Cruise retailer Harding+ has joined up with Cotswolds Distillery to present the latter’s assortment of UK-produced whiskies and gins exclusively onboard P&O Cruises.
As part of a rollout across autumn and winter for the full P&O fleet, Costwolds Distillery has launched initially onboard P&O Britannia and P&O Iona.
Harding+ says hundreds of bottles were sold onboard in the opening weeks of launch, accompanying a mix of bar takeovers, tasting events and specialist promotions.
By the end of this year, the full range and associated launch experiences will appear on all 10 Carnival-owned P&O and Cunard ships.
Harding+ Chief Commercial Officer Matthew Hodges said: “The award-winning drinks that Cotswolds Distillery produce are exactly what discerning guests with time to invest in a new product are looking for, and by blending the on-board experience with a story that can continue back on land with a value-for-money live distillery experience, it means brand loyalty can become a long-term end outcome from our cruise start point.
“We also delighted that that this British-distilled product employs smartly sustainable actions in their process, using the water left over from the distilling process, for example, to water the land. A core part of our Harding+ business mission is to champion sustainability at all touchpoints of both our own business and our partner supply chain.”
Cotswolds Distillery’s International Sales and Global Travel Retail Director Lynsey Eades, said: “Here at Cotswolds Distillery, we are excited to have launched into the cruise sector in partnership with Harding+. The Cotswolds Distillery interactive and sensorial experiences, as well as launching our new innovative and premium products on board, offer the guests new and engaging reasons to purchase outstanding gin and whisky.
“The Harding+ team have been critical in educating passengers about Cotswolds Distillery and we are proud to work with such talented brand ambassadors. It has been, and will continue to be, a pleasure to work with the entire Harding+ team.”
The activities onboard to date have included a blend of high-footfall and more intimate one-to-one brand tastings; high-visibility POS and pop-up displays from FSDUs to a branded Cotswolds-style Land Rover; takeover of the on-board liquor bars; service theatre such as ‘vapour bubble guns’ that top drinks with gin-flavour bubbles; and whisky masterclasses.
In addition, a bespoke promotion offered two-for-one ‘grain to glass’ distillery tours for every two bottles purchased onboard.
“We know from the customer data and insights that we have invested in heavily over the last few years just what ticks the box for our partner cruise guests when it comes to joined-up, original and interactive brand experiences,” added Hodges.
“Our mission is to ‘make every cruise better’, and working with brand partners who embrace the same goals, love of theatre and commitment to creating joined-up and linked touchpoints on board is hugely rewarding for all parties.”
As reported in September, Harding is Carnival Cruise Line’s single biggest retail partner after adding a further five ships to the retail portfolio, which now totals 13; more than half of the Carnival fleet.