The Great Explorers
Jacques Cartier Museum Saint MaloJacques Cartier Museum Saint Malo
©Jacques Cartier Museum Saint Malo

of the great explorers

They travelled the seas, they made discoveries … Find their stories the great explorers of yesterday and today!

The legends

of our Destination

Great explorers have become legendary in the course of Malouin’s history, such as Jacques Cartier, the “discoverer of Canada” or Commander Charcot who explored the Antarctic. Nowadays, explorers are less focused on discoveries but more on performances and innovations!

Jacques Cartier (1491-1557)

Commissioned by King Francis I, the navigator discovered the St. Lawrence estuary and took possession of Canada in 1534. Buried at Saint Vincent’s Cathedral.Jacques Cartier is certainly the most famous French sailor of the Renaissance. The “discoverer of Canada”, born in Saint-Malo in 1491 was the son of fishermen from Saint-Malo. He began his career as a sailor and then as a master pilot before being promoted to ship captain by François I. The latter entrusted him with two missions: to explore the “Northwest Passage” to reach Asia and to find new lands rich in gold and other treasures, in order to establish a French settlement. This is how Jacques Cartier landed on the coast of Newfoundland in 1534, marking the beginning of the colonization of New France.

Bertrand-François Mahé de la Bourdonnais (1768-1848)

He crisscrossed the seas as a Lieutenant and then Captain for the East India Company; he contributed to the economic development of the Bourbon Islands (Reunion Island) and the Island of France (Mauritius), of which he was Governor. Jealousized by Dupleix, he was imprisoned for 3 years and then found innocent. His statue is located at the traffic circle of Mauritius near the Cale de Dinan.

Commander Charcot

Jean-Baptiste Charcot, doctor and explorer of the polar zones has marked the history of Saint-Malo. It is from the corsair city, that he undertook the expeditions in the Antarctic. In 1903, he had a 32-meter schooner, “Le Français”, built in Saint-Malo and mounted the first French expedition to Antarctica. The scientific discoveries were remarkable, with 1,000 kilometers of coastline surveyed and 75 observation boxes sent to the National Museum of Natural History.

Today's explorers

Today’s skippers and sailors

You may come across, during your vacation, renowned sailors who have chosen Saint-Malo and the Bay of Mont-Michel as their home port: Gilles Lamiré, trimaran racer or Thibault Vauchel-Camus, sport catamaran skipper.Some big names in French sailing are children of Saint-Malo: the Escoffier family of sailors and the leaders of the Energy Observer expedition, Victorien Errussard and Jérôme Delafosse.Servane Escoffier started racing with her father, Bob, and then she made a name for herself during her two participations in the Route du Rhum. In 2010, she finished in 2nd position behind the winner Franck Cammas.

A story to



Saint-Malo Bay of Mont-Saint-Michel

Go on an adventure

To discover our 8 preserved treasures!