1603 Gabriel de Castilla (Spain) probably penetrated south of the Drake Passage.
1739 Jean Bouvet (France) discovered Bouvet Island.
1772-75 James Cook (Britain) circumnavigated Antarctica and crossed the Antarctic circle. 
1819-1821 Fabian von Bellingshausen
 (Russia) circumnavigated the continent and sighted land.
1819 William Smith (Britain) discovered South Shetland Islands.
1820 William Smith and Edward Bransfield (Britain) believed to be first to sight Antarctic mainland.
1821-22 Nathaniel Palmer (USA) explored Palmer, now Antarctic Peninsula.
1823 James Weddell (Britain) discovered Weddell Sea and reached 74.25 S°.
1838-42 Charles Wilkes (USA) discovered Wilkes Land.
1839-43 James Ross (Britain) discovered Ross Sea, Ross Ice Shelf and Victoria Land.
1881 Giacomo Bove (Italy) explored Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego
1895 Leonard Kristensen and C.E. Borchgrevink (Norway) first to land on the continent at Cape Adare.
1897-99 Adrian de Gerlache (Belgium) headed the first party to winter in Antarctic, in Bellingshausen Sea.
1900 Hugh Evans (Britain) reached 78.83 S° by sledges.
1901-03 Erich von Drygalski (Germany) in the Gauss, discovered Wilhelm II Coast.
1901-04 Robert F. Scott (Britain) spended three winters in first land exploration and reached 82.28 S° by sledges (see biography).
1903-5, 1908-10 Jean B. Charcot (France) surveyed Palmer Peninsula and finds Charcot Island.
1908-09 Ernest Shackleton (Britain) finded Beardmore Glacier and reached 88.38 S°. Edgeworth David and Douglas Mawson locate the south magnetic pole (see biography).
1911 Roald Amundsen (Norway) first to reach South Pole (see biography).
1911-14 Douglas Mawson (Australia) explored Adélie Coast and found Shackleton Ice Shelf, Queen Mary Coast.
1911-12 Wilhelm Filchner (Germany) from South Georgia explored the Weddel Sea.
1912 Robert  F. Scott (Britain) reached the South Pole on January 18 but perished during the return journey (see biography).
1929 Richard Byrd (USA) claimed to have flown over the South Pole by aircraft.
1929 George Wilkins (Australia) proved that Charcot Island is an island.
1929-31 Douglas Mawson (Australia) charted 300 miles of coast and claimed Enderby Land for Australia.
1929-33 Hjalmar Riiser-Larsen (Norway) organized three expeditions; explored new areas in Queen Maud Land.
1935-36 Lincoln Ellsworth (USA) air expedition, claimed 300,000 square miles (Ellsworth Highland) for USA.
1938-39 Lincoln Ellsworth (USA), air expedition; claimed 80,000 square miles (American Highland) for USA.
1946-47 Richard E. Byrd (USA) flew over the South Pole on Feb. 16, 1947.
1948 Australia builds first permanent observation stations.
1955-56 Twelve nations set up bases for study during International Geophysical Year
1957-58 A United States Navy
 airplane makes first landing at South Pole.
1957-58 Sir Vivian Fuchs (Britain) first to cross Antarctica by land with motor vehicles and dog sledges.
1961 Icebreaker Glacier (USA) makes deepest penetration of Antarctica by sea.
1990 International expedition completed the Antarctica crossing from west to east using dogsleds.
1992-93 Ann Bancroft (USA) lead the first group of women to the South Pole.
1993 Erling Kagge (Norway) traveled across Antarctica on foot alone to the South Pole.