Salcombe Gin and P&O Cruises to open ‘first distillery at sea’

English brand Salcombe Gin has partnered with P&O Cruises to develop the “first distillery at sea”, which will be constructed on board the cruise operator’s new flagship vessel, Iona.

The ship, which will launch in May 2020, will boast an onboard distillery that will distil, bottle and label a “unique” gin created in partnership with Devon-based Salcombe Distilling Company.

Angus Lugsdin, co-founder of Salcombe Distilling Company, said: “We’re 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 onboard 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.”

Following the gin’s launch on Iona, Salcombe Distilling Company will also distil the recipe at its Devon site to be distributed and served across the P&O Cruises fleet as the company’s official premium gin. The new gin will be available in bars and restaurants onboard P&O’s ships as well as across duty free retailers.

Salcombe Distilling Company will also create masterclass experiences for P&O Cruises’ guests.

President of P&O Cruises Paul Ludlow said: “Salcombe Gin is the perfect partner for us as they share our zest for adventure and discovery. They have an unrivalled passion and attention to detail, not only in the award-winning gins they create, but also in the unique gin experiences they offer.

“We’re incredibly excited by the bespoke gin they are creating for us, the maiden production run of which will be distilled onboard the first ever distillery at sea.”

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