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
  • 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.

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.

  • Marcel Paul
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: Dutch

Marcel has been a passionate traveler since his teens and has led hiking groups in Austria, Switzerland, England, Wales, and Scotland.

  • 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 >
  • Christian Engelke
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: German
  • Hans Verdaat
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Jan Belgers
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Claudio Ghiglione
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: Italian
  • Philipp Schaudy
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: Austrian
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  • Florence Kuyper
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Pippa Low
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: British
  • Sara Jenner
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: British
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  • Eduardo Rubio
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: Guatemalan
  • Adam Turner
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: British
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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

  • Arthur Yakovlev
  • Function: Captain
  • Nationality: Russian

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

At the age of 15, he started training at the Maritime College in Petrozavodsk, where he graduated in 1999. At 18 he began his career as a seaman on a dry cargo vessel.

One year later, he was promoted as third officer on the same type of vessel, and later as second officer, working on various cargo vessels until 2007.

That same year, Arthur began work as a second officer on the passenger vessel Marina Cvetaeva, now Ortelius. As of 2008 he has worked for Oceanwide Expeditions, and in 2019 became a captain on Plancius.

Arthur never dreamed that most of his career would be spent in the polar waters, but he considers this his destiny and would not have it any other way.

He is married and has a son, and during vacation he enjoys spending most of his time with his family, while also traveling and enjoying nature.

  • Joachim Schiel
  • Function: Captain
  • Nationality: German

Born near the German city of Cologne, Joachim Schiel grew up some distance from the coast. His first contact with vessels came from the yearly sailing trips he made with a youth group on the Baltic.

  • Remmert Koster
  • Function: Captain
  • Nationality: Dutch

Remmert Koster was born in the Netherlands, and from a young age he was convinced he would become a captain.

  • Ernesto Barria
  • Function: Captain
  • Nationality: Chilean
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  • Evgeny Levakov
  • Function: Captain
  • Nationality: Russian
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  • Toni Salo
  • Function: Captain
  • Nationality: Finnish

Office

Head Office:
Fax: +31 (0)118 410 417
USA & Canada reservations:
Fax: +1 (0)281 749 8220
  • Florian J. Piper
  • Function: Director Sales | Arctic program
  • Nationality: German
  • Dorine van Boekhout
  • Function: Reservations
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Kees Matthes
  • Function: Nautical Superintendent
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Erik Hageman
  • Function: CFO
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Marissa Medrano
  • Function: Accounting
  • Nationality: American
  • Teun van ‘t Verlaat
  • Function: Technical Superintendent
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Elza Back
  • Function: Account Assistant
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Marie Rose Porreca
  • Function: Reservations, North-America
  • Nationality: American
  • Michel van Gessel
  • Function: Director
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Franklin Braeckman
  • Function: Antarctic Program Manager
  • Nationality: Belgian
  • John Yeh
  • Function: Sales Representative China & South Asia & Oceania
  • Nationality: Chinese
  • Karin Toornstra
  • Function: Reservations
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Marina Joglar
  • Function: Reservations, North-America
  • Nationality: American
  • Sebastiaan Schijf
  • Function: Financial Controller
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Majanda Fens
  • Function: Reservations Manager
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Adam Turner
  • Function: CXO - Head of Expedition Operations
  • Nationality: British
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  • Gabi Merten
  • Function: Reservations for the German speaking market
  • Nationality: German
  • Stefan Pruimboom
  • Function: Staffing and Operations Advisor
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Ko de Korte
  • Function: Consultant
  • Nationality: Dutch
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  • Danique van Burken
  • Function: Senior Marketing Manager
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Piet Vink
  • Function: Managing Director
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Toto Vermue
  • Function: Sales Accountmanager
  • Nationality: Dutch
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  • Nyrée Siereveld-Verstraete
  • Function: Account Assistant
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Grace Vidal
  • Function: Reservations, North-America
  • Nationality: American
  • Loraine van Huizen
  • Function: Online Marketeer
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Alexandra den Dikken
  • Function: Senior Graphic Designer
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Femke Wolfert
  • Function: Staffing Manager
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Maria del Pilar Fernandez
  • Function: International Sales Manager
  • Nationality: Chilean
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  • Andreas Diesing
  • Function: Key Account Manager for the German speaking countries
  • Nationality: German
  • Sasha Rachkova
  • Function: Online Marketeer
  • Nationality: Russian
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