Henry the NavigatorHenry the Navigator had a very significant role in the age of exploration He sent many expeditions to the west coast of Africa and southwards as he looked for a sea route to the spice islands.

Step 1

Place Sagres on a map of Portugal that you have downloaded, and indicate it was Henry the Navigator's base.

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Step 2 - make notes

Henry the navigator encouraged his students to help him work on the Henrys libarey of all his voyages and maps.Henry wanted to encourage his students so they can explore and be named after henry. Although he was called Prince Henry the Navigator by the English, Prince Henry never actually sailed on any of the voyages of discovery he sponsored. Instead, Prince Henry established a school for the study of the arts of navigation, mapmaking, and shipbuilding. This would allow sailors to better guide their ships and to come up with new ship designs.

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Map of African coast discovered by expeditions sponsored by Prince

See if you can find a picture of (a) Henry the Navigator, (b) a caravel and (c) the School of Navigation to add to your notes.

Step 3Write a brief biography of each explorer below. This should include:

The Famous Explorers

Bartholomew:Royal Household was a Portuguese explorer who sailed around the southernmost tip of Africa in 1488, the first European known to have done so. He was known as Cape of Good Hope "the Cape of storms. He helped open up the rout that Vasco da Gama would take to India.

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The name of the ship he when to africa to was called

the Ninia.

‍Christopher Columbus:

Christopher Columbus was a navigator and an admiral for Castile, a country that later founded modern Spain. He made four voyages to the Americas, with his first in 1492, which resulted in what is widely referred to as the Discovery of America 1st or Discovery of the Americas 2nd.

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The names of the 1497 Christopher Columbus Ships were the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria

‍Vasco da Gama 1498:

Portuguese explorer Vasco de Gama becomes the first European to reach India via the Atlantic Ocean when he arrives at Calicut on the Malabar Coast.

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‍Ferdinand Magellan 1520:

1520: Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan reached the Pacific Ocean after passing through the South American strait that now bears his name.Ferdinand Madellan was the first person to have traveled all the way around the world

(circumnavigated).

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Ferdinand Magellan's ships were the Trinidad, the San Antonio, the Concepcion, the Victoria and the Santiago.

Francis Drake: 1577-1580:

Sir Francis Drake, Vice Admiral (1540 – 27 January 1596) was an English sea captain, privateer, navigator, slaver, and politician of the Elizabethan era. Elizabeth I of awarded Drake a knighthood in 1581. He was second-in-command of the English fleet against the Spanish Armada in 1588. He carried out the second circumnavigation of the world, from 1577 to 1580.

  • Queen Elizabeth supported Sir Francis Drake for his voyages.

  • Sir Francis Drake made four voyages: two to the West Indies, one to the Panama Canal, looked at the Pacific Ocean, and a trip around the world.

  • Sir Francis Drake was allowed to raid the Spanish ports.

  • Sir Francis Drake's ship was named the "Pelican", later it was renamed the "Golden Hind".

  • Sir Francis Drake was knighted by Queen Elizabeth.

cirumnavigation by Sir Francis Drake
cirumnavigation by Sir Francis Drake

Sir Francis Drake circumnavigated the globe betwween 1577 and 1580. The ship he sailed in was called the 'Pelican' but Drake changed it's name during the voyage to the Golden Hind.

Abel Tasman 1642:

Abel Janszoon Tasman 1603–1659) was a Dutch seafarer, explorer and merchant, best known for his voyages of 1642 and 1644. His was the first known European expedition to reach the islands of Van Diemen's Land and New Zealand, and to have seen the Fiji islands. His navigator Francois Visscher, and his merchant Isaack Gilsemans, mapped substantial portions of Australia, New Zealand and some Pacific Islands.

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Abel Janszoon Tasman had two ships: The Heemskerck and the Zeehaen.

William Dampier 1688:

William Dampier was the first Englishman to explore parts of New Holland and the first person to circumnavigate the world three times. William Dampier has been described as the first natural historian of Australia and the greatest explorer-adventurer between Sir Walter Raleigh and Captain Cook.

After impressing the Admiralty with his book New Voyage Round the World, Dampier was given command of a 26-gunner and made valuable discoveries in Western New Holland.

On a later voyage, he was able to rescue Alexander Selkirk, who was Daniel Defoe's inspiration for Robinson Crusoe.

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When Captain William Dampier first came across Western Australia in 1688, he captained the Cygnet. On his next journey in 1699, his ship was the Roebuck.

Early in the 1700s, Dampier was appointed commander of the government ship St George, while in 1708 he was then taken on as sailing master on the Duke.

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James Cook 1768-71:

Captain James Cook was a British explorer, navigator and cartographer who ultimately who became captain in the Royal Navy. James Cook made maps of Newfoundland 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, and the first recorded circumnavigation of New Zealand.

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James Cook's ships name was the Endeavour.

This was the ship in which he sailed to the South Pacific, circumnavigated New Zealand and charted the east coast of Australia.

James Cook's most famous voyage is his first voyage when, in 1769-1770, he circumnavigated and charted New Zealand, and when he became the first known European to sight and chart Australia's eastern coast.








  • date of voyage
  • a map of his journey (find one and cut & paste it into your wiki page)
  • name of ship(s)
  • importance of the voyage (the first to do what?)

If you find any good pictures add them to your notes.

Name & Dates of Journeys



  • Francis Drake 1577-80
  • Abel Tasman 1642
  • William Dampier 1688
  • James Cook 1768-71