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Famous Explorers from France

Updated October 13, 2018 4.6k views8 items

List of notable or famous explorers from France, with bios and photos, including the top explorers born in France and even some popular explorers who immigrated to France. If you're trying to find out the names of famous French explorers then this list is the perfect resource for you. These explorers are among the most prominent in their field, and information about each well-known explorer from France is included when available.

This list features people like Jules Dumont d'Urville and Henri Duveyrier.

This historic explorers from France list can help answer the questions "Who are some French explorers of note?" and "Who are the most famous explorers from France?" These prominent explorers of France may or may not be currently alive, but what they all have in common is that they're all respected French explorers.

Use this list of renowned French explorers to discover some new explorers that you aren't familiar with. Don't forget to share this list by clicking one of the social media icons at the top or bottom of the page. {#nodes}
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  • Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain
    André Michaux, also styled Andrew Michaud, (8 March 1746 – 13 November 1802) was a French botanist and explorer. He is most noted for his study of North American flora. In addition Michaux collected specimens in England, Spain, France, and even, Persia. His work was part of a larger European effort to gather knowledge about the natural world. Michaux's contributions included Histoire des chênes de l'Amérique (1801; "The Oaks of North America") and Flora Boreali-Americana (1803; "The Flora of North America") which continued to be botanical references well into the 19th century. His son, François André Michaux, also became an authoritative botanist....  more
    • Age: Dec. at 56 (1746-1802)
    • Birthplace: Versailles, France
  • Photo: flickr / CC0
    Charles Rabot (26 June 1856 in Nevers − 1 February 1944 in Martigné-Ferchaud) was a French geographer, glaciologist, traveler, journalist, lecturer, translator, and explorer. He was also the first person to climb Kebnekaise, the tallest mountain in Sweden, which he accomplished in 1883.He led his first expedition to Spitsbergen in 1882 on the ship Petit Paris. Ten years later, he embarked on a voyage on the ship La Mancha, for a mapping mission, redrawing the map of the glacier Svartisen. He crossed Spitsbergen west to east and surveyed Prins Karls Forland. He was also a passionate ethnographer with the study of some Arctic peoples to the east and west of the Urals: Chuvash people,...  more
    • Age: Dec. at 87 (1856-1944)
    • Birthplace: Nevers, France
  • Henri Duveyrier (28 February 1840, in Paris – 25 April 1892, in Sèvres), was a French explorer and geographer, most well known for his exploration of the Sahara ....  more
    • Age: Dec. at 52 (1840-1892)
    • Birthplace: Paris, France
  • Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain
    Jacques Cartier ( KAR-tee-ay, also US: KAR-tee-AY, kar-TYAY, French: [ʒak kaʁtje], Quebec French: [- kaʁt͡sje]; Breton: Jakez Karter; December 31, 1491 – September 1, 1557) was a Breton explorer who claimed what is now Canada for France. Jacques Cartier was the first European to describe and map the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and the shores of the Saint Lawrence River, which he named "The Country of Canadas", after the Iroquois names for the two big settlements he saw at Stadacona (Quebec City) and at Hochelaga (Montreal Island)....  more
    • Age: Dec. at 65 (1491-1557)
    • Birthplace: Saint-Malo, France