In a recent press release, the hospitality company explains that the “extraordinary sailing yacht of the future” is the result of a unique partnership with Chantiers de l’Atlantique, a global leader in shipbuilding.
“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,” said Sébastien Bazin, chairman and CEO, Accor. “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.”
Scheduled to set sail in 2026, the 220-meter long Orient Express Silenseas will have 54 suites measuring on average 70 square meters including a 1,415-square-meter Presidential Suite with a 530-square-meter private terrace. It will also have two swimming pools including a lap pool, two restaurants, a speakeasy bar, an amphitheatre-cabaret, and a private recording studio.
Orient Express Silenseas will sail with a revolutionary technological design know 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 metershigh, able toensure up to 100% of the propulsion in suitable weather conditions. This wind power will combine with a state-of-the-art engine running on liquefied natural gas. There are plans to use green hydrogen once the technology is approved for ocean passenger ships, launching a new, more environmentally-friendly vision of sea travel.
Architect Maxime d’Angeac is designing 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.
“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,” said Laurent Castaing, managing director, Chantiers de l’Atlantique. “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.”
Financing for the project is coming primarily from commercial banks (70-80%) with the remainder provided by a consortium of equity partners in which Accor will have a minority stake.