“Victoria” (or “Nao Victoria”, as well as “Vittoria”) was a Spanish carrack and the first ship to successfully circumnavigate the world.
Vespucci realized the land he was exploring was a separate continent and not part of Asia, as he and many others believed at the time. The continents of North and South America are named after him.
Similar to a cross-staff, the back staff uses the shadow of the sun instead of the direct view of the sun to obtain the altitude.
The earliest barques were noted in Portugal with square sails and oars but by the 18th century, the British Navy used the term bark to cover ships that did not fall in any other categories.
He was the first European explorer to sail around the tip of Africa from the Atlantic Ocean to the Indian Ocean, and opened opportunities for a new trade route to India.
The Caravel was slightly smaller than the Carrack and was generally used for carrying cargo and fishing. They were faster than most vessels and therefore favored by pirates.
The Carrack or Nao (meaning ship) was developed as a fusion between Mediterranean and Northern European-style ships.
He is credited for discovering the Americas in 1492, although we know today people were there long before him; his real achievement was that he opened the door for more exploration to a New World.
A renowned privateer, he later led the ships bound for Jamestown and explored the Chesapeake Bay.
He led the first circumnavigation of the world, and is considered the first European to cross the Pacific Ocean
Used primarily for trade, the Fluit was adept at sailing in colder climates and had a large cargo hold.
He effectively ended Spanish dominance over the seas and the New World, allowing England to become a global empire.
He explored the southwest of the American continent, claimed most of the southwest for Spain and charted the course of many rivers and native roads in the area.
He is most known for conquering the Incan Empire of Peru and putting to death its king, Atahualpa, which firmly established Spanish control over South America.
The galleon developed in the early 16th century from ships such as the caravel and the carrack.
Discovered the majority of the eastern coast of America including the Virginia and Delaware Capes, New Jersey, New York Bay, Rhode Island, Narragansett Bay, Massachusetts Bay, and the Maine Coast.
He discovered the Hudson River, Hudson Strait and Hudson Bay on his search for a Northwest Passage to China, which allowed trade to expand throughout North America.
Hernán Cortés was the Spanish conquistador responsible for conquering the Aztec Empire and building Mexico City which secured Spain’s position in the New World.
Mapped much of the southern half of the modern United States, from Florida to North Carolina and west to the Mississippi River.
Discovered the mouth of the St. Lawrence River and explored much of its area; gave Canada and Canadians their name.
He led the first expedition of sailors known to cross the Antarctic Circle and disproved the existence of the legendary “Southern Continent.”
She was a French botanist and explorer. She unknowingly became the first woman to sail around the entire globe.
He was a Spanish explorer who became the first governor of Puerto Rico, the first European known to reach the mainland of present day United States, and he gave Florida its name.
He was the first European to discover Brazil and also established a successful sea route to India and was a leader in commercial expedition there.
Used at sea as early as the mid 1400s, the quadrant was used by sailors to measure the height of Polaris, the Pole star.
Discovered and charted the Ottawa River, Lake Huron, Lake Ontario, and founded Quebec; the first French colony in Canada
The Traverse Board was used to record the direction a ship was sailing along with the corresponding speed of the ship for the same four hour period.
Portuguese explorer and navigator who found a direct sea route from Europe to Asia, and was the first European to sail to India by going around Africa.
Vasco de Balboa is credited as being the first European to set eyes on the Pacific Ocean from the New World, which paved the way for Spanish expansion.
Sir Walter Raleigh was in charge of creating the Roanoke colony in the name of England. Though unsuccessful, it paved the way for further colonization of the New World.
Zheng He commanded several treasure fleets – Chinese ships that explored and traded across Asia and Africa. His expeditions greatly expanded China’s trade.