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

  • Mariela Cornejo
  • Function: Expedition leader and guide
  • Nationality: Argentinian

Mariela was born in Ushuaia, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world, and lived through the process of her own land becoming the Province of Tierra del Fuego.

Living at the door to Antarctica and reading stories about Nordenskjöld and the local hero, Sobral, she could not avoid dreaming about adventuring even farther south.

Raised far from the city in the central valley of the South Andes, Mariela practiced all kinds of winter sports: Nordic skiing, splitboarding, biathlons, skijoring, mushing, and ice skating, just to name a few.

She has participated in biathlon world championships and also several international competitions, giving her the opportunity to travel around the world.

During summers, she likes outdoor activities like camping in the mountains, hiking, paddling, paragliding, kitesurfing, and climbing.

Her first season in Antarctica was in 2014, and since then, the polar bug has infected her in such a way that she cannot stop returning.

The history, wildlife, and geology of the southern polar regions eventually led her to plan her first season to the Arctic.

Mariela used to spend winters in Ushuaia, guiding snowmobile excursions in the central valley of Tierra del Fuego and leading snowshoeing and cross-country skiing groups.

But since the 2019 boreal summer, she has started adventuring in the Arctic regions.

Join Mariela on a Zodiac cruise, a walk around the beach, or out on the decks of the ship to share some great stories, look for amazing wildlife, and capture some amazing photos!

  • Adam Turner
  • Function: Expedition leader and guide
  • Nationality: British

Since Adam was young, he dreamed of working in the Antarctic like his uncle, who had worked there in the late 1980s.

Read an interview here >
  • Beau Pruneau
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: Canadian

Beau Pruneau grew up in a log house in the northern Ontario wilderness. He appreciated the great outdoors from an early age, learning wilderness survival, navigation, tracking, and camping.

  • Martin Berg
  • Function: Expedition leader and guide
  • Nationality: Swedish
  • Rinie van Meurs
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Sara Jenner
  • Function: Expedition leader and guide
  • Nationality: British
  • Ali Liddle
  • Function: Expedition leader and guide
  • Nationality: British
Read more >
  • Jan Belgers
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Laurence Dyke
  • Function: Expedition leader and guide
  • Nationality: British
Read more >
  • Katja Riedel
  • Function: Expedition leader and guide
  • Nationality: German
Read more >
  • Birgit Lutz
  • Function: Expedition Leader
  • Nationality: German
  • Florence Kuyper
  • Function: Expedition leader and guide
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Philipp Schaudy
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: Austrian
Read more >
  • Christian Engelke
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: German

Activity staff

  • Paul Donovan
  • Function: Kayak Leader & Advisor
  • Nationality: British

Paul was born and brought up in the valleys of South Wales.

He began kayaking and climbing at the age of 14, thanks to opportunities in school.

By the age of 19, Paul was managing and delivering an outdoor program for Sport Wales, which was the catalyst for carving out a career in adventure activities.

Paul studied sports science at the Cardiff Institute of Higher Education before taking up a lecturing post to train future adventure activity instructors.

As a teacher, lecturer, and outdoor activity coach, Paul has over 35 years of experience working with public, private, and voluntary organizations.

He provides rewarding opportunities for personal and social development in the UK and throughout the world.

Paul’s expertise as a paddler and mountaineer has enabled him to explore many of the rivers, seas, and mountains of the seven continents.

He also runs his own business for outdoor activity coaching, technical consulting, trekking, mountaineering, and kayaking. In addition,

Paul has been a freelance inspector for the Adventurous Activities Licensing Service (AALS).

Currently he is a freelance inspector for Adventuremark and Learning Outside the Classroom, a quality assurance officer and internal verifier for Canoe Wales, project manager for AdventureSmart.UK, and chair of the Wales Adventure Tourism Organisation (WATO) and the Outdoor Alliance in Wales.

  • 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.

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

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

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 >
  • 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.

Read an interview here >
  • 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.

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