1773, Captain James Cook and his crew became the first men to cross
the Antarctic Circle. In January, 1775, on his third voyage, Cook
sailed past South Georgia and discovered the South Sandwich Islands
two weeks later.
Russian Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen, was the first person to
see the Antarctic continent, January 27, 1820. Nathanial Palmer, an
American sealing captain and Edward Bransfield, a British naval
officeralso have claims to being the first to see the continent.. Both
Palmer and Bransfield mapped sections of the Antarctic peninsula.
Clark Ross (1800-1862) sailed from Hobart, Tasmania, November 12,
1840. In January he passed through the ice pack and entered the sea
now called by his name. At latitude 100° 41´ S he sighted land 100
miles south, blocking the course he expected to follow in his search
for the South Magnetic Pole. On January 28 he sighted the active
volcano which he named Erebus after one of his ships. After reaching a
position of 78° 4´ S he returned to Tasmania on April 4, 1841 to avoid
The House of Commons ordered the publication of his
chart of the voyage on September 6, 1841. This chart was adapted for
the background of the stamp honoring Ross. The entire course of his
outbound voyage is shown, but only a part of the return route.
Roald Amundsen, a Norwegian,
and four team members reached the South Pole on December 14, 1911.
They discovered a new route which took only 57 days.