Seabourn has announced the Wunambal Gaambera Traditional Owners as godparents of the Seabourn Pursuit, the line’s newest ship.

The company said in a statement that naming Wunambal Gaambera Traditional Owners as godparents of Seabourn Pursuit serves as a symbolic gesture of stewardship and responsibility toward the environment and the communities Seabourn visits. 

The naming ceremony will take place on Seabourn Pursuit’s 22nd June to 2nd July 2024 sailing in the Kimberley region of Australia.

“We believe no one can bless our ship better than the communities we visit. We truly believe in the transformative power of travel. When we visit local communities, we are able to both celebrate their culture and drive positive, sustainable change in the places they call home,” said Natalya Leahy, president of Seabourn. “When we set out to name the godparent for Seabourn Pursuit, we knew we wanted to do something that celebrates this special moment for the ship and also allows us to drive long-term sustainable positive change in line with the values Seabourn and our guests stand for.”

Additionally, Seabourn will make a donation to assist Wunambal Gaambera in developing a self-sustaining industry, producing authentic works of art and craft by Wunambal Gaambera artists to sell. The cruise line will also supply the Wunambal Gaambera Aboriginal Corporation with pearl shells and art supplies and materials to foster sustainable arts and craft initiatives year-round for Wunambal Gaambera artists and craft producers.

Together, Seabourn and Wunambal Gaambera Traditional Owners will share their unique Uunguu Experience – the sharing of their Wanjina Wunggurr culture through welcome and smoking ceremonies; rock art tours; junba song and dance; and art and stories from the Uunguu Rangers.

“We, the Wunambal Gaambera people, have a communal need and responsibility to look after and prosper from our country. Seabourn’s contributions will assist us to be on country, look after and keep our land and sea country healthy, strengthen our Wanjina Wunggurr culture, and create economic opportunities for our people,” said Catherine Goonack, chairperson of the Wunambal Gaambera Aboriginal Corporation. “It is important we are looking after our country in the way of our Wanjina Wunggurr law. We are happy when we and our future generations are living and working on our healthy Wunambal Gaambera Country. We appreciate Seabourn’s support to us in these efforts and look forward to sharing our unique Uunguu Experience with Seabourn and their guests as the garrangarru or Godparents of the Seabourn Pursuit.”

Seabourn’s donation, along with funding already received from the State Tourism Authority, Tourism Western Australia, will contribute to Wunambal Gaambera’s development of tourism facilities and products for Traditional Owners to live on their country during the dry season when tourism operators can access the coastline of the Kimberley region. 

“This is a wonderful collaboration of Wunambal Gaambera and Seabourn that is augmented by Tourism Western Australia, demonstrating our shared values and the promise of greater opportunities for Traditional Owners in the Kimberley region. We are proud to support Wunambal Gaambera’s Ngula Jar Island development as we strive to position Western Australia as the leading Australian destination for authentic Aboriginal experiences,” said Carolyn Turnbull, managing director of tourism Western Australia. “We know visitors to Western Australia — the Dream State — are seeking immersive Indigenous experiences and the work we are supporting on Ngula Jar Island will enable this to happen. The ongoing visitation fueled by premium cruise tourism operators, like Seabourn, provides the necessary market to make this initiative successful and sustainable.”

Posted on: 21/04/2024