Cruise Line Cocktails Go WORLD CLASS

Cruise Line Cocktails Go WORLD CLASSMiami, Fla. 21st March 2013- Diageo Global Travel and Middle East(GTME) today announced a new 2013 partnership with Princess Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line to deliver an on-board cocktail training program, as part of one of world’s most prestigious mixology competitions – DIAGEO RESERVE WORLD CLASS.

Over 400 cruise line bartenders will be trained in progressive cocktail trends and pitted against each other, in a series of heats. A cruise line finalist will then go forward to take part in the DIAGEO RESERVE WORLD CLASS Bartender of the Year final, competing alongside bar tenders from the four corners of the globe.

Bartenders will be trained in cutting edge cocktail-making trends such as ‘Retro Chic,’ ‘Tropical Journey,’ and ‘Hollywood Bollywood Hong Kong,’ balancing a spirit of old school glamour with concoctions such as the ‘Casino Royale.’ They will also be coached to develop creativity and showmanship in DIAGEO RESERVE WORLD CLASS, the drinks industry’s largest and most credible investment in luxury drinking experiences.

Launched in 2009, DIAGEO RESERVE WORLD CLASS operates in 50 countries and has inspired and educated over 15,000 bartenders from all over the world, using the finest spirits from the Diageo Reserve collection. This year’s global final will also be held aboard a boutique cruise liner in the Mediterranean Sea1 – highlighting the increasing importance of the cruise channel in cocktail culture.

Following a successful pioneering partnership with Princess Cruises last year, Norwegian Cruise Lines is welcomed to the program for 2013, placing both at the forefront of mixology trends.

Philip Duff, expert mixologist at Liquid Solutions is leading the training: “We are thrilled to be working with Diageo Global Travel and Middle East, Princess Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line to immerse their bartenders in cutting edge cocktail trends. By equipping the ships’ bartenders with these progressive skills we are all helping to bring a unique fine drinking environment to cruise passengers the world over.”

Louise Higgins, Marketing Director, GTME Americas, said: “We are delighted to be investing in and expanding the program this year to welcome Norwegian Cruise Line on-board. Last year Princess Cruises was our first partner in WORLD CLASS. Both are renowned for their best-in-class bartenders. By participating in what is one of the world’s most credible cocktail competitions, these bartenders will take their cocktail making skills to new levels and hone their excellent customer service skills – all to the benefit of guests who will enjoy their innovative creations in the luxury setting of the cruise liners.”

Peter Tobler, Vice President, Food and Beverage Operations, Princess Cruises said: “Based on the huge success of WORLD CLASS last year, we are delighted to be back for a second year. One of our bartenders reached the global final last year in Rio de Janeiro and we are hoping to recreate this success in 2013. We believe this partnership with Diageo GTME will further excite our cruise passengers and make their fine drinking experience on-board our ships even more memorable. WORLD CLASS is not only about showcasing the world’s best bartenders, it’s about inspiring them to be pioneers in the innovative and ever-changing cocktail arena. We are delighted that we will be able to treat our passengers to a winning combination of the world’s finest luxury spirits and the latest trends in mixology.”

Wesley Cort, Director of Restaurant & Beverage Development and Operations for Norwegian Cruise Line, said: “Introducing our bartending talent to DIAGEO RESERVE WORLD CLASS will take the quality of our guest service to new levels of excellence. Our guests are seeking luxury experiences and the finest spirits while on vacation. This program will help our bar team to enhance those experiences with expanded knowledge of premium spirits, fresh ideas for cocktails and an ability to entertain our guests.”