Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore

André Gide

The brand:
Experiential travelling and high performance quality gear

The successful secret behind the Waterproof brand is very simple; Hands on experience and a never ending curiosity for fascinating adventures and innovation. The Waterproof brand combines unparalleled commitment to product responsibility and operations. A great combination of quality products.

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Breathtaking Experiences

Waterproof Expeditions creates life-enhancing travel experiences which exhilarate and fascinate. Our scheduled departures or tailor made private expeditions are all designed around the element of water. With many years of experiential traveling under our belt and exploring and diving in remote and extreme places we speak from firsthand experience. We like to share this passion with you and feed the mind. By educating and inspiring. By breathless moments, and sometimes by extending your personal boundaries.


Yacht and Expedition cruises worldwide

Waterproof Cruises offers a selection of the finest small ship cruise itineraries and yacht charters worldwide. Designed for curious, open minded people with a sense of adventure and appreciation for extraordinary and sustainable cruise experiences. Small groups and personalized details. Check out our cruise website www.waterproof-cruises.com.



Dive and Outdoor garments

With 35 years as a dry suit producer under their belt and many International Awards for best dry- or wetsuit design, our partners at Waterproof Waterproof InternationalInternational know how important it is to keep up the quality and service to their customers. With innovative and technically advanced products, Waterproof encovers a broad spectra of needs, from advanced military, technical diving to leisure tropical snorkeling.
Waterproof International chooses the mighty Walrus as the archetype for their logo. They live a comfortable life in a hush environment thanks to insulation and an exceptional ability to adapt to the conditions. The “Facing Reality”, motto personified.

Partners & Affiliates


People behind the scenes

We like to share with you what we do best: Organizing breath taking experiences. Whether this is underwater or on land, a private expedition or a scheduled departure. Our team in the field as well as in our offices are passionate and knowledgeable people with years of experiences under their belt in many different professions.

MARLYNDA
ELSTGEEST Founder Managing Director

The best experiences have never been based purely on cost. We like to create  life-enhancing travel experiences which exhilarate, educate and inspire.

Marlynda Elstgeest

Marlynda was born and educated in the Netherlands. Travel and diving has always been her passion. Her first diving experience started in 1989 and she has pursued her passion through 20 years in the travel industry, specialising in marketing and PR, as well as operational management. She will get your most complicated expedition organized and understands your needs. Her personal approach creates an unforgettable private experience or successful corporate incentive. As an experienced and technical diver she speaks from a personal background when she advises on destinations, equipment and operational management.

Ten years after they operated the first ever commercial diving expedition to the Polar regions, Marlynda started Waterproof Expeditions, together with professional cinematographer Göran Ehlmé (Sweden). Their aim is to provide unique and tailored experiences focusing on the natural beauty of the Oceans and diversity of unique underwater environments worldwide. Supporting clients to capture this through (underwater) photography and sharing breath-taking moments with travellers who are enthusiastic about experiential travel and share the same values for conservation and education. Whether this is on a private expedition or scheduled departures.

At University her thesis was on ‘Sustainable Tourism’ and her involvement and dedication to sustainable tourism also came to live in her role in the Executive Committee of the International Association of Antarctic Tourism (IAATO), of which Waterproof Expeditions is a voting Member. As an expert in Polar tourism Marlynda is contracted by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs to advise them on safe and environmentally responsible Antarctic tourism management. Since 2004 she joins the Dutch Delegation to the annual Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings, where the 50 Antarctic Treaty Parties meet to provide for the international governance of Antarctica.

GÖran
Ehlmé Founder Waterproof Expeditions and Head of R&D, and co-founder at Waterproof International

I always have, and will  do my outmost to keep functionality and quality at  top level. Facing Reality – it is  not only a  phrase for me - It is how I live  my life.

Marlynda Elstgeest

Göran Ehlmé (Sweden) was the first to lead diving expeditions to the polar regions. As the head of the R&D departement and co-founder of  Waterproof Diving International in Sweden, he tests his drysuits during his filming work in the Polar regions and has designed them with first hand experiences in mind. 

As an underwater cameraman for BBC and National Geographic he frequently travelled with his friend Paul Nicklen filming Leopard Seals, Emperor Penguins and Orca’s. He was awarded with the ‘Overall Winner at the BBC Wildlife Photographe 2006’ award with his image of a foraging Walrus.

As co-founder of Waterproof Expeditions, he loves to share his experiences of the Polar regions and wildlife encounters with travellers around the world, and advices on photography, techniques and equipment. Göran filmed Beluga, Narwhal, Seals, Walrus and other mammals in the Canadian Arctic, Greenland and Svalbard. In Antarctica he filmed Humpback and Minke whales and all Seals (including Leopard), most penguin species, (including Emperors) and invertebrates.

In the Azores (Faial & San Miguel) he spent four seasons diving with Sperm Whales, and since 1985 he has been diving with Orcas in Norway and got very experienced with the whales themselves and the logistics and techniques involved in getting close to them. Görans footage is used in numerous series and films over the past twenty years. Some of his work:
- Orcas Northern Norway National Geographic (with Paul Nicklen 2014)
- Logistic and filming Emperor penguins Antarctica National Geographic (with Paul Nicklen 2013)
- Logistic and filming Walrus NE Greenland National Geographic (with Paul Nicklen 2012)
- Logistic and filming South Georgia for National Geographic (with Paul Nicklen 2011)
- Logistic and filming Sailfish Mexico National Geographic (with Paul Nicklen 2008)
- "March of the Penguins" logistic and behind the scenes camera archives of Leopard seals underwater
- Lord of the Ice, Leopard seals (Discovery/Saint Thomas Productions 2003)

Interview with Göran for Xray magazine

 

Anita
Bruyns
Sales manager Waterproof Expeditions

I knew before hand what I could expect, but it blew me away like nothing else. I am forever spoiled !

Anita Bruyns, about her Polar experiences in Spitsbergen.

Marlynda Elstgeest

Since Anita has been bitten by the ‘travelbug’ she has spent most of her spare time exploring the world topside as well as underwater. She takes great pleasure in sharing her experiences, passion and love for travelling with others and is an enthusiastic travel consultant.

Anita is an experienced diver and Padi Dive Master and lists the White Shark cage diving and Whale shark experiences as her favourites. She worked and travelled through Australia for a number of years.
As Waterproof Expeditions' sales manager she found the great combination of her passion for travelling and work.

yin
jian
Representative Waterproof Expeditions China

Yin in the Wave , USA

Marlynda Elstgeest

Yin is an experienced trip organizer and has travelled the world extensively with groups from China in the last 12 years. As a diver Yin is specialized in the Chinese dive industry but has also created a passion for whale watching and cruising around the world. As the Waterproof representative for the Chinese market we are very pleased to have a local contact for our friends from China. Yin speaks perfect English and Mandarin Chinese and accompanies most of our Chinese groups worldwide.

Please contact Yin for any enquiries you may have from China for Waterproof Cruises & Expeditions:
Mr. Yin Jian - China Representative
Tel: +86(10) 6738 3242
Mob: + 86 1391 0874 827
Address:   Suite 802, A2-8-1
Jihan Huanleyuan
Beijing 100024 - China

Leendert
van Halst
Financial Director

Every departure has different challenges and new experiences. That makes our work so fascinating. In the office as well as in the field.

CFO Waterproof Expeditions

Marlynda Elstgeest

As a 'Jack-of -all- trades' Leendert is responsible for the traditional CFO functions such as finance, administration, personnel and all legal and contractual matters. He enjoys the adventure company and will not hesitate to spread the word about Waterproof Expeditions wherever he can.

After finishing his university studies and his MBA in Strategic Management, Leendert started his professional career in maritime shipping (IT, satellite communications and crewing). Untill 2002 he worked for a large stock listed Norwegian maritime software house, a large satellite telephone provider (both VSAT and Inmarsat in land-mobile and maritime), before he started in the international maritime crewing business. Besides working for Waterproof Expeditions he also manages his own maritime crewing agency specialised in inland shipping. 

He enjoys combining his professional background in shipping and business economics with his passion for experiential travelling. The Waterproof Expeditions trips he made over the last years he truly experienced that  it's not about the moment you breathe, but it’s about the moments that take you breath away.

Birgitta
mueck Underwater camera professional

With my photographs and films I want to show the beauty and the great variety of nature living around us, on land as well as the spectacular life hiding under the surface. To be able to share my experiences and the happieness I feel while I am filming in the wild, is very important to me and makes my time in the wild even more valuable

Brigitta is on board our expeditions to Antarctica and our Orca Expeditions in Norway.

Marlynda Elstgeest

Born and raised on an island off the Swedish west coast, Birgitta Mueck naturaly got a big passion for the ocean  and its inhabitants. Already at a very young age, the underwater life became an important part of her life. In 2003 Birgitta completed her Wildlife Guide Education in Sweden, and since then she has mainly spent her time out in the field working on different natural history productions for national televisions. Brigitta runs her Swedish film company (Crystal Water Film Production AB) producing natural history films, mainly under water, for Swedish National Television (SVT) and Norwegian National Television (NRK). And when she is not on a Waterproof Expedition, she lives on a sailing boat while capturing the marine life on film and still pictures in both warm tropical waters as well as in the cold Arctic. Birgitta has been operating as underwater cinematographer in the following TV-productions: 2003–2005  "Journey of the Giants" ©2005, 26 min (Camera assistant) A documentary about the sperm whales in the Azores and Norway. Co-production between Crystal Water Film Production AB, Swedish National Television and Norwegian National Television. 2005-2007   "Last Giants of Europe" ©2007, 26 min (Underwater photographer) Co-production between Crystal Water Film Production AB, Swedish National Television and Norwegian National Television, with support from the Nordvision fund. 2007-2011   "Sharks of the North Atlantic" ©2011, 28 min (Underwater photographer)  Co-production between Crystal Water Film Production AB and Swedish National Television, with support from the Nordvision fund. 2007-2011   "Corals of the North Atlantic" ©2011, 28 min (Underwater photographer) Co-production between Crystal Water Film Production AB and Swedish National Television, with support from the Nordvision fund. 2011-2013  "Expedition Red Sea -half a century later" ©2013, 59 min (Underwater photographer) An adventurous sail- and film expedition from Sweden to the Red sea. Co-production between Crystal Water Film Production AB and Swedish National Television. 2012  "The Arctic Giant" ©2013, 59 min (Underwater photographer) Produced by Loke Film, in co-operation including National Geographic, Danish National Television, Swedish National Television, Norwegian National Television and more. 2013-  "Marine Protected Areas",  Film project highlighting the importance of protecting underwater areas, including the underwater life of Scandinavia, Azores and the Mediterranean. Co-production between Crystal Water Film Production AB and Swedish National Television.

For more information on Birgitta's work visit her website.

Peter Szyszka Dive guide and technical supervisor

I know for a fact that I speak for everyone in our group that Peter is hands down the best guide any of has ever had. He was funny, knowledgeable about the environment and wildlife and it was obvious that he was just as excited as the group to be there. Can't thank him enough..

Kyle Couillard United States, Antarctica Snorkeling Guest 

Marlynda Elstgeest

Peter Szyszka is among the elite of diving professionals worldwide having achieved Instructor Trainer status with 6 training agencies - PADI Course Director, TDI Instructor Trainer for all courses including Trimix, DSAT Trimix Instructor Trainer, DAN Instructor Trainer in Oxygen Provision, Emergency First Response Instructor Trainer and Instructor Trainer for IAHD (International Association of Handicapped Divers).  Hailing originally from Poland, and having spend 20 years in Sydney, Australia, Peter is now a resident of the South of France.  He has a gift for training, an extensive knowledge in all areas of diving and a passion for this sport that inspires all who come in contact with him.
Peter is certified to service over 13 brands of scuba equipment and has an extensive knowledge of, and experience in equipment configuration including rebreathers, oxygen cleaning and gas blending. Peter has dived on all 7 Continents and 32 countries around the world to depths past 120 meters in all conditions and water temperatures. Peter has been a Polar Dive Guide and technical supervisor on many trips to the Polar Regions with Waterproof Expeditions.

ingrid
visser
Orca Specialist and Snorkel Guide

Keiko was an amazing orca who touched the hearts of all who met him. I was fortunate to get the chance to work with him in Iceland, when he was being trained for release back into the wild

Ingrid Visser will join our Orca Expeditions in Norway as one of the onboard specialists and snorkel guide.

Marlynda Elstgeest

 

Dr. Ingrid N. Visser was born in New Zealand and she is the only researcher specializing in orca in New Zealand waters.

Her research officially began in 1992 when she embarked on her life-long dream to study orca. Since then she has worked with orca not only around New Zealand, but also in the waters of Antarctica, Argentina and Papua New Guinea.

Whilst travelling aboard eco-tourism ships or on private expeditions, she has also contributed to orca research projects in the Kamchatka region of Russia; Washington, Alaska and British Colombia off North America as well as Iceland (where she worked with the team releasing “Keiko” the star of the Free Willy movies).

She has published many articles in both scientific and popular magazines, as well as  founding 'the  Adopt an Orca programme' and the Orca Research Trust, a New Zealand registered Charity. Some of her work has included; 'A Day in the Life of Lolita the Performing Orca', featuring Dr. Ingrid N. Visser (2014), Ocean Adventures: 'Call of the Killer Whale' - with Jean-Michel Cousteau (2008) and 'Soul in the Sea' (2013). She has written three children’s books as well as an autobiography 'Swimming with Orca' which was a finalist in the 2005 NZ Montana Book Awards.

Dedicated to protecting the orca, Ingrid believes in making science ‘consumable’ for the general public and as such she is often seen out in the community giving talks about these incredible apex predators.

Ingrid will join our Orca Expeditions in Norway as one of the onboard specialists and snorkel guides.

 

Martin McGrath Polar Diver Specialist

I love diving and snorkeling in these amazing places. It is a privilege to travel with such an interesting variety of people and I love to share my knowledge and experience. It is all about the happy faces at the end of the day 

Martin McGrath, Polar Diver Specialist instructor for Waterproof Expeditions

Marlynda Elstgeest

Martin is a full time professional diver. Originally from the North East of England, he began diving whilst still studying for his degree. He freely admits to not being able to ”Walk past a puddle without wanting to get in it to see what’s at the bottom of it” and thinks that the North and South Polar regions are one of the best places on earth to do it. He currently resides in Sydney, Australia where he divides his time between diving, technical repairs, fire fighting and donning his wetsuit to clean the penguin pool at Sydney's Taronga Zoo!
 

He has done more than 8000 dives in a career lasting more than 25 years. He is a PADI Master Instructor, a BSAC Advanced Instructor and an HSE Commercial diver. He works as a safety and support diver for TV and Media crews in extreme environments. He has speciality instructor rating in more than 17 disciplines, and he is also a qualified skipper with sea survival and VHF qualifications.

Martin is an emergency first response instructor trainer and a scuba technician. He has dived in Antarctica, Australia, Scapa Flow, UK, Norway, France, Spain, Sicily, Beirut, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman, Caribbean, Indian Ocean, South Africa, Mozambique, Maldives and the Galapagos Islands. Martin has been Polar Diver Supervisor on many Waterproof Expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctica and is a Polar Diver Specialty Instructor.

Josh
Yates
Polar Dive and Land Guide

South Georgia is stunningly beautiful, and there is the most amazing amount of wildlife. Diving with king penguins and southern fur seals at Joke Cove is definitely one of my highlights  ! 

Josh Yates about the BBC support trip with Steve Backshall to South Georgia operated by Waterproof Expeditions

Marlynda Elstgeest

Josh is a wildlife enthusiast, and began diving whilst studying wildlife conservation at university in Plymouth, UK. After completing his degree, Josh worked in the education department of a marine zoo, where he was lucky enough to share his workplace with penguins, fur seals and hundreds of sea birds. Since 2006, Josh has been a science communicator touring schools with an inflatable planetarium, teaching science topics to children of all ages.

Josh began working professionally in the dive industry in 2008, at an inland dive site in Somerset, UK, first as a divemaster, and currently as an instructor/manager. He has helped countless people safely explore the underwater realm, a job which brings him huge satisfaction. He also enjoys diving rebreathers, sidemount, and good old fashioned snorkeling! Josh is a Waterproof Expeditions Polar dive guide on many trips to Antarctica. He was part of the support team for BBC’s ‘Deadly Pole to Pole’ with Steve Backshall and the TV show ‘Joko gegen Klaas’ from Endemol Germany, operated by Waterproof Expeditions. When Josh is not travelling to the Poles, Josh lives in Bristol and divides his time between diving and science communication.

MAGNUS eLANDER Expedition Guide Arctic

In Northeast Greenland there is still a possibility to experience the feeling to be a king with all the power to rule both yourself and, if you wish, a chunk of land limited only by your own imagination. A land where you yourself and nobody else determines when and how things should be done; in conflict with no-one. .

Magnus Elander's personal reflection on his experiences in Greenland.       

Marlynda Elstgeest

Magnus Elander, Swedisch born in 1946, is a professional photographer and author with special focus on wildlife, nature and science. Magnus has participated in expeditions and cruises to the Arctic for nearly forty years. He was Awarded the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2003 and has published features and images in Swedish and international magazines and newspapers, e.g. National Geographic Magazine, Terre Sauvage, Nordic, BBC Wildlife and Illustrered videnskab. Magnus has written and co-authored ten books about the Arctic, ecotourism and Scandinavia´s large predators. In cooperation with Staffan Widstrand he published two books Ajunngilaq – arctic moments and The Big Five, which has been awarded three times by the World Wide Fund for Nature, WWF as ”Pandabook of the year”.

Magnus has previously worked on assignments for e.g. Swedish Aviation, WWF International, Swedish Polar Research Council, Swedish Maritime Administration and Cosmonova IMAX theater, Danish Polar Center, Sirius Dog-sledge Patrol, and various expedition companies. His photos are on an exposition in several exhibitions in Sweden, Norway, Canada, Japan and Germany. The latest at the Cultural Center in Stockholm, was entitled ” Carnivores Alike” (together with Staffan Widstrand). Magnus is one of the founders of a Visitor Center called ”The Scandinavian Big Five” and a member of International League of Conservation Photographers. Magnus has been expedition leader on various cruise trips and private expedition yachts to Greenland for Waterproof Expeditions and will join the Elysium Arctic Expedition in August 2014 as part of the Waterproof team. 

Franco
banfi
Professional UW Photographer

The beluga swam up to me and turned just before touching me. He did this several times before stopping right in front of me, giving me the chance to take some pictures. Most of the time he was just investigating the new visitor” .

Franco Banfi, Photographer and tourleader Ice Diving White Sea with Waterproof  Expeditions

Marlynda Elstgeest

Franco has home in the southern part of Switzerland, in a cosy village close to Lugano Lake and is one of the most appreciated photojournalist specialized in underwater subjects and stories.
Franco began to dive in the 1981, in the Lake of Lugano. At the beginning, he dived the fresh waters nearest home, especially lakes and rivers, where the water is clearer and he was able to improve his photographic technique. Then he travelled everywhere he could, documenting wildlife and human relationship with nature in environments from the Equator to the Poles.
Franco dived in all the oceans of our Earth : Pacific Ocean, Atlantic, Indian, Arctic, Antarctic, Mediteranean Sea, Red Sea, improving his skill as photographer and his love for wildlife and conservation of biodiversity, flora and fauna.
He documented: in 2002 the Crocodylus porosus (salt water crocodile) in Papua New Guinea; in 2005 Somniosus microcephalus (Greenland sharks) in Arctic and Hydrurga leptonyx (leopard seals) in Antarctic; in 2006 the Sardine run and the Galeocerdo cuvier (tiger sharks) in South Africa, the Carcharodon carcharias (great white sharks) in Guadalupe - Mexico; in 2007 the Physeter macrocephalus (sperm whales) in Açores, the electric reef in Bali Island, the Alopias vulpinus (thresher sharks) in Philippines, the Eubalaena australis (southern right whales) in Peninsula Valdes – Argentina; in 2008 the Carcharhinus Leucas (Zambesi sharks) in St.Lucia – Cuba.
The many destinations and different projects he covered are a clear evidence of a versatile wilderness photographer.

With the help of his partner Sabrina, he recently succeeded in illustrating relevant interactions between people and underwater animals.
In this sense, their works with the Manta Birostris in Revillagigedo Archipelago (2005) or the Mola-mola (Ocean Sun Fish) in Nusa Penida (2006) or the Dosidicus gigas (Humboldt squids) in Loreto-Baja California (2007) awakened a great deal of interest.
Franco is an award-winning photographer (World Champion in underwater photography in Cuba, 1992) and he regularly takes part at international photo-competitions. He received top honours from the photo-competitions Wildlife Photographer of the Year, Nature’s Best, BBC Photo Competition, to name the most famous. In 2007 he won the Gold Award at the Celebrate the sea photo competition.

Eirik
Grønningsæter
Field Guide

I've seen thousands of whales in my life, but Orcas are my absolute favourites. But Orcas are my absolute favourites. Orcas were the first whale species I saw in my life when I was 7 years old - in the fjord outside my home. Their social life is amazing. They are the elephants of the sea - only much cooler!

Eirik is a Waterproof Expeditions guide on Orca Expeditions and Svalbard

Marlynda Elstgeest

Eirik Grønningsæter (b.1977), originally born on the west coast of Norway in a small town of Molde, but is now settled in Trondheim after been living several places abroad and in Norway. Through his strong passion for birds since early childhood, he is an acknowledged birder and whale specialist in Norway. The interest in nature and nature conservation has always played a central role in his life. Since graduated with a CandScient degree in zoology from the Natural History Museum (University of Oslo) in 2003, he started his own company where he designs and runs fieldwork for various scientific projects both in Norway and abroad. His work has been primarily with birds, but he has also gained experience with other animals such as whales, bats, cetacean and large predators. Through the years, he has evolved a particular strong interest in the Arctic, and since 2001, he has worked for different projects in the Arctic and Antarctic.

Since 2007, Eirik has combined field biology with a career in wildlife photography, and photo journalism is an increasing part of his company Feltbiologen Grønningsæter. Despite his relatively short photography career, his work has been recognized internationally and been published in highly prestigious magazines such as National Geographic, BBC Wildlife Magazine, Natur og Foto, Villmarksliv, A-Magasinet as well as larger newspapers and books both internationally and nationally. His images are represented through the agencies FotoNatura (NL), Alamy (UK) and Fotofil (No) where they are available as stock photos for numerous publishers and media.Erik was awarded first prize in the “animal portrait” category in the world’s most prestigious nature photo contest - BBC Wildlife Photographer of the year in 2010. The winning image was a wide angle image taken in Svalbard of a polar bear. This was only his second time entering the contest.
Eirik is one of our guides in the Arctic and on board our Orca Expeditions in Norway.