Gerardus Mercator's 1595 map of the Arctic

This list of Arctic expeditions is a timeline of historic Arctic exploration and explorers of the Arctic.

15th century

16th century

The death of Willem Barentsz

17th century

Thomas Button

18th century

Vasily Chichagov

19th century

Ferdinand von Wrangel
John Rae
J. A. D. Jensen
Salomon August Andrée

Early Period (1800–1818)[edit]

Ross, Parry and Franklin (1818–1846)[edit]


1830s and 1840s[edit]

Search for Franklin (1846–1857)[edit]

Nordenskiöld Period (1857–1879)[edit]



Race for the Pole (1879–1900)[edit]

International Polar Year[edit]


20th century

Johan Peter Koch
Knud Rasmussen
Georgy Ushakov
David Scott Cowper

Amundsen and the Heroic Age (1900–1925)[edit]

Disputed Polar Claims[edit]

Byrd and the Aircraft Age (1925–1958)[edit]

Polar Conquest[edit]

Second International Polar Year[edit]


Era of Satellites, Submarines and Icebreakers (1958–onward)[edit]

21st century

Fiann Paul, Alex Gregory and Carlo Facchino ocean rowing aboard Polar Row.

See also


  1. ^ E. C. Coleman (2006). The Royal Navy in Polar Exploration: From Frobisher to Ross. Tempus. pp. 65–77. ISBN 9780752436609. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
  2. ^ Roots, Fred (14 March 2017). "Why the North Pole matters: An important history of challenges and global fascination". Canadian Geographic. Retrieved 15 August 2023.
  3. ^ Beechey, F. W. (1843). A Voyage Of Discovery Towards The North Pole, Performed In His Majesty's Ships Dorothea And Trent, Under The Command Of Captain David Buchan, R. N., 1818. London: Richard Bentley. Retrieved 2009-08-15.
  4. ^ *An Officer Of The Expedition (1821). Letters Written During The Later Voyage Of Discovery In The Western Arctic Sea. London: Sir Richard Phillips And Co. Retrieved 2009-08-15.
  5. ^ "Polar Discovery". Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Retrieved May 20, 2013.
  6. ^ King, Richard (1836). Narrative Of A Journey To The Shores Of The Arctic Ocean In 1833, 1834, and 1835; Under The Command Of Capt. Back, R. N., Volume I. London: Richard Bentley. Retrieved 2009-08-15.
  7. ^ King, Richard (1836). Narrative Of A Journey To The Shores Of The Arctic Ocean In 1833, 1834, and 1835; Under The Command Of Capt. Back, R. N., Volume II. London: Richard Bentley. Retrieved 2009-08-15.
  8. ^ Sonntag, August (1865). Professor Sonntag's Thrilling Narrative Of The Grinnell Exploring Expedition To The Arctic Ocean In The Years 1853, 1854, and 1855 In Search of Sir John Franklin, Under The Command of Dr. E. K. Kane, U.S.N. Philadelphia: Jas. T. Lloyd & Co. Retrieved 2009-08-15.
  9. ^ "Charles Everett Ranlett Papers". Williams College Archives and Special Collections. Retrieved October 7, 2020.
  10. ^ Discoverer 1
  11. ^ "POES Project Timeline". NASA. Archived from the original on May 11, 2012.
  12. ^ Alone Across The Arctic
  13. ^ "Jean Lemire Chief of mission". Canal D. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  14. ^ Dougary, Ginny (May 20, 2003). "Pen Hadow makes history by walking solo to the North Pole". The Times. Retrieved 15 August 2017.
  15. ^ "Polar Row". Guinness World Records. Retrieved 5 October 2019.
  16. ^ "Freezing Temps and Rotting Hands: Speaking With the Men of the Record-Breaking Polar Row Expedition". Men's Journal. Retrieved 2017-10-05.