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Crossing the Atlantic - 11th Century

Pirates and Raiders or Explorers and Farmers?


When you think of the Vikings, chances are you think of fearsome pirates and raiders. But these Norse people were also wonderful explorers and farmers. In small open boats they bravely sailed the seas, in search of new land to settle.

The Vikings were the first Europeans proven to have crossed the Atlantic Ocean and to have lived in North America. They only stayed for a short time. After they left, it would be 500 years before another European explorer sailed to North America.

This part of the Passageways: True Tales of Adventure for Young Explorers website looks at these first European residents of the continent.