140 years after the launch of its first luxury trains, the Orient Express legend continues with the launch of the largest sailing ship in the world, Orient Express Silenseas. A revolution in maritime history, and a fabulous project that pushes the limits of the possible.
Born of a unique tricolor association between Accor, the world leader in hospitality, and Chantiers de l’Atlantique, the undisputed leader in the construction of cruise ships, this sailboat of the future, out of the ordinary and with spectacular interiors, will set sail in 2026.
“With Orient Express Silenseas, we are opening a new chapter in our history: the experience and excellence of luxury travel transposed to the most beautiful seas in the world. This exceptional sailboat, with roots anchored in the history of Orient Express, will offer unparalleled service and spaces with refined designs, reminiscent of the golden age of legendary cruises. Innovation is at the heart of this ultra-modern sailboat which will revolutionize the maritime world with new technologies to meet sustainable challenges. A sailboat designed to leave room for dreams, and a setting welcoming the best of French know-how. » Sébastien Bazin, Chairman and CEO, Accor.
“With the signing of this letter of intent to order two sailboats, Chantiers de l’Atlantique is proud to open a new era in the shipbuilding industry with Silenseas. This concept born in our design offices in 2018 is the quintessence of our know-how in the fields of naval architecture, the fitting out of sophisticated hulls, as well as the layout of luxurious premises. In addition, the installation of three SolidSail rigs, a revolutionary 1500m2 unit sail propulsion system of which we have developed and tested a first prototype, will make a very significant contribution to the propulsion of the ship. Combined with hybrid propulsion running on liquefied natural gas (LNG), Silenseas will thus be the benchmark ship in environmental terms. »Laurent Castaing, Managing Director, Chantiers de l’Atlantique.
1867, Georges Nagelmackers, discovers the United States by boarding transatlantic ships joining Europe to America. The founder of the Orient Express trains discovered the atmosphere of the luxurious suites of travelers, with sumptuous decor, the social life of the restaurants and the unique atmosphere of the lounges, libraries and places of entertainment. An experience of sea travel that would inspire him later, in 1883, with the launch of his legendary train: the Orient Express.
Inspired by the golden age of the French Riviera, Orient Express Silenseas will recall the time when writers, artists, painters, sovereigns and movie stars discovered between Monte-Carlo, Saint-Tropez, Cap d’Antibes, Cannes and its Croisette, a refinement tinged with carelessness and joie de vivre, calling for escape.
Treasure of the seas 220 meters long (for a tonnage of 22,300 UMS), it will celebrate all the Art of Travel according to Orient Express through its 54 Suites with an average area of 70 square meters, including its monumental Presidential Suite of 1415 meters square meters (including 530 square meters of private terrace). Its 2 swimming pools including a swimming lane, its two restaurants and its speakeasy bar will add to the quintessence of luxury, absolute comfort and dreams.
A tribute to artists and culture, Orient Express Silenseas will invite you into the world of entertainment in its Amphitheatre-Cabaret and a private recording studio. A unique travel experience punctuated by the winds, where Spa treatments, meditation sessions and stopovers to discover cultural treasures will help you disconnect from time.
Capitalizing on the experience of those involved in offshore racing, Orient Express Silenseas will sail using sails with a revolutionary ‘SolidSail’ technological design: three rigid sails with a surface area of 1,500 meters each will be hoisted on a balestron rig, with 3 tilting masts culminating at more than 100 meters high, able to provide up to 100% propulsion in suitable weather conditions. For a more environmentally friendly voyage at sea, a hybrid formula will combine wind power with a “State of the art” engine running on liquefied natural gas (LNG) and will allow the use of green hydrogen once technologies accepted for an ocean-going passenger ship.
A new feat from Chantiers de l’Atlantique, this sailboat of the future, the first of which will be delivered in March 2026, brings together the best French talents. The architect Maxime d’Angeac thus designed the interior layout and the decorations, while the Nantes design agency Stirling Design International designed the exterior lines. Hetland Maritime also supported Accor in setting up the project and discussions with Chantiers de l’Atlantique. The entire project is 70-80% financed by commercial banks, the rest being provided by a consortium of shareholders in which Accor will participate on a minority basis.