Arctic Exploration Timeline & Index

john_davis_mapArctic Exploration Timeline

Largely derived from Wikipedia.

For discussion of timeline sources see Arctic Exploration Timeline – Sources

Use the search box to filter the table or click on a heading to sort the table.
Use the dropdown to select more/fewer entries per page

StartEndExpedition
14721472 Didrik Pining and Hans Pothorst mark the first of the cartographic expeditions to Greenland
14961496 G. Istoma explores the Murman Coast, the coast of northern Norway, and the western coast of Novaya Zemlya
15531553 English expedition led by Hugh Willoughby with Richard Chancellor searches for the Northeast Passage
15751577 English expeditions led by Martin Frobisher reaches Baffin Island
15791579 Danish expedition led by John Allday fails to reach Greenland due to ice
15851587 English expeditions led by John Davis explore the Davis Strait–Baffin Bay region and reaches Upernavik
15961597 Dutch expedition piloted by Willem Barentsz discovers Spitsbergen
16051607 Danish king, Christian IV of Denmark, sends three expeditions to search for the lost Eastern Settlement, on Greenland
16061606 John Knight dies commanding a joint Muscovy Company/East India Company expedition in search of the Northwest Passage
16071607 Henry Hudson explores Spitsbergen
16101610 Jonas Poole explores Spitsbergen's west coast
16101610 Russian, K. Kurochkin explores mouth of the Yenisei River and adjoining coast
16121612 James Hall and William Baffin explore southwest Greenland
16121613 Button expedition, commanded by Thomas Button
16131613 Several whaling expeditions from England, France, Spain, and the Netherlands crowd Spitsbergen's west coast
16141614 Dutch and French expeditions discover Jan Mayen
16151615 Robert Fotherby, in the pinnace Richard, is the first English expedition to reach Jan Mayen
16161616 English expedition piloted by William Baffin explores the Davis Strait–Baffin Bay region
16191620 Danish expedition led by Jens Munk seeking the Northwest Passage penetrate Davis Strait & Frobisher Bay, overwinter in Hudson Bay
16331634 I. Rebrov explores the mouth of the Lena River
16331635 Ilya Perfilyev explores the Lena and Yana Rivers and intervening coast
16381638 I. Rebrov explores coast between the Lena and Indigirka Rivers
16411641 Dimitry Zyryan and Mikhail Stadukhin explore the mouth of the Indigirka River and adjoining coast
16461646 I. Ignatyev explores the mouth of the Kolyma River and adjoining coast
16481648 Ya. Semyonov explores the mouth of Kotuy River and adjoining coast
16481648 Semyon Dezhnev and Fedot Alekseyevich Popov explore from the Kolyma River through the Bering Strait
16491649 Mikhail Stadukhin explores the coast from the Kolyma River to the Bering Strait
16861687 Ivan Tolstoukhov expedition explores the mouth of the Yenisey River and the coast of the Taymyr Peninsula
17121712 Merkury Vagin and Yakov Permyakov explore the vicinity of the mouth of the Yana River and adjoining coasts
17251730 Vitus Bering leads the First Kamchatka expedition
17331743 Second Kamchatka expedition – explores the coast from the Ob River to the Lena River
17511753 Peder Olsen Walløe explores the east coast of Greenland from Cape Farewell in umiaks
17601763 S.F. Loshkin explores Novaya Zemlya
17651766 Vasily Chichagov explores the Kola Peninsula coast and Spitzbergen
17681769 F.F. Rozmyslov explores Novaya Zemlya and the Matochkin Strait
17731773 Ivan Lyakhov discovered Kotelny Island
17731773 Captain Constantine Phipps and Commander Skeffington Lutwidge reach 80° 37' N
18001800 Yakov Sannikov charts Stolbovoy Island
18091811 Yakov Sannikov and Matvei Gedenschtrom explore the New Siberian Islands
18181818 Royal Navy expedition led by captain David Buchan
18181818 Royal Navy expedition led by John Ross, with James Clark Ross, search for the Northwest Passage & explore west coast of Greenland
18191819 Royal Navy expedition aboard HMS Hecla and HMS Griper led by William Edward Parry
18191822 The Coppermine expedition, led by John Franklin, included George Back and John Richardson
18201824 Ferdinand von Wrangel and Fyodor Matyushkin explore the East Siberian Sea and the Chukchi Sea areas
18211824 Fyodor Litke explores the eastern Barents Sea and the west coast of Novaya Zemlya, including Matochkin Strait
18211823 Pyotr Anjou continues exploration of New Siberian Islands
18221822 William Scoresby lands in east Greenland near the mouth of the fjord system that would later be named for him – Scoresby Sound
18231823 Douglas Clavering and Edward Sabine explores East Greenland northwards to Clavering Island
18251827 The Mackenzie River expedition – descends the Mackenzie River and maps much of the Arctic coast
18261826 Frederick William Beechey aboard HMS Blossom explores the Alaskan coast from Point Barrow to the Bering Strait
18271827 First Norwegian expedition to the Arctic, led by Baltazar Mathias Keilhau
18271827 Royal Navy expedition to Spitsbergen led by William Edward Parry reaches 82°45’N[4]
18281830 Danish expedition led by Wilhelm August Graah tries to locate the Eastern Settlement in southeast Greenland
18291833 Royal Navy expedition led by John Ross to search for the Northwest Passage explore James Ross Strait and King William Land & locate the North Magnetic Pole
18331833 P.K. Pastukhov explores the southern half of the eastern coast of Novaya Zemlya
18331835 Royal Navy expedition led by George Back explore Back River and Chantrey Inlet
18361836 George Back attempts to ascertain if Boothia Peninsula is an island or a peninsula
18381840 La Recherche scientific expedition, under the command of Joseph Paul Gaimard
18451845 Franklin's Northwest Passage expedition is sent to map the remaining Northwest Passage
18481848 John Richardson and John Rae lead the Rae–Richardson Arctic expedition and searched overland for Franklin's lost expedition
18501850 McClure Arctic expedition led by Robert McClure, a British search for the members of Franklin's lost expedition
18501851 First Grinnell expedition led by Edwin De Haven, first American search for Franklin's lost expedition find graves on Beechey Island
18521852 Edward Augustus Inglefield in the Isabel sets out to search for Franklin's ill-fated expedition
18531855 Second Grinnell expedition led by Elisha Kane looks for Franklin searching Grinnell Land
18571859 McClintock Arctic expedition found artefacts and the final written communications from the Franklin expedition
1860PaulA. Chadbourn conducted the Williams College Lyceum of Natural History expedition to Greenland
18601861 American expedition led by Isaac Israel Hayes who claimed to have seen the Open Polar Sea
18601862 First expedition led by American Charles Francis Hall
18641869 Second expedition led by Charles Francis Hall
18681868 First German North Polar Expedition led by Carl Koldewey along the east coast of Greenland
18691870 Second German North Polar Expedition (Germania and Hansa) led by Carl Koldewey reaches Sabine Island
18711871 Benjamin Leigh Smith's first expedition discovers supposed eastern boundary of Spitsbergen marked on the charts was an imaginary one.
18711873 Polaris expedition, known for the death of its commander, Charles Francis Hall
18711871 Benjamin Leigh Smith's second expedition
18721874 Austro-Hungarian North Pole expedition led by Captain Karl Weyprecht
18751876 British Arctic Expedition led by Captain George Nares
18761878 Norwegian Northern Seas expedition in Vøringen explored the Northern Atlantic up to 80°N
18771878 Henry W. Howgate leads the Howgate Preliminary Polar Expedition to promote scientific experiments, and whaling as a source of revenue
18781878 J. A. D. Jensen explores the inland ice sheet from west Greenland
18781881 different voyages with Dutch polar schooner Willem Barents in the area around Spitsbergen and Novaya Zemlya, organised by Royal Dutch Geographical Society
18781879 Swedish Vega expedition, led by Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld
18791882 Jeannette expedition commanded by George W. De Long
18801880 Henry W. Howgate leads the Howgate Arctic expedition to do scientific and geographical exploration of Greenland
18811882 Benjamin Leigh Smith's final expedition and is shipwrecked.
18811884 Lady Franklin Bay Expedition, US Army Signal Corps expedition led by Adolphus Greely
18821883 As part of the First International Polar Year the Danish Dijmphna expedition travels to the territory between Russia and the North Pole
18831885 Umiak expedition, led by Gustav Frederik Holm and Thomas Vilhelm Garde along the southeastern coast of Greenland
18831883 Failed attempt by Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld to cross Greenland from the west
18861886 Failed attempt by Robert Peary to cross Greenland
18881889 First successful crossing of the Greenland inland ice by the Norwegian expedition led by Fridtjof Nansen (from east to west)
18911892 The East Greenland expedition on the Hekla led by Carl Ryder fails to get through the sea ice of east Greenland, but explores the Scoresby Sound
18911892 Second Peary expedition to Greenland led by Peary to discover if Greenland is an island or a peninsula
18921892 Björling–Kallstenius Expedition led by Alfred Björling was eventually wrecked on the Carey Islands
18931895 Third US Greenland expedition led by Peary
18931896 Nansen's Fram expedition by Fridtjof Nansen and Hjalmar Johansen on the Fram and over ice towards the North Pole
18941897 Jackson–Harmsworth expedition, led by Frederick George Jackson
18951896 Ingolf expedition, hydrographical and biological studies in the waters around Greenland, Iceland and Jan Mayen
18971897 Salomon August Andrée leads a failed Arctic balloon expedition on an attempt to reach the Pole
18981902 Second Fram voyage by Otto Sverdrup
18981902 Peary's Sixth Expedition and first attempt at the North Pole
18981900 The Carlsbergfund expedition to East Greenland led by Georg Carl Amdrup explores the Blosseville Coast
18991899 Alfred Gabriel Nathorst explores the fjords of northeast Greenland, in particular the King Oscar Fjord system
18991899 Attempt to ski to the North Pole from Franz Josef Land by Walter Wellman
18991899 The Swedish–Russian Arc-of-Meridian Expedition was a five summer season and one winter season measuring of the meridian arcs
18991900 Italian North Pole expedition led by Prince Luigi Amedeo, Duke of the Abruzzi
1898 189, 1906, 1907: Albert I, Prince of Monaco leads four Arctic expeditions with Princesse Alice
19001903 Russian polar expedition of 1900–1902 on-board Zarya is led by Eduard Toll
19011902 First North Pole expedition financed by US industrialist William Ziegler, led by Evelyn Baldwin
19021904 The Literary expedition led by Ludvig Mylius-Erichsen together with Knud Rasmussen explores the northwest Greenland coast between Uummannaq and Thule
19031906 Roald Amundsen's Gjøa expedition – first Northwest Passage traversal
19031905 Ziegler Polar Expedition overland, led by Anthony Fiala
19051906 North Pole expedition led by Robert Peary, from Ellesmere Island
19061908 The Danmark Expedition led by Ludvig Mylius-Erichsen, mapped the last unknown areas of Northeast Greenland
1906 190, 1909: The airship America and Walter Wellman
19061908 Anglo-American Polar expedition (Ejnar Mikkelsen–Ernest de Koven Leffingwell expedition)
19071907 Johan Peter Koch and Aage Bertelsen report seeing Fata Morgana Land, a phantom island off the coast of northeast Greenland
19071909 US North Pole expedition led by Frederick Cook
19091912 The Alabama expedition to northeast Greenland led by Ejnar Mikkelsen in an operation to recover bodies and logs of the ill-fated Danmark expedition
19081909 Expedition led by Robert Peary
19101915 Russian Arctic Ocean Hydrographic Expedition in Taymyr and Vaygach
19121912 First Thule expedition – Knud Rasmussen and Peter Freuchen explores North Greenland and establishes that Peary Land is not an island
19121913 Johan Peter Koch and Alfred Wegener cross the inland ice in north Greenland
19121915 Brusilov Expedition, ill-fated expedition led by Captain Georgy Brusilov
19131913 Crocker Land Expedition to search for Crocker Island, a hoax reported by Robert Peary
19131914 Russian expedition aboard Foka, led by Georgy Sedov
19131918 Canadian Arctic Expedition 1913–1916 led by Vilhjalmur Stefansson, initially in HMCS Karluk which was lost in 1913 and explored land that was unknown to the Inuit
19161918 Second Thule expedition – Knud Rasmussen and Lauge Koch explore North Greenland
19181925 Roald Amundsen traversed the Northeast Passage with Maud
19191919 Third Thule expedition – Knud Rasmussen explores north Greenland and lays out depots for Roald Amundsen's polar drift in Maud
19191920 Fourth Thule expedition – Knud Rasmussen explores east Greenland
19211923 Bicentenary Jubilee expedition led by Lauge Koch explores north Greenland
19211923 Wrangel Island Expedition
19211924 Fifth Thule expedition led by Knud Rasmussen crossed the Northwest Passage on dog sledges
19251925 Flying boat expedition led by Roald Amundsen and Lincoln Ellsworth
19261926 Aircraft flight by Richard E. Byrd and Floyd Bennett
19261926 The airship Norge (Roald Amundsen, Umberto Nobile and Lincoln Ellsworth)
19281928 Carl Ben Eielson–Hubert Wilkins Arctic Ocean crossing
19281928 The airship Italia (Umberto Nobile)
19301931 Alfred Wegener's German Expedition to Greenland that led to his death on the Greenland ice sheet, halfway between Eismitte and West Camp
19301930 Bratvaag Expedition, led by Gunnar Horn to Franz Josef Land, found long lost remains of Salomon August Andrée's expedition
19301931 British Arctic Air Route Expedition, led by Gino Watkins, that aimed to draw improved maps and charts of poorly surveyed sections of Greenland's coastline
19311931 Successful research trip by airship Graf Zeppelin led by Hugo Eckener
19311931 Sir Hubert Wilkins with submarine Nautilus (failed 800 km (500 mi) south of the pole)
19311931 Sixth Thule expedition led by Knud Rasmussen explores northeast Greenland
19311934 The three-year expedition to East Greenland led by Lauge Koch explores northeast Greenland
19321932 Icebreaker A. Sibiryakov makes the successful crossing of the Northern Sea Route in a single navigation without wintering
19321933 East Greenland expedition, also known as the Pan Am expedition, a four-man expedition to continue the work of the British Arctic Air Route Expedition
19331933 Russian steamship SS Chelyuskin managed to get through most of the Northern Route before it was caught in the ice in September
19351935 Ushakov Island, the last piece of undiscovered territory in the Soviet Arctic, was found by Georgy Ushakov aboard the Sadko
19371937 Soviet aircraft Tupolev ANT-25 made several transpolar flights
19371937 Soviet and Russian manned drifting ice stations are, as of 2017, 41 scientific drift stations operating or were operating on drift ice
19371938 MacGregor Arctic Expedition was led by Clifford J. MacGregor and overwintered at Etah, Greenland
19381939 Mørkefjord expedition was an exploratory expedition to northeast Greenland led by Eigil Knuth
19461946 Operation Nanook was a US cartographic mission to Thule and to erect a radio and weather station
19481948 Russian scientific expedition led by Aleksandr Kuznetsov lands an aircraft at Pole
19521954 British North Greenland expedition was a British scientific mission, led by Commander James Simpson
19581958USS Nautilus passes under the Arctic ice
19591959 USS Skate (SSN-578) becomes first submarine to surface at the North Pole on 17 March 1959
19681968 Ralph Plaisted and three others reach the North Pole by snowmobile and are the first confirmed overland conquest of the Pole
19681969 Wally Herbert, British explorer, reaches Pole on foot and traverses the Arctic Ocean
19711971 Former football player Tony Dauksza becomes the first person to traverse the Northwest Passage in a canoe
19771977 Arktika, nuclear-powered icebreaker, reaches the North Pole
19791982 Kenichi Horie in Mermaid, was the first person to sail the Northwest Passage solo