Iona gin distillery: The first at sea!

Iona gin distillery: The first at sea!

30th January 2020 0 By Cruise Mummy

P&O Cruises’ new ship Iona is set to feature the world’s first gin distillery at sea. With so many British cruisers enjoying a gin and tonic of an evening, P&O Cruises have decided that the best way to keep up with the thirst for gin, is to distil it right on-board the ship!

As well as the unique gin distillery, this new 5,200-passenger ship which is set to launch in May 2020 will also have a dedicated gin bar serving over 300 varieties of gin and gin masterclasses where passengers can learn about how the gin is made at sea.

Iona’s limited-edition gins

Iona gin making
Photo credit: P&O Cruises

New cruise ship Iona will have its own signature gin, made to a recipe that’s tailored to the ‘bold and daring’ spirit of Iona. The ship will feature a revolutionary, custom-made 450-litre copper still. This one-of-a-kind distillery will allow Iona’s signature gin is to be distilled, bottled and labelled on-board the ship, before being enjoyed by passengers.

Many of the gin varieties created on-board Iona will be limited edition drinks with recipes inspired by ingredients local to the various destinations that Iona will cruise to.

Iona’s unique signature gin recipe will also be used in the distillery in Salcombe, Devon, so that the ‘Iona gin’ can also be enjoyed by guests on every ship across the P&O Cruises fleet –  Britannia, Ventura, Azura, Oceana, Arcadia and Aurora.

Gin masterclasses on Iona

Iona gin masterclass
Photo credit: P&O Cruises

Passengers cruising on-board Iona will be able to attend one of two gin masterclasses during their cruise. In each gin masterclass, guests will learn about the history of the popular spirit and how it’s made.

  • In the first masterclass, a gin expert will reveal the secrets to distilling a smooth and well-balanced gin and guests can then enjoy a gin tasting session
  • In the second class, guests can blend their own gin to create their own unique recipes before tasting their masterpieces

Passengers on-board Iona can also purchase souvenir bottles of Iona’s exclusive gin to take home and share (or not share!) with friends.

P&O Cruises’ partnership with Salcombe Gin

Iona gin distillery
Photo credit: P&O Cruises

To bring P&O Cruises’ Iona gin still dreams to life, the British cruise line has partnered with Devon-based distillery, Salcombe Gin.

“Salcombe Gin is the perfect partner for us as it shares our zest for adventure and discovery,” said P&O Cruises president, Paul Ludlow. “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.”

Iona gin still
Photo credit: P&O Cruises

Angus Lugsdin, co-founder of Salcombe Distilling Co, commented: “We are extremely excited to partner on this exciting project with P&O Cruises. Our two brands have an amazingly rich and shared history.

“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.”

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