- Marco Polo (1254-1324):
Italian traveler Marco Polo was one of the first European to visit China and other far eastern territories. However, his reports were not believed but he encouraged the idea of trading with the East. His father and uncle were a merchant which inspired Polo to overcome the deep concepts of appraising, foreign currency and handling cargo ships.
- John Cabot (1450-98):
Italian-born explorer John Cabot was employed by British merchants to seek a western route to Asia. During his travels, he discovered parts of the northeast coast of America. He was also sponsored by the Great Britain to start an expedition for exploring the Atlantic.
- Christopher Columbus (1451-1506):
This Genoese colonizer discovered North, Central and South America and the islands of West Indies. It was Columbus who established the string between indigenous Americans and Europeans. As a phenomenon of culture and civilization, Columbus will be always remembered for discovering the “New World”.
- Vasco da Gama (1460-1524):
Considered as the greatest hero in the European age of discovery, Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama traveled round the Cape of Good Hope and up the East coast of Africa and later discovered a trade route to India. After mastering in the field of mathematics and navigation he became the governor of Portuguese India in 1524.
- Ferdinand Magellan (1480-1521):
Magellan was a Portuguese explorer who led the first voyage around the world. He discovered the Strait of Magellan, near the tip of South America. He was born in Sabrosa but later adopted the nationality of Spain to serve King Charles I in order to explore the westward route to the Spice Island.
- Abel Tasman (1603-59):
This Dutchman was an aesthetic voyager and is notable for exploring Australia, New Zealand and Van Diemen’s Land (later called Tasmania). With his ships Heemskerck and Zeehaen , Tasman led the exploring expedition towards North Pacific with the object to obtain knowledge of all undiscovered beaches in the world.
- Henry Hudson (1550-1611):
Henry Hudson was an English navigator who searched for a Northwest Passage (a route to the east by traveling north of America) and discovered Hudson’s Bay. He is also credited to discover the area around modern New York City while exploring the route to Asia via west.
- James Cook (1728-79):
Famous British Captain James Cook led several major expeditions. He explored the coasts of Australia, New Zealand, and North America. An epitome in the area of geographical exploration, Captain Crook was killed in 1779 by Hawaiians during his third exploratory navigation.
- David Livingstone (1813-73):
Livingstone was a Scottish missionary and explorer of Africa. He discovered and named the Victoria Falls after Queen Victoria. Encourager of commercial empire, Livingstone was born in a protestant family and his father was much institutionalized to his beliefs.
- Sir Richard Burton (1821-90):
Son of a British army officer, Sir Burton is best known for exploring Arabia and Lake Tanganyika in Africa. Strictly denying the colonial policies, he served for seven years in India as a captain in the army of “East India Company”. This controversial poet is also credited for translating “One Thousand And One Nights” .