Bolster acquires minority stake in Oceanwide Expeditions

The specialist and market leader in expedition cruises to the polar regions

Amsterdam, 17 December, 2020: Bolster Investment Partners has acquired a minority stake of 25% in Oceanwide Expeditions, a market-leading specialist in expedition cruises to Antarctica and the Arctic. Bolster will support Oceanwide Expeditions in realizing its growth ambitions.

Oceanwide Expeditions was founded in 1993 by father and son, Wijnand and Michel van Gessel. Since then, Oceanwide has developed into a travel specialist for small-scale expedition cruises to the polar regions. In 2019 Oceanwide realized a turnover of € 44 million.

Oceanwide owns four ships, and a fifth ship will be operational in September of 2021. Offering thematic trips and versatile outdoor activities in combination with a focus on ecological sustainability and preservation, Oceanwide has won the award for World’s Leading Polar Expedition Operator five times. In addition to offering cruises for nature lovers and education, Oceanwide’s ships are also used for scientific research.

Bolster’s participation originates from Oceanwide’s wish to broaden its shareholder base, increase its financial strength, and accelerate growth.

Michel van Gessel, CEO of Oceanwide Expeditions, elaborates: “We are true specialists providing a unique exploratory experience. Expedition cruises are a segment of the travel industry that keeps growing, and our type of adventure voyages remain unchangeably attractive. Our broad and dynamic range of outdoor activities, refined over many years of experience, distinguish us in the market. Especially in times like these, owning our own fleet of vessels offers us flexibility and allows us to control our costs. With our strong market position, solid financial balance sheet, and the support of Bolster as a committed shareholder who shares our vision, nothing stands in the way to continue our success.”

Mark van Rijn, partner of Bolster Investment Partners, adds: “Oceanwide is the perfect example of an extraordinary company with a market-leading position operating in a niche in which we like to invest. We have been in contact with Oceanwide for years and have a lot of admiration for how the company is managed. They have built up a unique industry position with passion, knowledge, and years of experience. We are therefore delighted that our role and approach fit perfectly with theirs, and we look forward to continuing the adventure together with Oceanwide!” 

For more information, please contact:
Oceanwide Expeditions
Michel van Gessel:

Bolster Investment Partners
Mark van Rijn: +31 20 226 3088

About Oceanwide Expeditions
Oceanwide Expeditions is a travel specialist offering small-scale expedition cruises to Antarctica and the Artic. It also uses its ships for scientific research. Oceanwide was established in 1993 and is located in Vlissingen. It owns four ships, has a fifth under construction, employs 29 people, and in 2019 achieved a turnover of € 44 million.

About Bolster Investment Partners
Bolster Investment Partners is a long-term investor specializing in minority interests. Bolster invests in exceptional Dutch companies with a keen focus and proven business model. Bolster helps entrepreneurs realize their company’s full potential by acting as equal partners.

Bolster has a proven track record. As an investment firm, we have collaborated successfully with over 100 companies since 1982. Having previously operated under the name of Van Lanschot Participaties, in late 2017 the entire team became an independent investment company operating under the name Bolster Investment Partners.