I dedicate this post to the great navigators and explorers of our world.
Everyone knows or heard the names Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci or Marco Polo. But who are these people and what they have to do with container ships? The answer you will become here.
The French shipping company CMA CGM is one of the largest shipping companies in the world. Like all owners, also the French shipping company give their ships a name. These often carry a name of famous navigators and explorers of past centuries. In addition to the aforementioned explorers Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci and Marco Polo also include Magellan, La Perouse, Corte Real and Alexander von Humboldt to the name bearers. The 396-meter-long CMA CGM Alexander von Humboldt was recently christened in Hamburg on May 30th.
Amerigo Vespucci was one of those sailors and is the namesake for the American continent. For him and all the others, it is a great honor that the largest container ships in the world are named after them. None of them would have ever thought that it would someday be vessels up to 400 meters long. The CMA CGM Marco Polo is with a length of 396 meters and a load capacity of over 16,000 containers one of the largest container ships in the world. In the year 1519 the expedition ship „Trinidad“ by Ferdinand Magellan had a length of almost 30 meters. Imagine that the CMA CGM Marco Polo could carry more than 3.000 of that little boats. Then there is the irony that Magellan had a crew of 30. A large container ship like the Marco Polo comes out with a crew of about 20 people. The development of these dimensions is just amazing!
In the following you find all ships with the respective namesakes. At the end of this article you will also find some informations about each navigator and explorer.
AMERIGO VESPUCCI 1454-1512 Merchant, sailor, navigator and explorer. He explored much of the coast of South America. He is also the namesake for the American continent. MARCO POLO 1254-1324 Delivered by numerous discovery tours the first detailed description of China and Southeast Asia from a European perspective. This description was the first mention of Japan, and information about Persia, India, and then unknown parts of Central Asia. FERDINAND MAGELLAN 1480-1521 Named the Strait of Magellan. Undertook exploration trips along the South American coast. He gave the country its name Tierra del Fuego and Patagonia. Magellan is still regarded as the first circumnavigator, though he was halfway in the fight with natives killed. ALEXANDER VON HUMBOLDT 1769-1859 German naturalist. Undertook research trips to Latin America, the USA and Central Asia. No other man has so strongly marked with his name, the map of the world as he does. Numerous rivers, mountains, cities or even animal and plant names remind of this important naturalist. CHRISTOPH COLUMBUS 1451-1506 Discoverer of the New World. Although Leif Eriksson was around 500 years before Columbus in North America, Columbus is still the discoverer, cause only his journeys led to permanent colonization. JEAN-FRANCOIS DE LA PEROUSE 1741-1788 Navigators, explorers, and geography in the age of Enlightenment. Explored the geography of the Pacific, with the support of scientists from different disciplines. JOAO VAZ CORTE-REAL 1429-1496 Knight and sailor. Undertook several expeditions in the Atlantic Ocean. According to speculations, he has already gone to North America in 1473. So he have been there 20 years before Columbus. This theory is not confirmed, but is still under investigation.
My favorite quote of of all these guys.
Christopher Columbus: „I think the world is not round … it has the shape of a pear“