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Orient Express Silenseas: the legendary train sets sail

Updated January 17, 2023

This post is also available in: Ελληνικά (Greek)

Welcome to a journey beyond your wildest dreams! 140 years after the launch of its first luxury trains, the Orient Express legend continues. This time, with the unveiling of the world’s largest sailing ship, Orient Express Silenseas.

It is a revolution in maritime history that is an ambitious undertaking that pushes the limits of what is possible. This extraordinary sailing yacht of the future is the result of a unique French partnership between hospitality global leader Accor, and Chantiers de l’Atlantique, a globally leading shipbuilding company. It is scheduled to set sail in 2026.

orient express silenseas

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.

Where did the inspiration for Orient Express Silenseas come from?

In 1867, Georges Nagelmackers boarded the transatlantic ships connecting Europe to America. He 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 travellers’ suites. He was most impressed with their rich and sumptuous decor, adorned with exceptional marquetry.

He experienced the social scene in the restaurants and the unique ambience 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. The time when they discovered a refinement tinged with exquisite insouciance and joie de vivre, inviting them to amazing escapades.

Orient Express Silenseas: a technological marvel

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, with its own 530-square-meter private terrace. It will also feature 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. It will be the quintessence of luxury, absolute comfort and dreams.

A tribute to artists and culture, Orient Express Silenseas will invite guests to experience stunning shows in its Amphitheatre-Cabaret. In addition, 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. Its aim will be to discover cultural treasures that allow guests to completely unplug from reality and stop time.

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.

Capitalizing on the experience of experts in ocean racing, Orient Express Silenseas will be equipped with an innovative technological sail known as ‘SolidSail’. Specifically, three rigid sails with a surface area of 1,500 meters each will be hoisted on a balestron rig. Then, three tilting masts reaching more than 100 meters high, will ensure up to 100% of the propulsion, weather permitting.

This hybrid propulsion formula will combine wind power with a state-of-the-art engine. Said engine will run on liquefied natural gas (LNG). There are also plans to use green hydrogen, once the technology is approved for ocean passenger ships. As a result, a new, more environmentally friendly vision of sea travel will become reality.

To sum things up

The latest project from Chantiers de l’Atlantique is a true sailing yacht of the future. It brings together the finest French talents. Combining luxury and technological innovation, and reminiscent of the Golden Age of the French Riviera, the new Orient Express Silenseas promises a travel experience beyond your wildest dreams.

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About Author

Eleanna is a travel & lifestyle blogger based in Athens, Greece. When not travelling, she enjoys Netflix marathons and meeting friends for brunch.

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