"Map of the Dutch voyage to Nova Zembla," Vraye Description…, 1609, From The Library at The Mariners’ Museum, G690.1594.V42 rare.

William Barents

1550 CE - 1597 CE

The Netherlands

Primary Goal:

To travel northeast, through the arctic, around Russia to China and Cathay to set-up a Dutch trade route to the east. He did this to avoid conflict with the Spanish to the south.


He discovered Spitsbergen, Bear Island, and sailed to the east side of Novaya Zemlya (New Land).