The Bonded Store on Pacific Explorer

(10:00 a.m. AEST) -- P&O has unveiled the first look at its new cocktail bar, The Bonded Store, coming soon to its latest ship, Pacific Explorer.

In a special partnership with Archie Rose Distilling Co, the bar will serve premium drinks with a local flavour using the Sydney-based distiller’s handcrafted spirits. Archie Rose will also host gin-making and whisky master classes onboard Pacific Explorer cruise -- a first for an Australian-based ship.

At a media event last night, P&O Cruises president Sture Myrmell revealed the partnership started when he was impressed by the high quality of a gin and tonic he was drinking at the bar.

“The small and hidden bar scene is incredibly popular on land so we’re taking the concept to sea with The Bonded Store, which will feature a stylish and somewhat quirky décor in an intimate setting, as well as fantastic Archie Rose cocktails,” Myrmell said.

“As Australia’s only home grown cruise line, we’re very proud to be stocking another premium Australian product on our ships.”

The Bonded Store “will take people back to another cocktail era”, he added.

Other new features for Pacific Explorer, which launches in June, include a barefoot lawn bowls area, a waterpark and two waterslides that shoot over the side of the ship.

Presently sailing as Dawn Princess with sister line Princess Cruises, Pacific Explorer will be refitted from May and is set to operate its first cruise from Sydney on June 22.

--By Louise Goldsbury, Australia Editor