Seabourn names Pursuit in the Kimberley with traditional owners

The region's Wunambal Gaambera traditional owners, godparents to the ship, have named her in a ceremony in Western Australia.

Seabourn Cruise Line and the Kimberley’s Wunambal Gaambera traditional owners have named the company’s new ultra-luxury ship Seabourn Pursuit in a ceremony on the weekend at Vansittart Bay.

The proceedings, conducted by the Wunambal Gaambera, took place on Jar Island, and was watched from Zodiacs by guests and VIPs, including Member for Kimberley Divina D’Anna, and Tourism Western Australia (TWA) Chair Di Bain.

The naming ceremony was conducted in the Wunambal Gaambera language and in English, as a bottle broke on Pursuit’s bow, while Seabourn and the traditional owners also exchanged gifts to celebrate their new relationship.

Seabourn used a specially made bottle crafted from sugar and coated with sand from Jar Island to further celebrate and show respect to the land, while Pursuit passengers Vince and Jane Roig, who have sailed on every Seabourn inaugural voyage on the current fleet’s ships, presented the Wunambal Gaambera with a symbolic gift of art supplies.

Other events on the day saw guests deeply immersed in Aboriginal culture and history, participating in a welcome and smoking ceremony, and also having the opportunity to visit ancient rock art sites and learn about the cultural stories of the area.

Seabourn said it chose the Kimberley for the naming ceremony as the region represents everything for which Pursuit is intended, while also affording the opportunity for the line to create a lasting relationship with Wunambal Gaambera as an investment in sustainable tourism.

“The relationship with the Wunambal Gaambera serves as a symbolic gesture of stewardship and responsibility toward the environment and the communities that Seabourn visits,” the cruise line said.

The association will see Seabourn work alongside Wunambal Gaambera, helping them share their unique Uunguu experience, imparting Wanjina Wunggurr culture through welcome and smoking ceremonies; rock art tours; junba song & dance; and art & stories from the Uunguu.

Seabourn’s monetary contribution adds to funding already received from TWA, which will assist the Wunambal Gaambera’s development of tourism facilities and products for them to live on their country during the dry season.

Jar Island will be featured on all Seabourn itineraries in its inaugural season the Kimberley, ensuring consistent visitation to Wunambal Gaambera country.

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