In 1598 Samuel de Champlain made the first of an estimated 29 sailings across the Atlantic Ocean on a voyage to the West Indies. In 1603 he traveled as a royal geographer on a fur trading mission to the St. Lawrence River. He sailed to Tadoussac, at the mouth of the Saguenay River, a long time trading center for the Aboriginal peoples living along the St. Lawrence. Champlain's next voyage would take him to Acadia.

When he settled in Port-Royal in 1605, Champlain had already mapped a large area of the North East Coast of North America. He used the Port Royal settlement as a base to continue his adventures sailing and charting the coasts. He lived comfortably at Port Royal for 3 years. Champlain built himself a work-room among the trees and created a sluice to stock his own trout. He enjoyed gardening and developing friendly relationships with the local Aboriginal peoples. They in turn taught him how to live and survive in the new environment.

Jean Biencourt de Poutrincourt, lieutenant governor arrived from France in the summer of 1606. Poutrincourt and Champlain sailed south in September 1606 searching for a new settlement along the New England Coast and around Cape Cod. The expedition returned north after several crew members died in a bloody skirmish with the Monomoyick peoples in Port-Fortuné (now Chatham, MA).

Champlain founded the Order of Good Cheer in the winter of 1606-07. The Order was a dining society whose members took turns in providing game or fish for the table and maintained an atmosphere of merriment. The winter was a joyful one highlighted by mild temperatures and an abundance of food and wine.

In the spring of 1607 when Sieur de Mons' trading privileges were revoked by the King, and all his settlers were ordered back to France. Champlain, before leaving, returned to the Bay of Fundy to look for a copper mine, but found only nuggets. Champlain's partnership with Sieur de Mons continued and the following year with financial backing obtained by de Mons, Champlain returned to the St. Lawrence and began building the settlement that would start the founding of Quebec.

Unlike the English and Spanish, Champlain was interested in learning from and befriending the Aboriginal people rather than exploiting them. He visualized a world where people of different races and religions would live and work together. Champlain is remembered today as the father of New France and one of the original explorers to Canada.

Author's Bio: 

My name is Avril Betts, I have over 25 years experience in all aspects of Travel and Tourism. I hold a CHA (Certified Hotel Administrator). Along with my partner Khaled Azzam we own A-Z Tours and Action Travel in North America along with Travelocity Travel Egypt in Cairo, Egypt.

I have co-chaired Atlantic Canada Showcase an International Travel Trade Show, managed 450 volunteers for the Tall Ships Visit in July 2000, and was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year by the Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia. In 1996 I hosted the president’s wives luncheon for the G7 conference. In 1988 I founded the Country Inn Association in Nova Scotia.

As an experienced speaker I have presented seminars for many years on subjects ranging from Marketing and Sales and Life Skills to Tourism, Travel and Real Estate, and operating an online Travel business.

I enjoy working with tourists to pass on my knowledge to help our clients make the most of their vacations. Don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or travel inquiries.

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