The route

What are stations?

HMS Challenger travelled all around the world, reaching all oceans apart from the Arctic. The voyage was recorded as 354 stations with each station representing a point in the ocean where the crew trawled or dredged the sea, collecting as much material as they could. The ship also, however, visited many countries and groups of islands, exploring the lands, collecting plants and birds and also ethnographic material from the communities they met. 

What the crew recorded at each station

The crew gathered scientific information as well as specimens at each station. This is why specimens held in museums still have great importance to science today. Whenever possible the crew recorded the following:

  • water temperature at the surface, bottom and at various points in the water column
  • air temperature and weather
  • surface current of the water 
  • the depth of the water
  • water was collected to study the chemistry of the water (e.g. components, specific gravity and salinity)

This information can be downloaded as an Excel fileĀ here.

Learn about the Route

Portsmouth to Tenerife (stations I to VIII)
From Tenerife to Bermuda (stations 1 to 57B)
From Bermuda to Cape Verde (stations 58 to 94)
From Cape Verde to Fernando de Noronha, Brazil (stations 95 to 113A)
Fernando de Noronha to Cape of Good Hope, South Africa (stations 113B to 140)
Cape of Good Hope to the Kerguelen Islands (stations 141 to 151)
Kerguelen to Fiji (stations 152 to 174D)
Fiji to the Philippines (stations 175 to 205)
The Philippines to Hawaii (stations 206 to 261)
Hawaii to the Magellan Strait, Chile (stations 262 to 312)
Magellan Strait to Ascension Islands, British Overseas Territory (Stations 313 to 343)
Ascension Island back to Portsmouth (stations 344 to 354)


Notes by a Naturalist on HMS Challenger by HN MoseleyPhysics and Chemistry volume 1
At Sea with the Scientifics by Philip RehbockSummary of Results