Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is giving guests the chance to create their own bespoke gin during a cruise holiday, with guidance from expert gin-makers, Nigel and Debbie Wright.

The first masterclasses will be taking place on board Fred. Olsen’s flagship, Balmoral, during its 70-night L2001 ‘South American Exploration’ cruise, which will depart from Southampton today.

Upon his retirement, with wife Debbie’s support and encouragement, Nigel Wright researched the gin-making process and spoke to some of the new breed of craft gin producers, after which he applied for, and was granted, the necessary licences for producing gins at home, in summer 2018.

Fred. Olsen’s new premium gin-making experience will take place in Balmoral’s stylish Grill Restaurant, on Lido Deck 8, and will last around two hours, including introductions and tastings.

Guests will also receive a 70cl bottle of their own bespoke hand-crafted gin to take home with them.

There will be over 50 different botanicals for guests to choose from – the flavours that go to characterise a gin – all of which have been researched and documented by Debbie.

A number of the botanicals have been specially-selected to marry with the destinations that guests will be visiting on this exciting South American adventure.

Thomas Rennesland, hotel operations director of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said: “We are delighted that Nigel and Debbie Wright will be sharing their knowledge and expertise with our guests and giving them the opportunity to develop their own gin.

“This is a unique experience, which teaches the whole of the gin-making process, from picking the botanicals through to distillation, and we are very excited at the prospect of our guests enjoying this fantastic class.”

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