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

  • Martin Berg
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: Swedish

Martin is a marine biologist based in Stockholm, Sweden.

After finishing the compulsory Swedish military service in the Navy Marines, he found himself working in field camps deep in the Amazon rainforest to carry out conservation assessments and bird surveys for BirdLife International.

This led him to return to Sweden to earn an Honours Degree in Biology at Lund University, followed by an MSc Degree in Marine Biology, divided between Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre in Canada and Lund University in Sweden.

Martin is a keen birder and botanist and has been involved in several research projects with a focus on seabird ecology and conservation.

These projects have taken place on islands in the North Atlantic Ocean, the Southern Ocean, and around New Zealand.

He arrived in Antarctica for the first time in 2015 as a researcher, and since then, he has made more than 30 voyages to the frozen continent.

Martin is skilled in bird and mammal identification, and while he is almost constantly focused on finding seabirds and whales, he always welcomes a good chat about Antarctica and its other fascinating wildlife.

Read an interview here >
  • Ali Liddle
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: British

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

Read an interview here >
  • Katja Riedel
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: German

Katja grew up in Germany, where she completed her Ph.D. in Atmospheric Chemistry.

Read an interview here >
  • Christian Engelke
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: German
  • Pippa Low
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: British
  • Sara Jenner
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: British
  • Philipp Schaudy
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: Austrian
Read more >
  • Rinie van Meurs
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Florence Kuyper
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Beau Pruneau
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: Canadian
  • Adam Turner
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: British
Read more >
  • Jan Belgers
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: Dutch

Activity staff

  • 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.

Henrik has been diving for over 25 years and teaches all levels of recreational and technical diving up to Advanced Trimix CCR.

He runs the IART (International Association of Rebreather Trainers) Regional Office for Northern Europe and is a member of the IART Board of Advisors.

Henrik is a keen wreck diver and has been involved in deep-wreck expeditions all over the world. Some of the interesting wrecks he has visited are the WW2 disasters General von Steuben and Wilhelm Gustloff in the Baltic as well as the HMS Victoria ("the vertical wreck") at 145 meters (475 feet) off the Lebanese coast.

His interest in both the ocean and space has engaged him in projects with the European Space Agency (Mars500 Project) and SeaSpace Exploration and Research Society (Project Poseidon), among others.

He has a military background, having served in peace keeping and enforcing missions in the Middle East and former Yugoslavia.

He has been leading dive expeditions in Antarctica and the Arctic for almost 20 years in remote and challenging waters, many of which have never been dived before.

Henrik holds an M.Sc. Degree in Electrical Engineering and works in the automotive industry when not traveling the polar regions.

He has lived and worked in Tokyo for two years but currently lives in India with his wife, three teenage daughters, and five-year-old son.

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

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

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 >
  • Toni Salo
  • Function: Captain
  • Nationality: Finnish

Born and raised in Turku, Finland, Toni grew up in a city with ancient seagoing traditions. He has loved sailing since he was a child, when he regularly went out with his grandfather to experience life on the high seas.

  • Mika Erik Appel
  • Function: Captain
  • Nationality: 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.

  • Remmert Koster
  • Function: Captain
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Alexander Schmidt
  • Function: Captain
  • Nationality: German
  • Arthur Yakovlev
  • Function: Captain
  • Nationality: Russian
  • Ernesto Barria
  • Function: Captain
  • Nationality: Chilean
Read more >

Office

Head Office:
Fax: +31 (0)118 410 417
USA & Canada reservations:
Fax: +1 (0)281 749 8220
  • Grace Vidal
  • Function: Reservations, North-America
  • Nationality: American
  • Elza Back
  • Function: Account Assistant
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Marina Joglar
  • Function: Reservations, North-America
  • Nationality: American
  • Andreas Diesing
  • Function: Key Account Manager for the German speaking countries
  • Nationality: German
  • Sietse Vonk
  • Function: Ship Operations
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Femke Wolfert
  • Function: Staffing Manager
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Geert Kroes
  • Function: Art Director
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Gabi Merten
  • Function: Reservations for the German speaking market
  • Nationality: German
  • Toto van der Horst-Vermue
  • Function: Reservations
  • Nationality: Dutch
Read more >
  • Teun van ‘t Verlaat
  • Function: Technical Manager
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Iris van Zalinge
  • Function: Staffing and Operations Support Manager
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Franklin Braeckman
  • Function: Marketing & Sales Manager
  • Nationality: Belgian
  • Mark van der Hulst
  • Function: COO
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Florian J. Piper
  • Function: Arctic Program Coordinator
  • Nationality: German
  • Erik Hageman
  • Function: CFO
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Matt Cutts
  • Function: Senior Content Writer
  • Nationality: American
  • Sebastiaan Schijf
  • Function: Financial Controller
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Maria del Pilar Fernandez
  • Function: International Sales Manager
  • Nationality: Chilean
Read more >
  • Loraine van Huizen
  • Function: Internet Marketeer
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Marie Rose Porreca
  • Function: Reservations, North-America
  • Nationality: American
  • Michel van Gessel
  • Function: CEO
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Ingrid van de Loo
  • Function: Food & Beverage Manager
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Ko de Korte
  • Function: Consultant
  • Nationality: Dutch
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  • Piet Vink
  • Function: Senior Technical Manager
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Mellany van der Hulst
  • Function: Marketing & Inhouse Design
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Adam Turner
  • Function: Field Operations Manager
  • Nationality: British
Read more >
  • Nyrée Siereveld-Verstraete
  • Function: Account Assistant
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Majanda Fens
  • Function: Reservations Manager
  • Nationality: Dutch
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