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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

  • 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.

  • Christian Engelke
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: German

Since his first vacation to Norway in 1996, Christian Engelke has suffered from “Scandinavia fever.” Since then he has been exploring Norway, Sweden, and Greenland by foot, skis, and kayak.

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

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

  • Philipp Schaudy
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: Austrian
  • Arjen Drost
  • Function: (Assistant) Expedition leader and guide
  • Nationality: Dutch
Read more >
  • Sarah Gerats
  • Function: Expedition guide
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Jordi Plana
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: Spanish
  • Rinie van Meurs
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Phil Wickens
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: British
  • Birgit Lutz
  • Function: Expedition Leader
  • Nationality: German
  • Beau Pruneau
  • Function: (Assistant) Expedition leader and guide
  • Nationality: Canadian

Captains

  • 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.

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
  • Nationality: Russian

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

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