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Lieutenant Otto von Kotzebue set out for his circumnavigation on board of “Rurik” brig

30 July 1815

On July 18 (30), 1815 an expedition led by Lieutenant Otto von Kotzebue set out from Kronstadt on board of “Rurik” brig. It was the first world cruise meant to explore the Pacific Ocean geography and find a sea route from Bering Sea to the Atlantic Ocean via the basin of the Arctic Ocean.

During the expedition organized on the initiative of count N. P. Rumyantsev and financed by him, were discovered islands and atolls in the South Polynesia, named after N. P. Rumyantsev, Admirals G. A. Spiridov and I. F. Kruzenshtern, a range of islands Rurik, and in the group of the Marshall Islands – atolls n. a. M. I. Kutuzov and A. V. Suvorov.

In June of 1816 “Rurik” arrived to the port of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky from where in July it set out to explore the American shore of the Arctic Ocean. Having passed by Bering Strait and moving to the North along Alaska shore, Kotzebue discovered that the land turns to the east and thought that there is a passage to the Atlantic Ocean at the northern extremity of America. But later it became clear that he had discovered a big bay that was later named after him.

Having explored the bay the expedition returned to the shores of Asia where it described the bay of St. Lawrence in Chukchi Peninsula and then visited St. Francisco, Hawaii and Marshall Islands having discovered and described some more groups of coral islands.

At the second exploration of Marshall Islands in January – March of 1817 new inhabited atolls were discovered. However due to the sickness of Lieutenant Kotzebue the expedition was obliged to refuse from the repeat exploration of the north-west shores of America. Having moved to the northern part of Bering Sea it headed for home. By August of 1818 “Rurik” brig had returned to St. Petersburg.

Lit.: Виноградова З. К. Исследования О. Е. Коцебу в Тихом океане во время плавания на бриге «Рюрик» в 1815-1818 гг. // Страны и народы Востока. Вып. 24. Кн. 5. М., 1982. С. 24—37; Добровольский А. Д. Отто Евстафьевич Коцебу // Русские мореплаватели. М., 1953. С. 235—249; Есаков В. А. Кругосветные плавания О. Е. Коцебу и их значение для географической науки // Труды Института истории естествознания и техники. М., 1962. Т. 42. Вып. 3. С. 130—150; Есаков В. А., Плахотник А. Ф., Алексеев А. И. Русские океанические и морские исследования в XIX — начале XX в. М., 1964; Коцебу О. Е. Атлас к путешествию лейтенанта Коцебу на корабле «Рюрик» в Южное море и в Берингов пролив. СПб., 1823; Он же. Путешествие в Южный океан и в Берингов пролив для отыскания северо-восточного морского прохода, предпринятое в 1815, 1816, 1817 и 1818 годах. В 3-х частях. Ч. 1. СПб., 1821; То же [Электронный ресурс]. URL: http://www.polarpost.ru/Library/Warehouse/kotzebu-rurik_part_1.pdf; Пасецкий В. М. Русские открытия и исследования в Арктике. Первая половина XIX века. Л., 1984.

From the Presidential library materials:

Коцебу О. Е. Путешествие в Южный океан и в Берингов пролив для отыскания северо-восточного морского прохода, предпринятое в 1815, 1816, 1817 и 1818 годах. Ч. 2. СПб., 1821;

Коцебу О. Е. Путешествие в Южный океан и в Берингов пролив для отыскания северо-восточного морского прохода, предпринятое в 1815, 1816, 1817 и 1818 годах. Ч. 3. СПб., 1823;

Territory of Russia: collection.