Are the West Indies ready to welcome revolutionary sailing ships?

Are the West Indies ready to welcome revolutionary sailing ships?

Chantiers de l’Atlantique and the Accor Group have signed a memorandum of understanding to commission the construction of two revolutionary sailing ships. The order is signed within a few weeks and includes the construction of two very large sailing ships. The first ship, named Orient Express Silenseas, will be delivered in March 2026 and the second on September 1, 2027.

Inspired by two travel legends: Le Normandie and the Orient Express

The Orient Express Silenseas is a nod to the legendary Normandy liner built by Chantiers de l’Atlantique in the 1930’s and was the largest liner in the world for the time, the most modern, most luxurious but also the fastest. A cosmopolitan icon of rail travel for more than 130 years, the Orient Express is one of the jewels of France’s railway heritage. With the Orient Express Silenseas, Accor wants to offer its passengers a unique experience halfway between these two travel icons. All in a ship with a very modern design with an assumed ecological claim.

An extraordinary feeling of space and noble interior design

The 120 passengers of the Orient Express Silenseas will enjoy fifty suites – spread over four decks – ranging from 70 m2 to 1,415 m2 for the exceptional Presidential Suite. In the few declarations of intent of the future shipowner we find in particular: a double spiral staircase, a swimming corridor suspended between two bridges, a 550 m2 spa, a marina, two restaurants, a lounge bar, a cabaret theater or even a recording studio. All on a 220 meter long ship.

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A revolutionary ship on environmental issues

The Orient Express Silenseas will be the largest sailboat in the world, but also the reference ship from an ecological point of view. In particular, it is powered by sails with the “SolidSail” technological design developed by Chantiers de l’Atlantique and, in suitable weather conditions, can ensure the operating speed of the ship itself. The three rigid sails, each measuring 1,500 square meters (4,500 m2 total sail area), are made of glass-polyester panels that fold like fans and are hoisted on balestron rigging. These masts will be tiltable and reach a height of more than 100 meters. A hybrid drive powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) will also be included.