Adam Johann von Krusenstern

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Adam Johann Ritter von Krusenstern (November 19, 1770 – August 24, 1846) was a Baltic German explorer and admiral of the Russian Imperial Navy, who led the first Russian circumnavigation of the Earth. In Russia, Krusenstern is known as Иван Фёдорович Крузенштерн (Ivan Fedorovich Kruzenshtern).[1]



Krusenstern was born in Hagudi, close to Rapla, Estonia, into a Baltic German family descended from the Swedish aristocratic family von Krusenstjerna, which remained in Estonia after the country was ceded to Russia. In 1787, he joined the Russian Imperial Navy, and served in the war against Sweden. Subsequently, he served in the Royal Navy in 1793-99, visiting America, India and China.[2]

After publishing a paper pointing out the advantages of direct communication between Russia and China by Cape Horn and the Cape of Good Hope, he was appointed by Tsar Alexander I to make a voyage to the east coast of Asia to endeavour to carry out the project.[2] Under the patronage of Tsar Alexander I and Baron Nikolai Rezanov, Krusenstern led the first Russian circumnavigation of the world. The purpose of the two-ship expedition was to establish trade with China and Japan, facilitate trade in South America, and examine California for a possible colony.

The two ships, Nadezhda (Hope, formerly HMS Leander) under the command of Krusenstern, and Neva (formerly HMS Thames) under the command of Captain-Lieutenant Yuri F. Lisianski, set sail from Kronstadt in August 1803, rounded Cape Horn, reached the northern Pacific, and returned via the Cape of Good Hope. Krusenstern arrived back at Kronstadt in August 1806.[2] Both seafarers made maps and detailed recordings of their voyages.

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