Australian Traditional Owners announced as godparents of Seabourn Pursuit

Author: Kaye Holland

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The traditional owners of a region in Australia’s Kimberley will act as godparents of Seabourn’s expedition ship Seabourn Pursuit

The line said the Wunambal Gaambera Traditional Owners’ appointment “serves as a symbolic gesture of stewardship and responsibility toward the environment and the communities that Seabourn visits, as well as Seabourn’s commitment to sustainable tourism”.

The naming ceremony will take place during Seabourn Pursuit’s June 22-July 4 sailing in the Kimberley region.

The Wunambal Gaambera people are the Traditional Owners of a region in the Kimberley that includes the sea country of Ngula Jar Island (Vansittart Bay) and Yirinni (Hunter River), and the freshwater country of Ngauwudu (Mitchell Plateau).

Representatives from the Wunambal Gaambera Aboriginal Corporation will be at Ngula Jar Island to participate in the inaugural dedication ceremony on June 29.

Natalya Leahy, president of Seabourn, said: “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.

“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.”

In addition to appointing the Traditional Owners as godparents, Seabourn will also make a donation to support the development of a self-sustaining industry, including the production of arts and crafts for sale.

Catherine Goonack, chairperson of the Wunambal Gaambera Aboriginal Corporation, said: “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.”

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About Kaye Holland

Kaye is a London-based wordsmith who has written for a range of publications including The Times, The Independent, The I, Culture Trip, The Sun, and ABTA among others. In June 2022, Kaye joined the Real Response Media where she looks – together with Lucy Abbott – after the World of Cruising website. Want to get in touch? Kaye can be reached at: [email protected]