France: Accor and shipbuilding company Chantiers de l’Atlantique will launch the 220-metre-long Orient Express Silenseas in 2026.
Described as the “world’s largest sailing ship”, Orient Express Silenseas will feature 54 suites, two swimming pools, two restaurants, and a speakeasy bar.
Guests will be able to attend shows in the ship’s Amphitheatre-Cabaret, equipped with a private recording studio. Other activities on board include spa treatments, meditation sessions, and stopover explorations throughout the ship’s journey.
Architect Maxime d’Angeac will design the interior layout and decor with Stirling Design International handling the exterior architecture.
Silenseas has been designed with a new technology called SolidSail – three rigid sails each hoisted on a balestron rig, with three tilting masts to suit all weather conditions. It will combine wind power with an engine running on liquefied natural gas and plans to use green hydrogen once the technology is approved for ocean passenger ships.
Laurent Castaing, managing director of Chantiers de l’Atlantique, said: “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.”
Sébastien Bazin, chairman and CEO, Accor, said: “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 revolutionise 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.”
Hetland Maritime also assisted Accor in creating the project. Around 70-80 per cent of the project will be financed by commercial banks, with the remainder provided by a consortium of equity partners in which Accor will have a minority stake.
Chantiers de l’Atlantique is also constructing two superyachts for The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection.