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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

  • 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.

After working in a rural school in Cumbria, she traveled Australia and New Zealand, taking a job as a teacher in the Falkland Islands, living on remote farms and teaching children at home.

A year later, she spent nine months overwintering on the sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia, where she served as a post mistress.

Returning to the Falkland Islands again, Ali continued to teach, taking a job at the primary school in Stanley and staying there for the next 15 years.

A subsequent job with Falklands Conservation allowed her to complete a project in environmental education, developing curriculum resources. This led to work as a local tour guide.

Ali has been with Oceanwide Expeditions since 2010, working as a guide, lecturer, and expedition leader in Antarctica and the Arctic. She loves sharing her passion for the polar regions, especially the sub-Antarctic.

  • 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.

  • Philipp Schaudy
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: Austrian

Philipp Schaudy holds a Master’s Degree in Physical Geography and has studied in Austria, Iceland, and Svalbard. A restless traveler, adventurer, and alpinist, he’s always loved the outdoors.

  • Tobias Brehm
  • Function: Expedition Leader
  • Nationality: German
  • Birgit Lutz
  • Function: Expedition Leader
  • Nationality: German
  • Jan Belgers
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Christian Engelke
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: German
  • Beau Pruneau
  • Function: (Assistant) Expedition leader and guide
  • Nationality: Canadian
  • Arjen Drost
  • Function: (Assistant) Expedition leader and guide
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Sarah Gerats
  • Function: Expedition guide
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Phil Wickens
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: British
  • Jordi Plana
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: Spanish

Captains

  • 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.

A beach guard by the age of 16, Ernesto’s favorite sport when he was young was swimming. When he finished high school, he moved to Puerto Montt, one of the most important ports in Chile. There he started his studies to become a merchant marine officer.

By his graduation in 1991, he’d already begun to sail on different vessels around Puerto Montt.

Ernesto became first officer of Antarctic Dream in 2005, beginning by navigating in Antarctica and later the Arctic. In 2011 he obtained the rank of captain, and in 2015 he was chosen as the best officer of the Chilean merchant navy.

Ernesto became a captain for Oceanwide Expeditions on Ortelius in 2013.

When he’s not working, Ernesto loves to travel around Chile with his family. He enjoys scuba diving, swimming, cycling, and photography, which has become his favorite hobby.

Read an interview here >
  • 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.

  • 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.

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