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

  • Jan Belgers
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: Dutch

Jan Belgers was born in the Netherlands and currently lives in Rotterdam. He has been working as a professional outdoor guide and expedition leader for many years.

Traveling and wilderness guiding are his passions. His work as a guide has brought him from the high ranges of the Himalayas and Andes to the extreme latitudes of Spitsbergen and Antarctica.

He took his first steps in the polar regions as a student in 1992, participating in an international winter expedition to Antarctica’s Weddell Sea. Since then he has joined several research expeditions to remote places in the Arctic and Antarctic Oceans.

Jan feels at home on the sea due to his background in marine biology, and he is one of the expedition leaders on our historic schooner, Noorderlicht.

He lectures on natural history and biology, and is a confirmed polar literature fanatic.

  • Adam Turner
  • Function: Expedition leader and guide
  • Nationality: British

Since Adam was young, he dreamed of working in the Antarctic like his uncle, who had worked there in the late 1980s.

Read an interview here >
  • Rinie van Meurs
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: 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.

  • Florence Kuyper
  • Function: Expedition leader and guide
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Birgit Lutz
  • Function: Expedition Leader
  • Nationality: German
  • Katja Riedel
  • Function: Expedition leader and guide
  • Nationality: German
Read more >
  • Philipp Schaudy
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: Austrian
Read more >
  • Laurence Dyke
  • Function: Expedition leader and guide
  • Nationality: British
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  • Sara Jenner
  • Function: Expedition leader and guide
  • Nationality: British
  • Beau Pruneau
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: Canadian
  • Mariela Cornejo
  • Function: Expedition leader and guide
  • Nationality: Argentinian
  • Ali Liddle
  • Function: Expedition leader and guide
  • Nationality: British
Read more >
  • Martin Berg
  • Function: Expedition leader and guide
  • Nationality: Swedish
  • Christian Engelke
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: German

Activity staff

  • Michael Green
  • Function: Dive Team Leader and Advisor
  • Nationality: British

Michael began diving in 1980, training with the Royal Navy in Portsmouth Harbour.

After leaving the Navy, he continued to dive mainly around the UK, diving wrecks and always looking for a new story.

He is qualified as a dive instructor with BSAC and PADI and is certified to operate Drager Dolphin and Buddy Inspiration rebreathers.

Michael has worked for Oceanwide Expeditions for five years and enjoys giving divers a safe and exploratory experience in the polar regions.

Michael’s biggest tip for polar divers is to slow down, look around, and enjoy the environment.

He looks forward to enjoying it with you.

  • Henrik Enckell
  • Function: Dive Team Leader & Advisor
  • Nationality: Swedish

Henrik is an experienced dive leader, rebreather instructor trainer, and one of the first dive masters to bring tourists diving in Antarctica.

  • Paul Donovan
  • Function: Kayak Leader & Advisor
  • Nationality: British

Paul was born and brought up in the valleys of South Wales. He began kayaking and climbing at the age of 14, thanks to opportunities in school.

Captains

  • Evgeny Levakov
  • Function: Captain
  • Nationality: Russian

Evgeny Levakov was born in a small village not far from Nerekhta, an ancient Russian town in the Kostroma region. The closest water to his village was a 15,000 square-meter pond.

His family had no relationship with the sea, but when his third grade teacher asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up, Evgeny’s answer was clear: “A sailor.”

The teacher replied that this profession did not exist in their area, but young Evgeny was unconvinced. After his mandatory time in the army, he enrolled in Murmansk’s Highest Engineering Marine School to start his naval career.

Evgeny went to sea after graduating, starting in 1984 as third officer on a fleet of fishing vessels in the city of Murmansk. During that time he sailed the waters of Antarctica, South Georgia, the Southern Orkneys, and Elephant Island.

From 1994 to 2000 he worked as chief officer on m/v Professor Molchanov for expedition cruise companies like Quark, Aurora, and Oceanwide. He was promoted to captain soon after.

In the fall of 2010, Evgeny started on m/v Plancius. His main navigational areas are the Arctic and Antarctica, including the Ross Sea and Dumont d’Urville Sea. He’s also sailed the islands of Papua New Guinea and the Amazon River between Belem and Iquitos.

Evgeny has been married since 1978 and considers this the best decision he’s ever made. He has two sons and is the proud grandfather of four grandchildren.

Read an interview here >
  • Alexander Schmidt
  • Function: Captain
  • Nationality: German

Ali was born in Germany, where he studied geography but eventually decided to turn his passion for sailing into a profession. He pursued nautical studies in the Netherlands, specializing in traditional sailing ships as well as tall ships.

  • Ernesto Barria
  • Function: Captain
  • Nationality: 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
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Yury Marin
  • Function: Captain
  • Nationality: Russian
  • Arthur Yakovlev
  • Function: Captain
  • Nationality: Russian

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
  • Erik Hageman
  • Function: CFO
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Maria del Pilar Fernandez
  • Function: International Sales Manager
  • Nationality: Chilean
Read more >
  • Florian J. Piper
  • Function: Arctic Program Coordinator
  • Nationality: German
  • Sebastiaan Schijf
  • Function: Financial Controller
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Nyrée Siereveld-Verstraete
  • Function: Account Assistant
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Toto Vermue
  • Function: Reservations
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Michel van Gessel
  • Function: CEO
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Mark van der Hulst
  • Function: COO
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Gabi Merten
  • Function: Reservations for the German speaking market
  • Nationality: German
  • Elza Back
  • Function: Account Assistant
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Iris van Zalinge
  • Function: HR & Staffing
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Piet Vink
  • Function: Senior Technical Manager for Marine Services
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Geert Kroes
  • Function: Art Director
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Sietse Vonk
  • Function: Ship Operations for Marine Services
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Grace Vidal
  • Function: Reservations, North-America
  • Nationality: American
  • Ingrid van de Loo
  • Function: Food & Beverage Manager for Marine Services
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Adam Turner
  • Function: Field Operations Manager
  • Nationality: British
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  • Marina Joglar
  • Function: Reservations, North-America
  • Nationality: American
  • Matt Cutts
  • Function: Senior Content Writer
  • Nationality: American
  • Mellany van der Hulst
  • Function: Marketing & Inhouse Design
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Franklin Braeckman
  • Function: Marketing & Sales Manager
  • Nationality: Belgian
  • Andreas Diesing
  • Function: Key Account Manager for the German speaking countries
  • Nationality: German
  • Marie Rose Porreca
  • Function: Reservations, North-America
  • Nationality: American
  • Femke Wolfert
  • Function: Staffing Manager
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Ko de Korte
  • Function: Consultant
  • Nationality: Dutch
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  • Majanda Fens
  • Function: Reservations Manager
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Rowan Keur
  • Function: Reservations
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Ad van Bokhoven
  • Function: Finance
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Loraine van Huizen
  • Function: Internet Marketeer
  • Nationality: Dutch
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