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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

  • 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.

During his studies in plant-animal interactions, he was asked to do a field project on barnacle geese in Ny Ålesund, Spitsbergen. After just a few days in the high Arctic, he knew for certain: He would come back to this place.

Clearly bitten by the Arctic bug, Arjen managed to stretch his research project over three summers, after which he was asked by Oceanwide Expeditions to guide on a trip around Spitsbergen.

Even though he still thinks Kongsfjord is one of the most beautiful fjords, the offer from Oceanwide was a great opportunity to see the rest of the Svalbard archipelago.

After working on polar ships, however, he never looked back.

During his first years on board, Arjen also taught biology in the Netherlands, but now he has given up teaching and become a full-time expedition leader and guide.

In his free time, Arjen likes to hike and is a keen nature photographer, filmmaker, and co-author of Dutch books on photography. He is still on the lookout for a nice bird or mammal and is happy to share his passion for the polar regions, or simply share a story in the bar.

  • Jordi Plana
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: Spanish

Born in Spain, Jordi Plana studied marine science in the Canary Islands before completing a master’s degree in the same field at the University of Magallanes.

  • 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.

  • Philipp Schaudy
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: Austrian
  • Beau Pruneau
  • Function: (Assistant) Expedition leader and guide
  • Nationality: Canadian
  • Tobias Brehm
  • Function: Expedition Leader
  • Nationality: German
  • Birgit Lutz
  • Function: Expedition Leader
  • Nationality: German
  • Sarah Gerats
  • Function: Expedition guide
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Rinie van Meurs
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Phil Wickens
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: British
  • Christian Engelke
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: German
  • Jan Belgers
  • Function: Expedition leader
  • Nationality: Dutch

Captains

  • 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.

Ali has been professionally sailing tall ships since 2008, mostly around Europe (the North Sea, Baltic, and Mediterranean) but also across the Atlantic and in the Caribbean.

In recent years, much of his sailing has taken place in the Arctic, specifically in the beautiful, remote, and sometimes challenging waters of Greenland and Svalbard.

  • Andrey Zybin
  • Function: Captain
  • Nationality: Russian

Andrey Zybin was born in Yeisk, a small, cozy resort town on the flat-sand coast of the Azov Sea. Since childhood he dreamed of being a captain, and his favorite books during adolescence were all about the sea, marine adventures, and voyages to unexplored lands.

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