Da Gama's discovery of the sea route to India was significant and opened the way for an age of global imperialism and for the Portuguese to establish a long-lasting colonial empire in Asia.
Vasco da Gama was given a fleet of ships by the king and told to find a trade route around Africa to India.
He was also told to find any other trading opportunities along the way.
Unopposed access to the Indian spice routes boosted the economy of the Portuguese Empire, which was previously based along northern and coastal West Africa.
The main spices at first obtained from Southeast Asia were pepper and cinnamon, but soon included other products, all new to Europe.
The sum of the distances covered in the outward and return voyages made this expedition the longest ocean voyage ever made until then, far longer than a full voyage around the world by way of the Equator.
After decades of sailors trying to reach the Indies, with thousands of lives and dozens of vessels lost in shipwrecks and attacks, da Gama landed in Calicut on .
For his contributions, in 1524 da Gama was appointed Governor of India, with the title of Viceroy, and was ennobled as Count of Vidigueira in 1519.
Vasco da Gama remains a leading figure in the history of exploration.
Biography: Vasco da Gama (1460 - 1524) was a Portuguese explorer.
He led the first expedition that traveled from Europe to India by sailing around Africa. Vasco da Gama was born in a small coastal town in Portugal named Sines. He followed in his father's footsteps and soon commanded ships in the king's name.