In the 14th century, Ibn Battuta, a Berber Maghrebi scholar and explorer, traveled throughout the Islamic world over the course of several decades. He would travel through Northern Africa, the Middle East and Asia – reaching as far east as China. It is one of the great stories of exploration in travel in history – 73,000 miles to the corners of the Islamic world – more than three times the distance of Marco Polo. It is an amazing tale – and one not known outside of the Muslim world until the 1800s.
John McDouall Stuart and the Crossing of Australia
In the late 1850s and early 1860, John McDouall Stuart led six expeditions into the Australian interior – culminating with an epic crossing – and return – on his final journey. Stuart was a slight, small man, a social misfit and heavy drinker. Yet he would go on to become perhaps the greatest explorer of the Australian interior in history.
Francisco Vázquez de Coronado and the Seven Cities of Gold
In 1540, Spanish conquistador Francisco Vázquez de Coronado set out from northern Mexico with one of the largest expeditions ever assembled in the New World. The goal was to find and conquer the legendary Seven Cities of Gold – also known as Cibola and El Dorado.
Matt Rutherford and the first solo, nonstop circumnavigation of the Americas
In 2011, Matt Rutherford set out to become the first person to ever sail around the Americas. He had a 40-year old, 27-foot long sailboat – the St. Brendan. As this was a solo voyage, he was alone. And as this was nonstop, he could not put into port, drop anchor, connect himself to another vessel, or beach the boat. In this 3-part series, we chronicle Rutherford’s voyage, plus do an extensive interview with the man.
Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliett
In 1673, French explorers Louis Joliett and Jacques Marquette went searching for the legendary ‘Big River’ that lies in the west – the Mississippi. Marquette – a Jesuit priest – and Joliett – a Canadian born trader, would find the great river and open up one of North America’s great waterways to Europe.
Captain James Cook in one history’s most famous explorers. He conducted three expeditions to the Pacific, opening up countless new lands to the western world – including New Zealand, Australia and all sorts of islands. In all of this, he would sail from the Arctic to the Antarctic – perhaps the most prolific naval explorer in history.
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