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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

  • 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.

After he finished his education in forestry management and nature conservation, Rinie traveled the world to photograph and study wildlife, living for almost a year in the Falklands.

Many of his photographs have been published in magazines and photography books.

Rinie has also written several books about the polar regions, including a coffee table book about areas that are off the beaten track.

  • Beau Pruneau
  • Function: (Assistant) Expedition leader and guide
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Jan Belgers
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Jordi Plana
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: Spanish
  • Philipp Schaudy
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: Austrian
  • Christian Engelke
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: German
  • Arjen Drost
  • Function: (Assistant) Expedition leader and guide
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Phil Wickens
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: British

Captains

  • Mika Erik Appel
  • Function: Captain
  • Nationality: Finnish

Mika Erik Appel was born and raised in the town of Vaasa, Finland, where cold weather and ice was just part of daily life.

A master mariner, he holds a Bachelor of Marine Transportation degree from Aboa Mare Maritime Academy. He began his captaining career by tug towing and pushing barges in the North Sea and Baltic, later moving on to passenger vessels.

During his years in the Baltic, he gained young-ice navigation expertise. Arctic and Antarctic waters are both familiar to him, and he is an expert in multi-year ice navigation.

Prior to captaining expedition vessels, Mika spent five years as a nautical instructor and training manager in Subic Bay, Philippines. There he became an accredited IMO trainer and assessor.

Mika draws on more than 25 years of experience in passenger vessels and cruise ships, now focusing mainly on polar expedition work. His area of specialization is remote, ice-laden waters.

  • 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 >
  • 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.

  • Arthur Yakovlev
  • Function: Captain
  • Nationality: Russian
  • Andrey Zybin
  • Function: Captain
  • Nationality: Russian
  • Ernesto Barria
  • Function: Captain
  • Nationality: Chilean
Read more >

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