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Who provides the finest whisky on the seven seas?

Whisky Cruise 

Cruise ship rules about taking your own alcohol aboard can be strict, so it’s important to choose a ship with a bar menu catering to your tastes. However, it’s not always easy to find information about exactly what is available on board. If you’re a whisky lover, fear not; we have everything you need to know here.

Often called ‘the water of life’, there can be few better ways to relax than kicking back and taking in the gorgeous ocean views with a dram in your hand. With that in mind, we have weighed up some of the most popular cruise line companies around to find the very best selection of whiskies available at sea.

Bourbons on Cruise Ships

Most cruise ships offer a fairly standard selection of Bourbons which include popular choices such as Jack Daniel's, Jim Beam and Maker's Mark. One company which stands out with a more thorough offering is Royal Caribbean International, who also carry Bakers, Basi Haydens, Blantons Single Barrel, Bookers, and Knob Creek.

Blended Whiskies on Cruise Ships

The range of blended whiskies offered doesn’t vary greatly across the different cruise providers. On most ships you will be able to find Jonnie Walker (in a range of different labels), Chivas Regal, Seagrams, Jamesons or Dewar’s.

For Jonnie Walker fans the Royal Caribbean International cruises represent the best option; they offer Black, Double Black, Gold Reserve, Blue and the Blue King George Edition labels. They also carry a number of Chivas Regal expressions and Royal Salute 21 year old. Also offering a strong selection of blended whiskies is Cunard Cruise Lines who, in addition to the standard options above, also offer Famous Grouse, Bells, J&B and Cutty Sark. P&O Cruises also offer a good selection featuring the standard options and the addition of Famous Grouse and Bell’s.

Single Malts on Cruise Ships

While bourbons and blends may be popular, we know whisky lovers are really wondering about the range of single malts on offer, and there is one clear winner; Cunard Cruises. Across their range of ships you can find an excellent selection of drams, including; Glenmorangie 25 year old; Glenmorangie 10yo; Dalwhinnie 15yo; Glenfiddich 12yo; Glenkinchie 12yo; Auchentoshan Heartwood; Caol Ila 12yo; Bowmore Enigma 12yo; Highland Park Svein; Talisker 57 North; Bushmills 10yo; and Nikka Yoichi 10yo.

Nobody comes close to competing with Cunard, but the next best option is MSC, who offer a smaller but very respectable selection including The Macallan Select Oak; Glenfiddich 12yo; Laphroaig 10yo; Glenlivet; Glenmorangie; Dalmore; and Macallan 12yo.

Not far behind is Royal Caribbean International, who carry a small but well-crafted range of single malts including Glenfiddich 12yo; Glenmorangie Original; Glenlivet 12yo; and The Macallan Select Oak. Holland America Lines also offers a respectable choice of drams including Glenlivet; Laphroaig; Glenmorangie; Glenfiddich; Dalmore; and Macallan 12yo.

The following companies provide a reasonable if unspectacular selection; Fred Olsen; P&O Cruises; and Viking Cruises. Whisky lovers may want to be wary of Carnival, Thomson and Norwegian Cruise Line, all of whom offer a very limited selection consisting of only 1 or 2 relatively standard malts.

Final Verdict

The following cruise line providers seem to offer the best selection of Bourbons, Blends and Single Malts for whisky lovers to enjoy.

1. Cunard

Cunard ThumbnailCunard is a clear winner overall, thanks to its impressive range of single malt whiskies. It also offers a very respectable selection of blends while matching up to the competition when it comes to bourbons. Whisky lovers definitely won’t struggle to quench their thirst aboard a Cunard ship.



2. Royal Caribbean International

Royal Caribbean ThumbnailThe selection of single malts offered aboard the Royal Caribbean ships may be smaller than some competitors but the options are well rounded and it has an impressive range of bourbons and blends to choose from.



3. MSC

Msc ThumbnailMSC’s choice of single malts is slightly better than Royal Caribbean, but its range of Bourbons and Blends falls slightly behind the competition. Overall they provide a strong and varied selection.




The information above represents a typical selection across the companies’ ships and actual choices may vary.The companies analysed for this article were Carnival; Cunard; Fred Olsen; Holland America Line; MSC; Norwegian Cruise Line; P&O Cruises; Princess Cruises; Royal Caribbean International; Thomson; and Viking Cruises.

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