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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

  • Arjen Drost
  • Function: (Assistant) Expedition leader and guide
  • Nationality: 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.

During his studies in plant-animal interactions, he was asked to do a field project on barnacle geese in Ny Ålesund, Spitsbergen. After just a few days in the high Arctic, he knew for certain: He would come back to this place.

Clearly bitten by the Arctic bug, Arjen managed to stretch his research project over three summers, after which he was asked by Oceanwide Expeditions to guide on a trip around Spitsbergen.

Even though he still thinks Kongsfjord is one of the most beautiful fjords, the offer from Oceanwide was a great opportunity to see the rest of the Svalbard archipelago.

After working on polar ships, however, he never looked back.

During his first years on board, Arjen also taught biology in the Netherlands, but now he has given up teaching and become a full-time expedition leader and guide.

In his free time, Arjen likes to hike and is a keen nature photographer, filmmaker, and co-author of Dutch books on photography. He is still on the lookout for a nice bird or mammal and is happy to share his passion for the polar regions, or simply share a story in the bar.

Read an interview here >
  • Birgit Lutz
  • Function: Expedition Leader
  • Nationality: German

Birgit loves being out and away – that is why her life has changed from award-winning writer to Arctic-addicted adventurer.

  • Beau Pruneau
  • Function: (Assistant) Expedition leader and guide
  • Nationality: Canadian

Beau Pruneau grew up in a log house in the northern Ontario wilderness. He appreciated the great outdoors from an early age, learning wilderness survival, navigation, tracking, and camping.

  • Jordi Plana
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: Spanish
  • Phil Wickens
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: British
  • Ali Liddle
  • Function: (Assistant) Expedition leader and guide
  • Nationality: British
Read more >
  • Jan Belgers
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Sarah Gerats
  • Function: Expedition guide
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Christian Engelke
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: German
  • Philipp Schaudy
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: Austrian
Read more >
  • Rinie van Meurs
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: Dutch

Captains

  • Yury Marin
  • Function: Captain
  • Nationality: Russian

Born in Rybinsk, Russia, Yury Marin began sailing on small sporting yachts at the age of nine. By age 16, he was already preparing for a life of sailing the world's rivers and seas.

Yury attended Rybinsk River College, after which he enjoyed a short period of work on river cruise vessels and the Moscow Social Academy of water transport. Later he was employed with the Murmansk Shipping Company, for which he worked on cargo carriers.

In 2008 he started sailing in north Russia, where he discovered his deep enjoyment of ice navigation. He then made his first visit to Antarctica in 2009, sailing for five months with the Indian Antarctic Expedition​, and since then has worked in Antarctica and the Arctic on a yearly basis.

Yury has crossed all longitudes of Antarctica, received accolades for consecutive seasons spent there, and has served as a chief officer on an icebreaker for the US Antarctic Program in the Ross Sea.

In 2014 he began working for Oceanwide, and as of 2019 has been a captain on m/v Ortelius.

  • 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.

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