October 8, 2019
(2:45 p.m. BST) -- When P&O Cruises' new ship, Iona, debuts in May 2020, it is set to boast the first gin distillery at sea -- and the line has now revealed a partnership with British brand Salcombe Gin to distil, bottle and label the gin onboard.
The Devon-based distillery will also offer Iona passengers two gin masterclasses. One will include a gin tasting and the other will involve passengers blending their own gin.
After debuting on Iona, the Devon-based distillery will produce gins from its Salcombe distillery for the entire P&O fleet -- creating limited-edition spirits that take inspiration from the line’s ports of call.
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.
"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."
The 5,200-passenger ship will also feature a four-screen cinema, Ocean Studios, and several new family-friendly eateries, including The Boardwalk Diner, serving burgers, hot dogs, fried chicken and Southern soul food; the Asian takeaway Fusion; Hook Line and Vinegar for traditional British fish and chips, and The Olive Grove, for Mediterranean dishes and sharing plates.
The line revealed earlier this year that Spanish chef Jose Pizarro, Norwegian chef Kjartan Skjelde and photographer and cook Marte Marie Forsberg will become Iona's new Food Heroes, creating dishes for the ship's restaurants, including new-to-the-line venue Taste 360.
Iona is currently under construction at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, and will sail on seven-night cruises to the Norwegian Fjords, before sailing on Spain, Portugal and Canary Islands itineraries during its first winter season.