Explorers: The Americas and the North-West Passage at National Maritime Museum

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Explorers: The Americas and the North-West Passage is a brief history of world exploration from Columbus to today. Exploration of the sea began in prehistory. Over the centuries, trade, land-hunger and curiosity have all encouraged humans to sail beyond their known world. Early exploration was carried out in small craft. Sailors navigated along coastlines by known landmarks and on the open sea by the Sun, the stars and the currents. The knowledge accumulated was passed on in myth and lore. From the late-15th century, the pace and scope of maritime exploration accelerated spectacularly. The maritime states of Europe, seeking to expand their empires, sent their ships into the Atlantic, the Indian Ocean, the Pacific and eventually into the polar seas, mapping the world as we know it today. Europeans utilised local knowledge when they came to unknown seas, employing local pilots to guide them. But they developed advantages over other cultures which enabled them to voyage further and for longer periods of time across open water.

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National Maritime Museum

Romney Road, Greenwich, London, SE10 9NF

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National Maritime Museum

Romney Road
SE10 9NF
+44 (0)20 8312 6565
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