Description of the New Route to the South of the Strait of Magellan Discovered and Set in the Year 1616 by Dutchman Willem Schouten de Hoorn


In June 1615, Dutch navigators Jacob Le Maire (circa 1585–1616) and Willem Corneliszoon Schouten (circa 1567–1625) set out in two ships, the Eendracht and the Hoorn, from the Dutch port of Texel. Their goal was to find a new route to the Moluccas Islands, Europe’s main source of pepper in the lucrative spice trade with the East Indies, and in so doing avoid the trade monopoly of the Dutch East Indies Company. They sailed south of the Strait of Magellan and on January 24, 1616, discovered a new passage between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans: a strait about 13 kilometers wide between Tierra del Fuego and what they called Staten Land (present-day Isla de los Estados, Argentina). The passage came to be called Le Maire Strait. Several days later, Le Maire and Schouten became the first Europeans to round the extreme southern point of South America, known for its storms and heavy seas, which they named Cape Horn in honor of Schouten’s birthplace, the city of Hoorn. This map of Le Maire Strait is from the French edition of Schouten’s journal of the voyage, Journal ou description du merveillevx voyage de Guillaume Schovten, hollandois natif de Hoorn, fait en années 1615, 1616 & 1617 (Journal or description of the marvelous voyage of Willem Schouten, a Dutch native of Hoorn, made in the years 1615, 1616, and 1617), which was published in Amsterdam in 1619.

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Subject Date

Publication Information

Harman Lanfon, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Title in Original Language

Coarte vanda niewe passage bezunden de Strate Magellani ontdet en deurgesenlt inden iare 1616 Door Willem Schoute van Hoor

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Physical Description

1 map


  • From Journal ou description du merveillevx voyage de Guillaume Schovter, hollandois natif de hoorn, fait es années 1615, 1616 y 1617 : comme (encircum-navegeant le globe terrestre) il a descourvet vers le Zud du Detroit de Magellan ... Amsterdam : Harman Lanfon, 1619. Page 88.

Last updated: October 19, 2015