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Seabourn Pursuit Named at Ngula Jar Island

The Wunambal Gaambera people, traditional owners of the far north Kimberley, named Seabourn Pursuit in a unique naming ceremony at Ngula Jar Island, Australia, marking the first time traditional owners have served as godparents for a ship.

“We are honoured to be the godparents of Seabourn Pursuit and share our culture with their crew and guests. It’s good to see our people working on Country and sharing our unique culture in the right way. Living and working on Country is important for us. When we are living and speaking language on Country, we are healthy. Thank you, Seabourn, for your support. Biyanga graa winya – Welcome,” said Catherine Goonack, Chair, Wunambal Gaambera Aboriginal Corporation. 

The day-long ceremony, which was planned to honor Wunambal Gaambera country, the people, and Kimberley region, took place on Saturday, June 29, 2024. Guests were able to immerse themselves in the culture and history of the area by taking part in Wunambal Gaambera welcome and smoking ceremony bidding followed by “Junba,” a traditional story-telling song and dance carried out by Wunambal Gaambera Traditional Owners. Guests were able to visit ancient rock art sites and purchase artwork by Wunambal Gaambera artists.

Seabourn cruisers who have sailed every maiden voyage of the cruise line’s fleet, Vince and Jane Roig, participated in the ceremony when they presented the Wunambal Gaambera a gift to symbolize the cruise line’s partnership with the aboriginal people.

“This day marks a very special event with the christening of Seabourn Pursuit, our newest ultra-luxury purpose-built expedition ship. This is a wonderful maritime tradition, and today is extra special for us because we asked the Wunambal Gaambera to be the ship’s godparents, which marks the beginning of a long sustainable partnership between our brand and this community. We know our guests visit these wonderful places in the world because they believe in the transformative power of travel, and today we celebrate exactly this,” said Seabourn President Natalya Leahy.

The day ended with the naming ceremony in both Wunambal Gaambera and English. Officials for the Wunambal Gaambera Aboriginal Corporation bestowed blessings upon Seabourn Pursuit just before a bottle made from sugar and coated with sand from Ngula, Jar Island was broken across the ship’s bow. Seabourn Pursuit is currently sailing a series of 10-day voyages between Broome and Darwin with ports of call at Ngula Jar Island, Lacepede Islands, Buccaneer Archipelago, Yawajaba-Montgomery Island and Ashmore Island.