From Quiz Revision Notes

Erik the Red (950 – c. 1003) founded the first Nordic settlement in Greenland. Father of Leif Ericson

Leif Ericson (c. 970 – c. 1020) was a Norse explorer who was probably the first European to land in North America (excluding Greenland). According to the Sagas of Icelanders, he established a Norse settlement at Vinland, which has been tentatively identified with the L'Anse aux Meadows Norse site on the northern tip of the island of Newfoundland. Leif Ericson was nicknamed ‘the lucky’ after he rescued an Icelandic castaway

Marco Polo (1254 – 1325) was a Venetian trader and explorer who gained fame for his worldwide travels. Polo, together with his father Niccolo and his uncle Maffeo, was one of the first Westerners to travel the Silk Road to China (which he called Cathay) and visit Kublai Khan. Marco Polo spent several months of his imprisonment dictating a detailed account of his travels to a fellow inmate, Rustichello da Pisa. The book soon spread throughout Europe in manuscript form, and became known as Il Milione (The Million or The Travels of Marco Polo)

Zheng He (1371 – 1433) commanded expeditionary voyages from China to Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, and East Africa from 1405 to 1433

Henry the Navigator (1394 – 1460) was a prince of the Portuguese House of Aviz and an important figure in the early days of the Portuguese Empire, being responsible for the beginning of the European worldwide explorations

Bartholomew Diaz (1450 – 1500) was a Portuguese explorer who sailed around the Cape of Good Hope in 1488, the first European known to do. He named the Cape of Good Hope the ‘Cape of Storms’

Vasco da Gama (c. 1469 – 1524) was a Portuguese explorer, one of the most successful in the European Age of Discovery and the commander of the first ships to sail directly from Europe to India

Christopher Columbus (1451 – 1506) was born in Genoa. Voyages sponsored by Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain. Ships – Nina, Pinta, Santa Maria (flagship). Columbus called the island (in what is now The Bahamas) San Salvador; the natives called it Guanahani. Columbus thought he had landed in China

Christopher Columbus landed on Cuba's northeastern coast on 28 October 1492. He claimed the island for the new Kingdom of Spain

Santa Maria ran aground off Haiti in 1492

Christopher Columbus claimed Jamaica for Spain after landing there in 1494 and his probable landing point was Dry Harbour, now called Discovery Bay

Rodrigo de Triana was the first European since the Vikings known to have seen America. On 12 October 1492, while in the crow's nest of Christopher Columbus's ship Pinta, he sighted land of the Americas

Giovanni Caboto (c. 1450 – c. 1499), known in English as John Cabot, was an Italian navigator and explorer commonly credited as the first early modern European to discover the North American mainland. He discovered Nova Scotia and Newfoundland in the Matthew in 1497. Father of explorer Sebastian Cabot

Amerigo Vespucci (1454 – 1512) was the first person to demonstrate that the New World discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1492 was not the eastern appendage of Asia, but rather a previously-unknown ‘fourth’ continent. Discovered the mouth of the Amazon and the River Plate

Pedro Cabral (c. 1468 – 1520) was a Portuguese navigator and explorer, generally regarded as the first European discoverer of the sea route to Brazil, in 1500

Vasco Nunez de Balboa (1475 – 1519) was a Spanish explorer, governor, and conquistador. He is best known for having crossed the Isthmus of Panama to the Pacific Ocean in 1513, becoming the first European to lead an expedition to have seen or reached the Pacific from the New World. Balboa was executed

Florida is the oldest surviving European place-name in the U.S. Juan Ponce de Leon (1474 – 1521), a Spanish conquistador, named Florida in honor of his discovery of the land on the evening 2 April 1513, six days after Easter and still during Pascua Florida, a Spanish term for the ‘Flowery Easter’ season, and for the land's appearance as a ‘flowered land.’. He became the first Governor of Puerto Rico by appointment of the Spanish crown

Ferdinand Magellan (1480 – 1521) was charged with finding a route to East Indies via South America. In August 1519, the five ships under Magellan's command including the flagship Trinidad left Seville. Passed through what is now Strait of Magellan in November 1520. In April 1521, Magellan sailed to Mactan with a small attack force. During the resulting battle against Lapu-Lapu's troops, Magellan was struck by a bamboo spear and killed. The two remaining ship reached the Maluku Islands (the Spice Islands) in November 1521. Victoria set sail via the Indian Ocean route home in December, commanded by Juan Sebastian Elcano. In September 1522, Elcano and the remaining crew of Magellan's voyage arrived in Spain aboard the Victoria. Magellan sailed under the flag of Spain

Pacific Ocean (Mar Pacifico) named by Ferdinand Magellan

Giovanni de Verrazzano (c. 1485 – c. 1528) was an Italian explorer of North America, in the service of the French crown. He is renowned as the first European to explore the Atlantic coast of North America between South Carolina and Newfoundland in 1539, including New York Harbour

Jacques Cartier (1491 – 1557) was a French navigator and explorer who first described and mapped the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and the shores of the Saint Lawrence River, which he named Canada, as well as the first recorded circumnavigation of Newfoundland

Pinzon brothers were Spanish sailors and explorers. All three, Martín Alonso, Francisco Martín and Vicente Yanez, participated in Christopher Columbus's first expedition to the New World and in other voyages of discovery and exploration in the late 15th and early 16th centuries

Hernando de Soto (c.1496 – 1542) was a Spanish explorer and conquistador who, while leading the first European expedition deep into the territory of the modern-day United States, was the first European documented to have crossed the Mississippi River

Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo (1499 – 1543) was a Portuguese explorer noted for his exploration of the west coast of North America on behalf of Spain. Cabrillo was the first European explorer to navigate the coast of present day California

William Barents (c. 1550 – 1597) was a Dutch navigator and explorer, a leader of early expeditions to the far north. The Barents Sea, Barentsburg and Barents Region were all named after him

Martin Frobisher (c. 1535 or 1539 – 1594) made three voyages to the New World between 1576 and 1578 to look for the Northwest Passage. All landed in northeastern Canada, around today's Resolution Island and Frobisher Bay. He brought tonnes of what he thought was gold ore back to the UK, but the ore turned out to be iron pyrite. George Best was a chronicler on the voyages

Francis Drake (c. 1540 – 1595) discovered Cape Horn, and named it Elizabethia, in 1578. Drake became the first Englishman to circumnavigate the globe in 1580, in the Pelican, renamed the Golden Hind at sea

Juan de Fuca (1536 – 1602) was a Greek-born maritime pilot in the service of the king of Spain, Philip II. He is best known for his claim to have explored the Strait of Anian, now known as the Strait of Juan de Fuca, between Vancouver Island and northwestern Washington State in 1592. The Juan de Fuca Plate, a tectonic plate underlying much of the coastline he explored, is named after him

John Davis (c. 1550 – 1605) was one of the chief English navigators and explorers under Elizabeth I. He led several voyages to discover the Northwest Passage, served as pilot and captain on both Dutch and English voyages to the East Indies. He discovered the Falkland Islands in 1592

Samuel de Champlain (1574 – 1635) founded New France and Quebec City in 1608. He is important to Canadian history because he made the first accurate map of the coast and he helped establish the settlements

John Smith (1580 – 1631) was considered to have played an important part in the establishment of Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in North America. He was a leader of the Virginia Colony (based at Jamestown) between 1608 and 1609, and led an exploration along the rivers of Virginia and the Chesapeake Bay. He was the first English explorer to map the Chesapeake Bay area and New England

In 1609, Henry Hudson (1565 – 1611) was chosen by the Dutch East India Company (VOC) to find an easterly passage to Asia. Hudson discovered Manhattan Island in 1609. There was a mutiny on Henry Hudson’s ship Discovery in 1611

Walter Raleigh (1552 – 1618) sailed to find El Dorado in 1594 and 1616. Raleigh sailed up the Orinoco in Venezuela in an attempt to find El Dorado, but upset the Spanish, and was executed by James I

The first recorded European sighting of the Australian mainland was made by the Dutch navigator Willem Janszoon, who sighted the coast of Cape York Peninsula in 1606 in the Duyfken

New Zealand was discovered by Abel Tasman (1603 – 1659) in 1643, and surveyed by Captain Cook in 1769

Robert de LaSalle (1643 – 1687) was a French explorer. He explored the Great Lakes region of the United States and Canada, the Mississippi River, and the Gulf of Mexico. La Salle claimed the entire Mississippi River basin for France

William Dampier (1651 – 1715) was the first Englishman to explore or map parts of New Holland (Australia) and New Guinea and was the first person to circumnavigate the world three times. In 1699 he rounded New Guinea, then traced the southeastern coasts of New Hanover, New Ireland and New Britain, charting the Dampier Strait between these islands (now the Bismarck Archipelago) and New Guinea

Great Northern Expedition tried to find a north-east passage in 1725. Led by Vitus Bering (1681 – 1741) who was a Danish explorer and officer in the Russian Navy

George Vancouver (1757 – 1798) was a Royal Navy surveyor explored the Pacific coast along the modern day Canadian province of British Columbia and the American states of Alaska, Washington and Oregon

Louis-Antoine, comte de Bougainville (1729 – 1811) was a French admiral and explorer. Bougainville's name is given to the largest of the Solomon Islands; and to the strait which divides it from the island of Choiseul. The genus of South American climbing shrubs with colorful bracts, Bougainvillea, is named after him

In 1766 Louis de Bougainville received from Louis XV permission to circumnavigate the globe. He would become the 14th navigator in western history, and the first Frenchman, to sail around the world

Captain James Cook (1728 – 1779) was born in Middlesbrough. Cook was an apprentice in Whitby in 1746. He was the first to map Newfoundland and mapped the entrance to the St Lawrence River prior to making three voyages to the Pacific Ocean during which he achieved the first European contact with the eastern coastline of Australia and the Hawaiian Islands as well as the first recorded circumnavigation of New Zealand. He devised a diet high in Vitamin C to protect sailors against scurvy

Cook crossed the Antarctic Circle in 1773

Cook’s ships – Endeavour, Resolution, Adventure, and Discovery (1768 – 1779)

Vancouver Island was discovered by Cook in 1778, and named after George Vancouver

Cook was killed by natives in the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii) in 1779

George Bass (1771 – 1803) was born in Lincolnshire, and qualified as a surgeon. He arrived in Sydney on HMS Reliance, in which Matthew Flinders had also sailed, in February 1795. The two, accompanied by William Martin, explored Botany Bay. Flinders recommended to Governor John Hunter that the passage between Van Diemen's Land and the mainland be called Bass Strait

Matthew Flinders (1774 – 1814) sailed with Captain William Bligh, circumnavigated Australia and encouraged the use of that name for the continent

Mungo Park (1771 – 1806) was the first European to reach the Niger, in 1796. Born in Scotland

Alexander von Humboldt (1769 – 1859) travelled to Latin America between 1799 and 1804, exploring and describing it from a scientific point of view for the first time

Lewis and Clark Expedition, headed by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, was the first American overland expedition to the Pacific coast and back. The Corps of Discovery departed from Camp Dubois, Illinois on 14 May 1804, marking the beginning of the voyage to the Pacific coast. Arrived back in St Louis on 23 September 1806. Charles Floyd died on the expedition. Sacagawea was a Shoshone woman who accompanied the expedition, acting as an interpreter and guide

Fabian von Bellingshausen (1778 – 1852) was a Russian officer, the first person to sight Antarctica, in 1820

John Franklin (1786 – 1847) was a British Royal Navy officer and Arctic explorer who mapped almost two thirds of the northern coastline of North America. Franklin also served as governor of Tasmania for several years

In 1845, an expedition led by Sir John Franklin sailed to the Canadian Arctic to chart the final unknown parts of the Northwest Passage. When it failed to return, a number of relief expeditions and search parties explored the Canadian Arctic, resulting in final charting of a possible passage. During the search for Franklin, Commander Robert McClure and his crew in HMS Investigator traversed the Northwest Passage from west to east in the years 1850 to 1854, partly by ship and partly by sledge

John Rae (1813 – 1893) surveyed parts of a Northwest Passage and reported the fate of the Franklin Expedition

James Clark Ross (1800 – 1862) explored the Arctic with his uncle Sir John Ross and Sir William Parry, and later led his own expedition to Antarctica. The Ross Ice Shelf is named after James Clark Ross. James Clark Ross and William Parry located the position of the North Magnetic Pole in 1831

David Thompson (1770 – 1857) was an English-Canadian fur trader, surveyor, and map-maker. Over his career he mapped over 3.9 million square kilometres of North America

David Livingstone (1813– 1873) set out to discover the source of the Nile, and was the first European to see the Victoria Falls in 1855

Henry Morton Stanley (1841 – 1904), who had been sent to find Livingstone by the New York Herald newspaper in 1869, found Livingstone in the town of Ujiji on the shores of Lake Tanganyika on 10 November 1871

John Hanning Speke (1827 – 1864) and Richard Francis Burton (1821 – 1890) discovered Lake Tanganyika in 1858

John Hanning Speke was the first European to reach Lake Victoria, later in 1858

John Hanning Speke was the first white man to enter Buganda, in 1861

Samuel Baker (1821 – 1893) is mostly remembered as the discoverer of Lake Albert, and as an explorer of the Nile and interior of central Africa

In 1860 Robert Burke and William Wills led an expedition of 19 men with the intention of crossing Australia from Melbourne in the south to the Gulf of Carpentaria in the north, a distance of around 2800 km. At that time most of the inland of Australia had not been explored by white people and was completely unknown to the European settlers. The south-north leg was successfully, but owing to poor leadership and bad luck, both of the expedition's leaders died on the return journey. Only one man, John King, travelled the entire expedition and returned alive to Melbourne

Fridtjof Nansen (1861 – 1930) achieved great success with his Arctic expedition aboard the Fram in 1893

Robert Falcon Scott (1868 – 1912) led two expeditions to the Antarctic regions: the Discovery Expedition, 1901–1904, and the ill-fated Terra Nova Expedition, 1910–1913. During this second venture Scott led a party of five which reached the South Pole on 17 January 1912, to find that they had been preceded by Roald Amundsen's Norwegian party. Scott’s companions on Terra Nova expedition (1910–1913) were Oates, Bowers, Wilson and Evans. “For God’s sake look after our people” – last diary entry by Scott

The Northwest Passage was not conquered by sea until 1906, when the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen (1872 – 1928), who had sailed just in time to escape creditors seeking to stop the expedition, completed a three year voyage in the converted 47-ton herring boat Gjoa. At the end of this trip, he walked into the city of Eagle, Alaska, and sent a telegram announcing his success

In 1918, Amundsen began an expedition with a new ship Maud, which was to last until 1925. Maud sailed west to east through the Northeast Passage, now called the Northern Route (1918–1920). Amundsen planned to freeze the Maud into the polar ice cap and drift towards the North Pole (as Nansen had done with the Fram), but in this he was not successful

Fram was used by Roald Amundsen in his southern polar expedition from 1910 to 1912

Amundsen reached the South Pole on 14 December 1911

Amundsen was the first person to reach both the North and South Poles

Amundsen was the first expedition leader to (undisputedly) reach the North Pole in 1926

Amundsen disappeared in1928 while flying on a rescue mission, looking for missing members of Umberto Nobile's crew, whose new airship Italia had crashed while returning from the North Pole

Robert Peary (1856 – 1920) claimed to have reached the North Pole on 6 April 1909 in the Roosevelt. However, Peary's claim remains controversial

Ernest Shackleton (1874 – 1922) was born in Ireland, and died aboard the Quest in South Georgia, where he is buried. Shackleton is most noteworthy for leading the unsuccessful Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, often known as the ‘Endurance Expedition’, between 1914 and 1916

Nimrod, Endurance and Quest – ships on Shackleton’s three Antarctic expeditions

Endurance became beset in the ice of the Weddell Sea, and despite efforts to free her she drifted northward, held in the pack ice, throughout the Antarctic winter of 1915. Eventually the ship was crushed and sunk, stranding her 28-man complement on the ice. After months spent in makeshift camps as the ice continued its northwards drift, the party took to the lifeboats to reach the inhospitable, uninhabited Elephant Island. Shackleton and five others then made an 800 mile open-boat journey in the James Caird to reach South Georgia. From there, Shackleton was eventually able to mount a rescue of the men waiting on Elephant Island and bring them home without loss of life

Vivian Fuchs (1908 – 1999) was an English explorer whose expeditionary team completed the first overland crossing of Antarctica in 1958

Transglobe expedition – in 1979, adventurers Ranulph Fiennes and Charles Burton set out to make the first circumpolar navigation from Greenwich, traveling the world ‘vertically’ traversing both of the poles. Completed in 1982