European Explorers


French Explorer


Reason for Sailing

Jacques Cartier was a French explorer. In 1531 Jacques Cartier set out on an expedition to find the Northwest Passage. This was the same passage John Cabot looked for when he was trying to find a route through North America that led to the Pacific Ocean.

Route Taken and Obstacles Faced

In 1534, Jacques Cartier sailed along the Atlantic Ocean, looking for a path through North America to East Asia. In 1535, his began his second voyage when he heard of a large river further west of Newfoundland. He thought that this river would lead him to Asia, but it didn't.


In fact Jacques Cartier happened upon the St. Lawrence River and the Gaspé Peninsula. Five years later he made a third trip. On the third voyage, Cartier’s men built a settlement near what is now Quebec City in Canada.

Cartier explorations led to other French explorations of North America.