This Day in History, 1601 – Dutch complete circumnavigation of the world

On this day in 1601, Olivier van Noort arrived back in Rotterdam, becoming the first Dutchman to circumnavigate the globe. He left in July 1598, with four ships, but arrived back home just over three years later with only one vessel – Mauritius. He also returned with just 45 of the 248 who left with him.

While he was the first Dutchman to circumnavigate the globe, a fair number of other explorers already had. Ferdinand Magellan’s voyage of 1519 to 1522, of course, was the first — though Magellan himself didn’t survive the voyage. Magellan sailed with five ships – Trinidad, San Antonio, Concepción, Victoria, and Santiago – and only Victoria survived, under the leadership of Juan Sebastian Elcano.

Between 1580 and 1589, Martín Ignacio de Loyola circumnavigated the globe in both directions, becoming the first person to do that.

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