World’s First Gin Distillery At Sea

British cruise line P&O Cruises has announced that it will be producing its own “sea-inspired” gin Marabelle onboard the new Iona, home to the world’s first gin distillery at sea, in partnership with UK-based Salcombe Distilling Co.

The world’s first gin distillery at sea is located on board P&O’s new cruise ship, Iona, situated within the Anderson’s Bar and Library. According to Salcombe Distilling Co., the gin’s recipe was inspired by the terroir found on Iona, a Scottish island and namesake of the Iona ship. Heather – found on the island is one of the 18 botanicals will be used to make the gin, including heather, citrus, green apple, blackberry, rose petals, mint and sea kelp.

Following its launch on Iona, Salcombe Distilling Co. will take over distillation of P&O Cruises Marabelle Gin in its 450-litre copper still Provident in Salcombe. The gin will then be served across the entire 5,200-passenger P&O Cruises fleet. In addition, two gin master classes will be available for attendance on the new Iona to create two unique experiences for P&O Cruises. One will be aimed at theory with a tasting session at the end, while the other, “a smaller, more intimate experience” will allow guests to make their own Marabelle Gin under the tutelage of an expert from a selection of gin botanical distillates created by Salcombe Distilling Co. These specially created gins will be bottled for guests to take home.

P&O Cruises president, Paul Ludlow, said: “The world’s first gin distillery at sea will be one of the stand-out star attractions on our new ship. Marabelle means star of the sea so this is a perfectly apt name for our unique-recipe gin created on board Iona, a ship set to make sea the star.”

The label found on the Marabelle bottles is the shape of a gin pennant flag, which is a “symbol of hospitality flown by sailors for years." When hoisted it invites people to come aboard for a G&T, so it’s the perfect icon to symbolize our gin brand and partnership.”

P&O Cruises also plans to work with Salcombe Distilling Co. to develop exclusive gins inspired by the destinations visited.

Salcombe Gin will be holding a series of gin masterclasses on board, so passengers can learn more about the nation’s favourite spirit and get the chance to create their own gin recipe.