Food Drink

Hains & Co.saves cruise ship from scrap yard, repurposing for floating gin playground

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Adelaide’s Hains & Co. has purchased cruise liner the Pacific Dawn to take you around Australia––and you can take all of your favourite SA bars with you.

APRIL FOOLS! Damnit, we only wish this were true. At least we live in the Gin State, right?

Ahoy, South Australian Gin lovers!

Adelaide’s Hains & Co. has purchased a cruise liner to take you around Australia––and you can take all of your favourite SA bars with you.

The much-loved bar has teamed up with hospitality heavyweights Pirate Life and Never Never Distillery to create a Hains & Co. boat experience, complete with four restaurants, five bars, and even a built-in distillery.

Guests can book trips to various Australian destinations that are anywhere from two days to two weeks.

“Since we can’t travel overseas, we decided to do the next best thing and travel on the seas,” Hains & Co. owner Marcus Motteram says.

“We’re starting in Australia, with a chance to travel to New Zealand when it opens up, and once overseas is on the cards, we’ll travel there too.”

While they’re still working out all the specifics, Motteram says Pirate Life, Never Never, Dead Reckoning Rum, and some food producers from the Barossa are on board (pun intended). We are told there will also be an ever-rotating list of famous chefs, inspired bespoke events, tastings and educations, and delicious drinks in a fun environment.

While the idea sounds (and is) genius, it isn’t totally unheard of. The world’s first gin-themed cruise left from Adelaide in 2019, and there was even one on the Torrens, but this is taking the idea to a whole new level with all your favourite bars and eateries built into a boozy playground.

George Georgiadis, the owner of Never Never, was hesitant at first, but now feels this venture will take their brand to the next level.

“It was a bit of a tough decision and financially a bit of a stretch, but when written out on paper with the added ability for a distillery bar on board, the experiences we will be able to provide are priceless, providing a huge boost to the brand,” Georgiadis says.

The fit out will also be unique which is being headed up by C-class submarine designer – Simon Modra.

“He is excited to create something that’s not just functional, but with beautiful form,” Motteram says.

Hains & Co. is known for their nautical theme (with the staff donning sailors hats), so buying a ship was a logical––albeit dramatic––next step. They came upon the Pacific Dawn as the downturn in the world’s cruise ship industry allowed them to pick up the vessel at an unbeatable price.

“Purchasing the Pacific Dawn has been a project we have been working on for more than a year,” says Motteram.

“This project has only been made possible with the support of the South Aussie Tourism Commission, Pirate Life, Never Never, Dead Reckoning Rum and the inside knowledge of Justin Bosley.”

Bosley, who will take on the role of captain, has years of experience sailing across the globe. His background is impressive, having worked for a Russian-Israeli billionaire businessman, the owner of Chelsea S.C., and the owner of the world’s largest fleet of private mega yachts.

The Pacific Dawn was on its way to the scrap yards in India before Hains & Co. secured it, and Bosley will be overseeing all the upgrades and hire of the engineering crew.

“It would have been so sad to see such a beautiful ship, in great condition end up at the Alang Ship Breaking yard,” Motteram says.

The upgrades to the ship are expected to be completed by October or November 2021.

The ship will be docked at Pelican Point near the Port Adelaide Passenger Terminal.

Find Hains & Co. here.

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