Famous Dutch Explorers

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Abel Tasman

Abel Tasman
Famous As: Navigator
Birthdate: 1603 AD
Birthplace: Lutjegast
Died: October 10, 1659

Dutch explorer and Dutch East India Company merchant Abel Tasman was the first European to reach the shores of Tonga, New Zealand, Fiji, and Van Diemen's Land, the last of which was named Tasmania in his honor. His circumnavigation of Australia proved that it was a separate continent.

 2 Willem Janszoon

Willem Janszoon
Famous As: Navigator
Birthdate: 1570 AD
Birthplace: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Died: 1630 AD

Willem Janszoon was a Dutch colonial governor and navigator who served in the Dutch East Indies in the early 1600s. He is best remembered for captaining the first recorded European landing on Australia in 1606.

 3 Willem Barentsz

Willem Barentsz
Famous As: Navigator
Birthdate: 1550 AD
Birthplace: Terschelling, Netherlands
Died: June 20, 1597

Willem Barentsz was a Dutch cartographer, navigator, and Arctic explorer. Barentsz was part of three expeditions in search of a Northeast passage to the far north. Although the first two expeditions were unsuccessful, Willem Barentsz and his crew discovered Bear Island and Spitsbergen during their third expedition. Many places, including the Barents Sea, have been named in his honor.

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 4 Jacob Roggeveen

Jacob Roggeveen
Famous As: Explorer who discovered Easter Island
Birthdate: February 1, 1659
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Middelburg
Died: January 31, 1729

Jacob Roggeveen was a Dutch explorer who is credited with discovering Easter Island, Samoa, Maupiti, and Bora Bora. Interestingly, he found Easter Island by accident as he was initially sent to find Terra Australis. He is also remembered for publishing his work De val van 's werelds afgod.

 5 Cornelis de Houtman

Cornelis de Houtman
Famous As: Explorer
Birthdate: April 2, 1565
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Gouda, Netherlands
Died: September 1, 1599

Cornelis de Houtman was a Dutch merchant seaman best remembered for commanding the maiden Dutch expedition to the East Indies. Although it produced a modest profit, this voyage was important as it proved the vulnerability of the Portuguese monopoly on the spice trade. This voyage helped the Dutch to replace the Portuguese and establish a Dutch monopoly on spice trading.

 6 Anthony van Diemen

Anthony van Diemen
Famous As: Colonial administrator
Birthdate: 1593 AD
Birthplace: Culemborg, Netherlands
Died: April 19, 1645

Anthony van Diemen was a Dutch colonial governor. His nine-year period as Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies proved to be important for the success of the Dutch East India Company. Anthony van Diemen expanded the power of the Dutch East India Company throughout South-East Asia and helped establish the Dutch power in Ceylon via Trincomalee.  

 7 Willem Schouten

Willem Schouten
Famous As: Dutch Navigator
Birthdate: 1567 AD
Birthplace: Hoorn, Netherlands
Died: 1625 AD

Willem Schouten was a Dutch navigator who worked for the Dutch East India Company. Schouten was the first person to sail to the Pacific Ocean via the Cape Horn route. He later described his expeditions in the Journal, which has since been translated into many languages.

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 8 Alexandrine Tinné

Alexandrine Tinné
Famous As: Explorer
Birthdate: October 17, 1835
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: The Hague, Netherlands
Died: August 1, 1869

Alexandrine Tinné was a Dutch explorer and photographer. Tinné, who was among the first group of women from Europe to reach Gondokoro in Africa, also became the first European woman to make an earnest attempt to cross the Sahara. An early photographer, Alexandrine Tinné worked with many commercial photographers like Francis Frith and Robert Jefferson Bingham.

 9 Jacob van Heemskerck

Jacob van Heemskerck
Famous As: Explorer
Birthdate: March 13, 1567
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Died: April 25, 1607

Jacob van Heemskerck was a Dutch naval admiral. It is believed that he explored an Arctic passage from Europe to China, thus becoming one of the first few men to successfully face an arctic winter. The voyage led to flourishing seal and whale fisheries which enriched the Netherlands for a long time. Jacob also commanded expeditions to the East Indies.

 10 Olivier Brunel

Olivier Brunel
Famous As: Merchant
Birthdate: 1540 AD
Birthplace: Province of Brabant
Died: 1585 AD

Merchant and explorer Olivier Brunel, the first Flemish navigator of the Arctic Ocean, is noted for establishing trade routes between the Netherlands and Russia. He explored northern coast of Russia to search a route to China and the East Indies. He made attempts to find a northeast route and was finally drowned when his ship capsized in the Pechora River.