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Famous Explorers Quiz

Quiz I

  1. Name the first known European explorer to reach New Zealand and also sight the Fiji islands?
  2. Who was the first known European to have set foot on continental North America (Hint: It was before Christopher Columbus)?
  3. Which explorer is best known for claiming to have reached the geographic North Pole with his expedition on April 6, 1909?
  4. Juan Sebastian Elcano completed the first circumnavigation of the Earth after his captain Magellan's death in which country in 1521? And what was the name of the Spanish carrack that was the first ship to successfully circumnavigate the world?

  5. Which Scottish explorer was the first Westerner known to have travelled to the central portion of Africa's Niger River?
  6. Which explorer was the first European to reach India by sea?
  7. Sir Francis Drake (from 1577 to 1580) carried out the second circumnavigation of the world in a single expedition in the Golden Hind , but what was the original name of this ship?
  8. Marco Polo was born in which modern day European city?
  9. Which explorer not only first translated the Kama Sutra into English but with John Hanning Speke was the first European to visit the Great Lakes of Africa in search of the source of the Nile?
  10. Sir Walter Raleigh's 1595 expedition set out to explore the Orinoco River in an attempt to find which fabled city?
  11. Which ship anchored off New Zealand in 1769 and was the first European vessel to reach the islands since Abel Tasman's Heemskerck 127 years earlier?
  12. On which island was Captain James Cook killed, aged 50, in 1779?
  13. Which North American city is named after the British officer of the Royal Navy best known for his 1791–95 expedition, which explored and charted North America's northwestern Pacific Coast regions?
  14. Which Italian navigator with the English sounding name, was the first European to sail along the North American coast in 1497 since the Vikings 500 years previously?
  15. The settlement of Grytviken in South Georgia has become a popular attraction for Antarctic cruise lines with many tourists visiting the resting place of which famous explorer?
  16. Juan Ponce de Leon, the first Governor of Puerto Rico, discovered which American state in 1513?
  17. Which French explorer was the first European to travel inland in North America?
  18. Name the first person to reach the South Pole?
  19. Who, whilst searching for the Northwest Passage, was cast adrift by mutineers in 1611 with his son and several others never to be seen again?
  20. The Lewis and Clark Expedition was an expedition to cross the western portion of which country from May 1804 to September 1806?
  21. Who was sent to find the explorer David Livingstone by the New York Herald newspaper in 1869?
  22. Which explorer is the first to visit both south and north poles by surface, and the first to completely cross Antarctica on foot ? (Hint: According to the Guinness Book of World Records in 1984, he was the world's greatest living explorer.)
  23. Which whaler and polar expedition ship is best known for carrying Robert Falcon Scott's fateful 1910 British Antarctic Expedition?
  24. In 1488, Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias became the first European to reach what is now known as the Cape of Good in South Africa, what name did he give to this cape?
  25. Which Queen of Castile supported and financed Christopher Columbus's 1492 voyage that led to the opening of the New World?


  1. Abel Tasman
  2. Leif Erikson
  3. Rear Admiral Robert Peary
  4. Philippines. The ship was named Victoria (the expedition began on August 10, 1519 with five ships. However, Victoria was the only ship to complete the voyage.)
  5. Mungo Park
  6. Vasco da Gama
  7. Pelican
  8. Venice (then the Republic of Venice)
  9. Sir Richard Burton
  10. El Dorado
  11. HMS Endeavour
  12. Hawaii
  13. Vancouver (after Royal Navy British officer Captain George Vancouver)
  14. John Cabot
  15. Ernest Shackleton (in Grytviken's graveyard)

  16. Florida
  17. Jacques Cartier
  18. Roald Amundsen
  19. Henry Hudson
  20. United States of America
  21. Henry Morton Stanley (he found Livingstone in the town of Ujiji on the shores of Lake Tanganyika on 10 November 1871)
  22. Sir Ranulph Fiennes
  23. Terra Nova
  24. Cape of Storms
  25. Queen Isabella