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.

  • Florence Kuyper
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: Dutch

Florence is a world traveler with a passion for the polar regions, remote nature, deserts, history, and nomadic peoples.

  • 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 >
  • Philipp Schaudy
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: Austrian
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  • Jan Belgers
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Beau Pruneau
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: Canadian
  • Sara Jenner
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: British
  • Martin Berg
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: Swedish
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  • Ali Liddle
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: British
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  • Rinie van Meurs
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Pippa Low
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: British
  • Adam Turner
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: British
Read more >

Activity staff

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

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

After leaving the Navy, he continued to dive mainly around the UK, diving wrecks and always looking for a new story.

He is qualified as a dive instructor with BSAC and PADI and is certified to operate Drager Dolphin and Buddy Inspiration rebreathers.

Michael has worked for Oceanwide Expeditions for five years and enjoys giving divers a safe and exploratory experience in the polar regions.

Michael’s biggest tip for polar divers is to slow down, look around, and enjoy the environment.

He looks forward to enjoying it with you.

  • 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.

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 >
  • 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 >
  • 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.

  • Alexander Schmidt
  • Function: Captain
  • Nationality: German
  • Arthur Yakovlev
  • Function: Captain
  • Nationality: Russian
  • Toni Salo
  • Function: Captain
  • Nationality: Finnish
  • Mika Erik Appel
  • Function: Captain
  • Nationality: Finnish

Office

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