So just what is a Magellan?

So just what is a Magellan?

Hello guys and gals! We get a lot of questions about the name ‘Magellan’, mostly do you pronounce it ‘MA-JE-LLAN’ or ‘MA-G-ELLAN’? (we don’t mind!) and is your name Magellan? (No, its Felix.. equally ridiculous!). I thought in light of these questions I would give you a little bit of context to the naming of the business.

Ferdinand Magellan was a Portuguese explorer in the sixteenth century, who is often credited with being the first person to circumnavigate the globe. The exploration was sponsored by the Spanish government who wished to find a western sea route to the spice islands. The voyage was treacherous and only 18 of the 270 ships returned- however the trip was considered to be a success, it demonstrated that the world was not only far larger than previously imagined, but also that it could be circled by sea. The spirit of adventure which Magellan’s voyage encompassed is a gentle parallel of our ‘ride the world’ tag line.

Although five hundred years separate the adventures we have from those of Magellan, a desire for adventure and an enormous beard appear to be timeless. Thankfully that’s where the similarities end, we very rarely have mutinies, nor do we encounter giants on our travels (although we have found the odd witch), and thankfully the trip leader is rarely murdered by a battalion of angry filipinos.


Magellan named several places and things on his travels, the straits of Magellan, the Pacific ocean (pacific from the Latin word ‘pacificus’ meaning calm or tranquil), and Magellanic penguins. There has since been a tradition of naming vessels of adventure after the explorer, like the Magellan spacecraft which was the first to observe Venus, and of course, Magellan motorcycle tours.

It seems that historically speaking Magellan was not the first man to circumnavigate the globe, in fact his personal slave Enrique was a native of the west indies- and so when Magellan was only halfway round the world, Enrique had already circled it. Despite this the spirit of magellan is synonymous with adventure- as is our company!

If you fancy joining us on one of our tours, we can’t promise that you will circumnavigate the globe but we can promise you an amazing adventure! There are still a few places left on our Arctic circle tour this year…



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