P&O Cruises has announced its first onboard distillery to produce limited edition gin for passengers.
Salcombe Gin’s new and as-yet-unnamed product will be produced, bottled and labelled onboard P&O’s new ship Iona, due to launch in May 2020.
Gins produced in the 450-litre copper “still” will be inspired by the ship’s various ports of call and served across the P&O fleet.
Paul Ludlow, P&O Cruises president, said: “We are incredibly excited by the bespoke gin being created for us, the maiden production run of which will be distilled in the first-ever distillery at sea.”
Salcombe Gin will offer guests two classes where they can learn about the spirit and try different products, or devise their own recipe.
Angus Lugsdin, co-founder of Salcombe Distilling Co, described the project as “romantic”.
“Our two brands have an amazingly rich and shared history,” he said.
“At the same time, P&O expanded into leisure cruising in the mid-19th century, the famous Salcombe fruit schooners were entering their heyday, importing cargoes of precious fruits and spices from the Mediterranean to England’s ports and the ships probably passed each other on their voyages.”
Iona is currently being built at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg. It is an LNG-powered ship with capacity for 5,200 guests – the largest built to serve the UK market.
Alongside the distillery, it will feature a three-deck atrium and glass SkyDome designed by Eckersley O’Callaghan.
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