In the early 1400s, explorers from and Portugal
traveled the world. One explorer, , was determined to find a sea route to Asia. Having already improved the and the astrolabe, he invited shipbuilders, scientists, mapmakers, and ship captains to collaborate on the creation of a new cargo-carrying ship, a .
In 1441, caravels returned with . By 1460, when Prince Henry died, his ships still hadn't reached Africa, but other Portuguese explorers had. In 1488, was the first to sail around the southern tip of Africa, now called the . sailed around the Cape and reached India in 1498.