Godparents Chosen for Seabourn’s Newest Cruise Ship

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Seabourn Pursuit, an ultra-luxury expedition ship that entered service in August of 2023, finally has godparents. While many cruise lines choose a celebrity or influencer to fill the role, Seabourn Cruise Line has broken the mold by choosing the Wunambal Gaambera people instead. 

Wunambal Gaambera Traditional Owners Named As Seabourn Pursuit’s Godparents

In an industry first, Seabourn has become the first cruise line to appoint Traditional Owners, or an Aboriginal people, as the godparents of a new vessel. But the cruise line couldn’t imagine a better choice to celebrate Seabourn Pursuit’s inaugural season in Australia, which will begin at the end of this month on April 30, 2024. 

The Wunambal Gaambera people are the Traditional Owners of Australia’s Kimberly region, which includes the sea country of Ngula Jar Island (Vansittart Bay), Yirinni (Hunter River), and the freshwater country of Ngauwudu (Mitchell Plateau).

“We believe no one can give a better blessing to our ship than the communities we visit. We truly believe in the transformative power of travel, and 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,” added Leahy.

Seabourn Pursuit Godparents
Seabourn Pursuit Godparents

The purpose of naming the Wunambal Gaambera Traditional Owners as godparents isn’t just symbolic, but rather a commitment to investing in sustainable cruise tourism. As part of the appointment, the 7-ship cruise line will also make a donation to help the Wunambal Gaambera develop a self-sustaining industry through the production of authentic works of art and crafts made by indigenous artists to sell.

“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.

Read Also: Seabourn Unveils Segments for 2026 World Cruise

In addition, Seabourn has also promised to supply the Wunambal Gaambera Aboriginal Corporation with various art supplies and polishing materials to foster sustainable, commercial arts and craft initiatives and to work alongside the Traditional Owners as they share their unique culture with visiting cruise passengers. 

Seabourn Pursuit’s Naming Ceremony Set For June of 2024

Now that the godparents have been chosen, all that’s left to do is officially name and christen Seabourn’s newest ship. The naming and dedication ceremony will take place on June 29, 2024, at Ngula Jar Island on the Uunguu Coast.

The ceremony will take place during the ship’s inaugural “Discovering the Kimberley” voyage, which embarks from Broome, Western Australia, on June 22, 2024. The sailing also visits Lacepede Island, Talbot Bay, Montgomery Reef, Freshwater Cove, Kuri Bay, Hunter River, Ashmore Reef, and King George River, before concluding in Darwin, Australia, on July 2, 2024.

Seabourn Pursuit Godparents
Seabourn Pursuit Godparents

Although most cruise ships are formerly named and christened prior to setting sail, Seabourn Pursuit entered service when its maiden voyage embarked on its 8-day maiden voyage from Valletta, Malta, to Rome, Italy, on August 12, 2023. 

Seabourn Pursuit, the second purpose-built expedition ship in Seabourn’s fleet is on the small side, measuring in at 557 feet long and 78 feet wide, with 264 suites onboard. Not only does this allow for a more luxurious and intimate cruising experience, but the ship is able to travel to destinations where bigger cruise ships simply can’t fit. 

In fact, one of Seabourn Pursuit’s first expeditions was to Antarctica in November of 2023. While there, Seabourn Pursuit was able to meet Seabourn Venture, its older sister and fellow expedition ship, for the first time. The occasion was celebrated with toasts, caviar, and champagne onboard both of the ultra-luxury ships.

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