Luxury Expedition Ship Seabourn Pursuit Named During Ceremony in Australia

Luxury cruise line Seabourn officially named and christened its newest expedition ship, Seabourn Pursuit, during a ceremony in Australia.

seabourn pursuit exterior australia

Luxury cruise line Seabourn officially named its newest expedition ship, Seabourn Pursuit, during a unique expedition naming ceremony at Ngula Jar Island, Australia on June 29th.

With guests on Zodiacs alongside the ship and the onboard team lined up along the decks, the Wunambal Gaambera Traditional Owners named the vessel, marking the first time Traditional Owners named a ship. Traditional Owners are descendants of the tribe or ethnic group that lived in Australia before Europeans arrived and settled there.

seabourn pursuit junba traditional owners
(Photo courtesy of Seabourn)

The day-long celebration and ceremony were planned to honor Wunambal Gaambera County and people and Kimberley region, and guests were able to immerse themselves in the Aboriginal culture and history throughout the day. Guests took part in a remarkable Wunambal Gaambera welcome and smoking ceremony, “jimɨrri,” to welcome guests to the country and bid them safe travels.

seabourn pursuit captain ertan vasvi australia
(Photo courtesy of Seabourn)

“Our smoking ceremony is done for visitors so that our old people’s spirits won’t follow them,” said Wunambal Gaambera Traditional Owner Lillian Karadada. Afterwards, the “Junba,” a traditional story-telling song and dance, was carried out by Wunambal Gaambera Traditional Owners, painted in ochre. Guests also visited ancient rock art sites and heard the cultural stories of that area. Artworks by Wunambal Gaambera artists were on display and for sale.

Seabourn and Wunambal Gaambera Traditional Owners exchanged gifts to celebrate their new relationship. In addition, Seabourn guests Vince and Jane Roig, who have sailed on every Seabourn inaugural voyage on the current seven-ship fleet, presented the Traditional Owners with a symbolic gift of art supplies as a token of appreciation for the new partnership.

seabourn pursuit naming ceremony gift
L to R: Wunambal Gaambera Traditional Owner Desmond Williams, Jane and Vince Roig, and Wunambal Gaambera Traditional Owner Rosa Marnga (Photo courtesy of Seabourn)

The day culminated with the naming ceremony in Wunambal Gaambera language and English, where representatives from the Wunambal Gaambera Aboriginal Corporation wished Seabourn Pursuit an abundance of blessings and extraordinary expeditions to come in Wunambal Gaambera Country.

Seabourn used a specially-made bottle crafted from sugar and coated with sand from Ngula, Jar Island, to further celebrate and show respect to the land. Keeping with the time-honored maritime tradition, guests and crew members cheered and celebrated the moment the bottle broke on the bow of the ship.

“This day marks a very special event with the christening of Seabourn Pursuit, our newest ultra-luxury purpose-built expedition ship,” said Seabourn president Natalya Leahy. “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 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.”

Also in attendance were Ms. Divina D’Anna, MLA, and Parliamentary Secretary to Deputy Premier Hon. Rita Saffioti MLA (Deputy Premier; Treasurer; Minister for Transport; Tourism; Member for West Swan), and Di Bain, the Chair of Tourism Western Australia.

seabourn pursuit exterior australia
(Photo courtesy of Seabourn)

Seabourn intends to further work alongside Wunambal Gaambera as they share their unique Uunguu Experience, imparting Wanjina Wunggurr culture through welcome and smoking ceremonies; rock art tours; junba song and dance; and art and stories from the Uunguu Rangers who are looking after and keeping the country healthy.

Seabourn Pursuit offers the same luxurious small ship experience that travelers have come to expect from Seabourn, plus world-class equipment that allows the line to offer a wide range of expedition activities led by an expert 24-person expedition team. Designed and built for remote, diverse environments to PC6 Polar Class standards, the ship includes a plethora of modern hardware and technology. This includes a 4K GSS Cineflex Camera mounted on the mast of the Constellation Lounge, which is capable of broadcasting imagery from miles ahead on monitors located throughout the ship and in guest suites.

Seabourn Pursuit is already sailing, having set sail on her inaugural voyage in August 2023. She is currently operating 10-night voyages in Australia.


Have you ever taken a luxury cruise and if so, what’s your favorite line? Would you/have you ever done an expedition cruise? Drop us an anchor below and let us know!

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Sarah has been writing about the cruise industry since 2015, and in that time has taken a dozen cruises and counting. Her favorite onboard activities include trying the casual dining options, spending time in the spa’s thermal suite, and attending the love & marriage show. You can keep up with her on Instagram at @IAmSarahJaneB.
Sarah Bretz, Contributor
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