They call it the 'water of life' and now whisky fans can appreciate it on the water, with Princess Cruises' first-ever dedicated whisky bar, on board the locally based Dawn Princess.
Aussies and Kiwis have developed quite an appreciation for a dram and this has sparked the move to create a specialist menu of 63 whiskies from across the globe, says Princess Cruises Vice President Australia and New Zealand Stuart Allison.
Cruisers can mosey up to the cosy Magnum's Bar to sample Talisker, a sweet, full-bodied single malt from Scotland's Isle of Skye; or Hibiki, a gracefully blended harmony of flavours from Japan. Australian distilleries are not left out, with offerings from Melbourne's Bakery Hill and Western Australia's Limeburners; and Mad Men fans will be pleased to see American-style bourbons and rye on the menu.
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While whisky aficionados love to debate the merits of single malts versus blends; on the rocks versus neat or – heaven forbid – the addition of 'dry', don't worry if you're new to the world of whisky. Bartenders are on hand to help, adding notes on their favourites to the menu, and providing a daily flight of three whiskies so you can sample different regions.
And if that's not enough, Sydney-based whisky expert Peter Stevens offers these three tips:
- Add water, not ice, as ice reduces the flavour.
- Roll the whisky around the glass and smell it – 75 per cent of the taste comes from the aromatics.
- Cleanse the palate with cheese, pear or figs between glasses.
Princess Cruises' Mr Allison said: “The new concept makes whisky approachable for all our guests so we think it will be a big hit, with guests able to enjoy a drop after dinner and a show or during a languid sea day.”
The newly revamped Dawn Princess has some more new features for travellers who like a tipple, with beer and wine festivals at sea.
The festivals, which will be held twice during voyages of more than seven days, will showcase regional beers and wines to the strains of live music. And if coffee is your drink of choice, there is a new Italian cafe called Amuleto.
When you need to detox, head on down to the refurbished Lotus Spa, which has new treatment rooms and an upgraded sauna, as well as the New Zealand-inspired Healing Kawakawa Massage, Rotorua Mud Ritual or Manuka Honey Hand and Foot Ritual.
The Dawn Princess is based in Australia year-round and cruises to Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific.