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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

  • Birgit Lutz
  • Function: Expedition Leader
  • Nationality: German

Birgit loves being out and away – that is why her life has changed from award-winning writer to Arctic-addicted adventurer.

Working 15 years for the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, she reported in 2007 from a North Pole expedition aboard the icebreaker Yamal, where she was infected with the “Arctic virus.”

She then took up circumpolar studies at the Canadian University of the Arctic, and in 2010 and 2011 skied from the ice station Barneo to the North Pole. In 2013 she crossed Greenland and became a Fellow of the Explorers Club in New York.

Birgit has published two books, is often a guest speaker, and speaks several languages. She enjoys nature and silence, and lives beside an idyllic mountain lake in Bavaria.

  • 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 >
  • Phil Wickens
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: British

Phil Wickens studied biology at Imperial College in London. After completing his PhD in plant pathology, he worked as a field guide for the British Antarctic Survey.

  • Jordi Plana
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: Spanish
  • Christian Engelke
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: German
  • Jan Belgers
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Sarah Gerats
  • Function: Expedition guide
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Philipp Schaudy
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: Austrian
  • Rinie van Meurs
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Ali Liddle
  • Function: (Assistant) Expedition leader and guide
  • Nationality: British
  • Beau Pruneau
  • Function: (Assistant) Expedition leader and guide
  • Nationality: Canadian

Captains

  • 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.

After completing nautical college, he sailed general cargo ships for several years before switching to heavy-lift ships, transporting such loads as offshore platforms, Dutch Royal Navy vessels, submarines, parts for petrochemical plants, dredgers, cranes, and other such items.

Since 2016 he has captained passenger vessels, starting with two mega-yachts and later becoming a captain with Oceanwide Expeditions on its Polar Class 6 vessel, Hondius.

Remmert is married and lives with his wife and her daughter in an old farmhouse in north Holland. When he’s not busy renovating the house, he likes to cook, travel, and spend time with his family and friends.

  • 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.

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