For centuries, European explorers sailed vast oceans to find new lands. Learn all about major European explorers in these articles.

Martin Pring

Pring, Martin (1580 - 1626), an English explorer. He made three voyages to America, exploring the New England coast from Maine to Cape Cod Bay.

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  • James Cook

    James Cook

    Cook, James (1728 - 1779), a British navigator. Captain Cook accurately charted vast regions of the South Pacific; provided a basis for England's claim to Australia and New Zealand; and developed a diet that prevented scurvy among seamen. See more »

  • Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca

    Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca

    Cabeza de Vaca, Alvar Nunez (1490 - 1557), a Spanish explorer. He was a leader in the expedition of Panfilo de Narvaez to Florida in 1528. See more »

  • Ferdinand Magellan

    Ferdinand Magellan

    Magellan, Ferdinand (Portuguese: Fernao de Magalhaes)(1480? - 1521), a Portuguese navigator. See more »

  • Juan Diaz de Solis

    Juan Diaz de Solis

    Solíis, Juan Di­az de (1470 - 1516), a Spanish navigator and explorer. After many years of exploration in Latin America, Solíis succeeded Amerigo Vespucci as chief pilot of Spain in 1512. See more »

  • Abel Tasman

    Abel Tasman

    Tasman, Abel Janszoon (1603 - 1659), a Dutch navigator. Exploring the Pacific Ocean for the Dutch East India Company, he discovered Tasmania (which he named Van Diemen's Land) and New Zealand in 1642. See more »

  • Amerigo Vespucci

    Amerigo Vespucci

    Vespucci, Amerigo, (Latinized form: Americus Vespucius, ) (1451 - 1512), the Italian navigator for whom the continents of the Western Hemisphere are named. See more »

  • Bartholomeu Dias

    Bartholomeu Dias

    Dias (or Diaz), Bartholomeu(1450 - 1500), a Portuguese explorer. He discovered the Cape of Good Hope, near the southern tip of the African continent. See more »

  • Challenger Expedition

    Challenger Expedition

    Challenger Expedition, an exploring trip made in 1872 - 76 to study the ocean bottom and undersea life. See more »

  • Eric the Red

    Eric the Red

    Eric the Red (950 - 1000), the Norse founder of a settlement in Greenland. He gave the island its name to attract settlers. See more »

  • George Vancouver

    George Vancouver

    Vancouver, George (1758 - 1798), an English navigator and explorer. He surveyed the northwest coast of North America, and his name was given to Vancouver Island and to the cities of Vancouver, British Columbia, and Vancouver, Washington. See more »

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