When one thinks of luxury travel, one name quickly springs to mind: The Orient Express. And now, 140 years after the launch of its first luxury trains the brand has plans to expand into the world of luxury sailing.
Orient Express Silenseas is born of a partnership between Accor, the largest hospitality company in Europe, and Chantiers de l’Atlantique, the undisputed leader in the construction of cruise ships. And it will make its maiden voyage in 2026.
When asked to describe the endeavor Sébastien Bazin, the Chairman and CEO of Accor, said:
“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.”
Inspired by the golden age of the French Riviera, Orient Express Silenseas will recall the time when writers, artists, painters, sovereigns, and movie stars traversed between Monte-Carlo, Saint-Tropez, Cap d’Antibes, Cannes, and its Croisette, emulating a refinement tinged with carelessness and a “joie de vivre”, calling for escape.
At approximately 720 feet long, the Silenseas is primed to be the world’s largest sailing ship. It will offer 54 suites measuring 753 square feet and one massive Presidential Suite measuring approximately 1500 square feet which include a private terrace. The ship will also be equipped with two swimming pools, two restaurants, a speakeasy bar, an amphitheater-cabaret space, a private recording studio, and a spa. The interiors will all be designed by French architect Maxime d’Angeac with the exteriors being handled by Stirling Design International.
Capitalizing on the experience of those involved in offshore racing, Orient Express Silenseas will sail using a revolutionary ‘SolidSail’ technological design: three rigid sails with a surface area of 4,900 feet each will be hoisted on a balestron rig, with 3 tilting masts culminating at more than 330 feet 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 are accepted for an ocean-going passenger vessel.