Orient Express Silenseas: The legendary train heads out to sea as the world’s largest sailing ship is unveiled
Travel / Discover
140 years after the launch of its first luxury trains, the Orient Express legend continues with the unveiling of the world’s largest sailing ship, Orient Express Silenseas. This revolution in maritime history is an ambitious undertaking that pushes the limits of what is possible. The result of a unique French partnership between world leader in hospitality Accor and Chantiers de l’Atlantique, a globally leading shipbuilding company, this extraordinary sailing yacht of the future with spectacular interiors will set sail in 2026.
“With Orient Express Silenseas, we are beginning a new chapter in our history, taking the experience and excellence of luxury travel and transposing it onto the world’s most beautiful seas. This exceptional sailing yacht, with roots in Orient Express’ history, will offer unparalleled service and refined design spaces, reminiscent of the golden age of mythical cruises. Innovation is at the heart of this ultra-modern ship that will revolutionize the maritime world with new technology to meet today’s sustainability challenges. It is a boat designed to make dreams a reality, a showcase for the best of French savoir-faire.” – Sébastien Bazin, Chairman and CEO, Accor.
“With a signed letter of intent to order two ships, Chantiers de l’Atlantique is proud to herald a new era in the shipbuilding industry with Silenseas. This concept, born in our design offices in 2018, is the quintessence of our savoir-faire in the fields of naval architecture, the construction of sophisticated hulls, as well as the design of luxurious spaces. In addition, the installation of three SolidSail rigs, a revolutionary 1,500-square-meter unit wind propulsion system, for which we have developed and tested a first prototype, will contribute significantly to the propulsion of the ship. Combined with a hybrid propulsion system running on liquefied natural gas (LNG), Silenseas will thus become the ship of reference in terms of environmentally-friendly operation and design.” – Laurent Castaing, Managing Director, Chantiers de l’Atlantique.
Tribute to another legend
In 1867, Georges Nagelmackers boarded the transatlantic ships connecting Europe to America and set off on a journey of discovery to the United States. Fascinated by the grandeur of these huge boats, the founder of Orient Express trains explored the luxurious travelers’ suites, with their rich and sumptuous decor, adorned with exceptional marquetry. He experienced the social scene in the restaurants and the unique ambiance of the lounges, libraries and entertainment venues. This sea travel experience would later inspire the 1883 launch of his now legendary train: the Orient Express.
Inspired by the Golden Age of the French Riviera, Orient Express Silenseas will echo the glorious era when writers, artists, painters, princesses and movie stars spent time between Monte-Carlo, the beaches of Saint-Tropez, Cap d’Antibes, Cannes and its famous Croisette and discovered a refinement tinged with exquisite insouciance and joie de vivre, inviting them to extreme escapades.
A 220-meter-long ocean treasure with a tonnage of 22,300 UMS, Orient Express Silenseas will feature 54 Suites measuring on average 70-square-meters, including a monumental 1,415-square-meter Presidential Suite (including a 530-square-meter private terrace), two swimming pools including a lap pool, two restaurants and a speakeasy bar. The singular cruise ship will celebrate the Art of Travel à la Orient Express: the quintessence of luxury, absolute comfort and dreams.
A tribute to artists and culture, Orient Express Silenseas will invite guests to experience incredible shows in its Amphitheatre-Cabaret and a private recording studio will give a voice to the most beautiful melodies. This unique travel experience, guided by the winds, will feature spa treatments, meditation sessions and stopover explorations to discover cultural treasures that allow guests to completely unplug from reality and stop time.
Revolutionary technological Design
Capitalizing on the experience of these experts in ocean racing, Orient Express Silenseas will sail with a revolutionary technological design known as ‘SolidSail’: three rigid sails with a surface area of 1,500 meters each will be hoisted on a balestron rig, with three tilting masts reaching more than 100 meters high, able to ensure up to 100% of the propulsion in suitable weather conditions. This hybrid propulsion formula will combine wind power with a state-of-the-art engine running on liquefied natural gas (LNG) and plans to use green hydrogen once the technology is approved for ocean passenger ships, launching a new, more environmentally friendly vision of sea travel.
The latest feat from the Chantiers de l’Atlantique is a true sailing yacht of the future combining the finest French talents. Renowned architect Maxime d’Angeac will design the interior layout and decor and Nantes-based design company Stirling Design International will handle the exterior architecture. Hetland Maritime also assisted Accor in creating the project and in the ongoing discussions with Chantiers de l’Atlantique. The entire project will be financed up to 70-80% by commercial banks, with the remainder provided by a consortium of equity partners in which Accor will have a minority stake.
Artisan of travel since 1883, Orient Express defines the Art of Travel with luxury trains, unique experiences, collections of rare objects. Coming soon: its first hotels around the world with Orient Express La Minerva in Rome and Orient Express Palazzo Donà Giovanelli in Venice expected in 2024. Another project has also been announced in Riyadh, the first city in the Middle East to announce the arrival of an Orient Express hotel. In parallel with the launch of the future Orient Express, Orient Express La Dolce Vita will welcome its first passengers on board its luxury trains from 2024, a network that will offer Orient Express guests the ultra-luxury experience of travel.
Accor is a global leader in hotels, present in 110 countries, with more than 5,300 hotels and 10,000 restaurants and bars. The Group deploys one of the most diversified integrated hotel ecosystems in the industry, with more than 40 brands combining luxury and upscale brands, mid-market and budget offerings, exclusive lifestyle concepts, entertainment venues, clubs, restaurants, bars, private residences, shared accommodations, concierge services and coworking spaces. Accor’s undisputed leadership in Lifestyle, one of the fastestgrowing categories in the industry, is driven by Ennismore, a joint venture in which Accor holds a majority stake. Ennismore is a creative hospitality player with an international portfolio of brands, all created by visionary, meaningful and passionate entrepreneurs. This gives Accor an unrivalled portfolio of brands, driven by more than 230,000 employees worldwide. Members benefit from the Group’s comprehensive loyalty program, ALL – Accor Live Limitless – the everyday lifestyle companion, which provides access to a wide rang of benefits, services and experiences. Through its global sustainability commitments (such as carbon neutrality by 2050, the global elimination of single-use plastics, etc.), Accor Solidarity, RiiSE and ALL Heartist Fund initiatives, the Group is committed to taking concrete action in the areas of ethics and professional integrity, responsible tourism, sustainable development, community involvement, diversity and inclusion. Founded in 1967, Accor SA, headquartered in France, is listed on Euronext Paris (ISIN code: FR0000120404) and on the OTC market in the United States (code: ACCYY). For more information, visit group.accor.com or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and TikTok.
Chantiers de l’Atlantique
Thanks to the expertise of its teams and its network of subcontractors, combined with top industrial technology, Chantiers de l’Atlantique is a key leader in the design, integration, testing and precise delivery of cruise ships, naval vessels, electrical substations for offshore wind farms and fleet services. The company is a pioneer in the challenges of tomorrow. Thanks to its research and development, Chantiers de l’Atlantique offers ships with the highest environmental performance, as well as equipment for offshore wind farms, making it a major player in global energy transition.