Cruising Press Releases

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines launches new premium Gin Masterclasses

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines launches new premium Gin Masterclasses

3rd January 2020 – New for 2020, as part of its immersive onboard enrichment programme, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is giving guests the chance to create their own bespoke gin during their cruise holidays, with guidance from expert gin-makers, Nigel and Debbie Wright.


The first Gin 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 on 6th January 2020.


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. Classes will be limited to between six and eight guests, and will cost £25 per person, with the chance to make up to six gins per session, using Fred. Olsen’s new state-of-the-art copper distilling equipment. 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.”


Gin expert Nigel Wright said:


“This is a fantastic opportunity for Fred. Olsen guests to learn what goes into making a gin and to be able create their own bespoke bottle, tailored specifically to their individual tastes and preferences.


“The Masterclasses will offer, not just a practical experience, but also an educational one. Guests will be exposed to wide range of botanicals, and will learn what they like and do not like, from which they can develop their own recipe to reflect their personal taste, and get to take it home with them as a treasured memento of their Fred. Olsen holiday.”


Balmoral’s extensive 70-night ‘South American Exploration’ will take in floral Madeira and the volcanic island of São Vicente, as well as highlighting the very best of Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Uruguay, Chile and Colombia, along with the gorgeous Caribbean islands of Curaçao, Bonaire, Barbados, Antigua and St Kitts. ‘South American Exploration’ – L2001


For further information on Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, visit the website at