • Nationaliteit: American
  • Natascha Wisse
  • Function: Operations Manager for Marine Services
  • Nationaliteit: Dutch
  • Nyrée Siereveld-Verstraete
  • Function: Account Assistant
  • Nationaliteit: Dutch
  • Femke Wolfert
  • Function: Staffing Manager
  • Nationaliteit: Dutch
  • Piet Vink
  • Function: Senior Technical Manager for Marine Services
  • Nationaliteit: Dutch
  • Wim Stander
  • Function: Technical Manager for Marine Services
  • Nationaliteit: Dutch
  • Rowan Keur
  • Function: Reservations
  • Nationaliteit: Dutch
  • Troels Jacobsen
  • Function: Product & Sales Manager
  • Nationaliteit: Danish
  • Matt Cutts
  • Function: Senior Content Writer
  • Nationaliteit: American
  • Sebastiaan Schijf
  • Function: Financial Controller
  • Nationaliteit: Dutch
  • Ko de Korte
  • Function: Consultant
  • Nationaliteit: Dutch
  • Marie Rose Porreca
  • Function: Reservations, North-America
  • Nationaliteit: American
  • Franklin Braeckman
  • Function: Online Marketing Manager
  • Nationaliteit: Belgian
  • Jamie Scherbeijn
  • Function: Reservations
  • Nationaliteit: Dutch
  • Erik Hageman
  • Function: CFO
  • Nationaliteit: Dutch