P&O Cruises has announced a deal with Salcombe Gin to develop and install the first distillery at sea onboard the Iona, which launches in 2020.
The gin’s maiden production will take place in Iona’s custom-made still and will be distilled, bottled and labelled onboard and available to the guests aboard.
Following the gin’s launch on Iona, Salcombe Gin will also distil the unique recipe, yet to be named, in its 450 liter copper still ‘Provident’ in Salcombe, ready to share and serve across all ships in the fleet, the company announced.
P&O Cruises is also working with Salcombe Gin to develop limited-edition gins celebrating and taking inspiration from the ports of call on various itineraries.
P&O Cruises president, Paul Ludlow, said: “Salcombe Gin is the perfect partner for us as it shares our zest for adventure and discovery. It has an unrivalled passion and attention to detail, not only in the award-winning gins created, but also in the unique gin experiences offered. 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.”
Angus Lugsdin, co-founder of Salcombe Distilling Co, said: “We are extremely excited to partner on this exciting project with P&O Cruises. Our two brands have an amazingly rich and shared history. At the same time that 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.
“Both brands are kindred spirits, born of the sea with a history of breaking new ground and exploring new horizons. To be responsible for creating a unique gin and distilling it on board the first distillery at sea is a very romantic notion and brings us closer to the intrepid adventurers who travelled the world’s oceans seeking out the finest fruits, spices and herbs.”
Salcombe Gin will also bring its masterclass expertise to Iona to create two unique experiences for P&O Cruises. In one, guests can gather together to learn all about the nation’s favourite spirit and try a variety of different gins.
The second class is a smaller, more intimate gathering where guests can create their own gin recipe.