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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

  • 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.

After finishing an undergrad degree in engineering, Christian moved to Svalbard in 2008. Three unforgettable years later, he moved “down south” to Tromsø in Northern Norway, where he finished a master’s degree.

Since 2009 Christian has worked as a freelance guide and expedition leader. His initial voyages were in Svalbard and Greenland.

As of 2014, he has also worked in the Antarctic Peninsula and South Georgia. He loves the wildlife, stark landscape, and heroic history of these areas. 

Christian is a sea kayak instructor with a specialty in Tromsø whale-watching trips. When he’s not in the high latitudes, you’ll probably find him in his kayak off the Norwegian coast.

  • 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.

Read an interview here >
  • 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.

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

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.

  • Alexey Nazarov
  • Function: Captain
  • Nationality: Russian

Alexey Nazarov was born in the Russian town of Arkhangelsk, the so-called Pomors Capital of the world. Since his childhood, he dreamed of being a sailor.

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.

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