List of Famous Navigators

List of famous navigators, with photos, bios, and other information. Who are the top navigators in the world? This includes the most prominent navigators, living and dead, both in America and abroad. This list of notable navigators is ordered by their level of prominence,, and you can sort the info by column.

List people include Samuel de Champlain, Christopher Columbus and many additional people as well. Featuring famous explorers in history, Spanish navigators, and more, this list has it all. 

From reputable, prominent, and well known navigators to the lesser known navigators of today, these are the top ten best professionals in this field. If you want to answer the question, "Who are the most famous navigators ever?" start your search here. You can use this list to create a new list, re-rank it to fit your views, then share it on Facebook, Twitter or any other social networks you belong to. 

  • Christopher Columbus
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    Christopher Columbus (; before 31 October 1451 – 20 May 1506) was an Italian explorer, navigator, and colonist who completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean under the auspices of the Catholic Monarchs of Castile and Aragon. He led the first European expeditions to the Caribbean, Central America, and South America, initiating the permanent European colonization of the Americas. Columbus discovered a viable sailing route to the Americas, a continent that was then unknown to the Old World. While what he thought he had discovered was a route to the Far East, he is credited with the opening of the Americas for conquest and settlement by Europeans. Columbus's early life is somewhat ...more
  • Ferdinand Magellan
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    Ferdinand Magellan

    Ferdinand Magellan ( or ; Portuguese: Fernão de Magalhães, IPA: [fɨɾˈnɐ̃w dɨ mɐɣɐˈʎɐ̃jʃ]; Spanish: Fernando de Magallanes, IPA: [feɾˈnando ðe maɣaˈʎanes]; c. 1480 – 27 April 1521) was a Portuguese explorer who organised the Spanish expedition to the East Indies from 1519 to 1522, resulting in the first circumnavigation of the Earth, completed by Juan Sebastián Elcano. Born into a family of minor Portuguese nobility in around 1480, Magellan became a skilled sailor and naval officer and was in service of the Portuguese crown in Asia. After King Manuel I of Portugal refused to support his plan to reach India by a new route, by sailing around the southern end of America, he was eventually ...more
  • Russell David Johnson (November 10, 1924 – January 16, 2014) was an American actor, known for his role as Professor Roy Hinkley in Gilligan's Island. He was also known for Marshal Gib Scott in Black Saddle.
  • Vasco da Gama
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    Vasco da Gama, 1st Count of Vidigueira (European Portuguese: [ˈvaʃku ðɐ ˈɣɐ̃mɐ]; c. 1460s – 24 December 1524), was a Portuguese explorer and the first European to reach India by sea. His initial voyage to India (1497–1499) was the first to link Europe and Asia by an ocean route, connecting the Atlantic and the Indian oceans and therefore, the West and the Orient. Da Gama's discovery of the sea route to India was significant and opened the way for an age of global imperialism and for the Portuguese to establish a long-lasting colonial empire in Asia. Traveling the ocean route allowed the Portuguese to avoid sailing across the highly disputed Mediterranean and traversing the dangerous Arabian ...more
  • Zheng He
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    Zheng He (Chinese: 鄭和; 1371 – 1433 or 1435) was a Chinese mariner, explorer, diplomat, fleet admiral, and court eunuch during China's early Ming dynasty. He was originally born as Ma He in a Muslim family, and later adopted the conferred surname Zheng from Emperor Yongle. Zheng commanded expeditionary treasure voyages to Southeast Asia, South Asia, Western Asia, and East Africa from 1405 to 1433. His larger ships allegedly carried hundreds of sailors on four tiers of decks and may have stretched 120 meters or more in length, but these claims have been disputed.As a favorite of the Yongle Emperor, whose usurpation he assisted, Zheng rose to the top of the imperial hierarchy and served as ...more
  • Jacques Cartier
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    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).