The World’s First Distillery at Sea with Salcombe Gin

Adventurous and luxurious Salcombe Gin, which embraces life on and around the water, is thrilled to announce an exciting new partnership with P&O Cruises.

Salcombe Distilling Company Ltd (SDCo) has been selected by P&O Cruises as the gin partner to develop and implement the concept of the first distillery at sea. This will be installed onboard P&O Cruises’ new flagship vessel ‘Iona’, launching in May 2020. As part of this contract, in addition to providing consultancy services, SDCo will also develop a unique gin that will be distilled, bottled and labelled onboard Iona.

Angus Lugsdin, co-founder of Salcombe Distilling Co, comments: “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.” Angus continues: “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, SDCo will also distil the recipe at their stunning waterside distillery in Salcombe. It will be shared and served across the P&O Cruises fleet as the official premium gin where it will be available in the bars and restaurants onboard and to purchase at duty free retailers alongside their multi-award winning gin portfolio.

SDCo will also bring their expertise onboard, creating unique masterclass experiences for P&O Cruises’ guests to create unforgettable holiday memories.

Developed around the concept of ‘Making the Sea the Star’, the onboard distillery and unique gin experiences are just some of the exceptional guest experiences onboard Iona. President of P&O Cruises, Paul Ludlow, comments: “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.”

Iona is joining P&O Cruises in May 2020 and is the largest ship built to serve the UK market. The newest vessel in the P&O fleet, Iona is LNG-powered and has a 5,200 guest capacity, designed to bring the outside in, through innovative design and unique spaces.

Iona will feature enhancements to already successful brand signature venues from the existing fleet, as well as features newly developed for Iona. These include the first distillery at sea, a breath-taking three deck atrium in the heart of the ship as well as SkyDome – an exclusively designed glass dome by award-winning British engineers Eckersley O’Callaghan.  This will be a world first at sea and offer a unique space for both relaxing in all weathers and providing entertainment, featuring aerial performers and a wealth of live acts.

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