Accor Unveils The Orient Express Silenseas, A 54-Suite Boutique Sailing Cruise Ship
— 13 January 2023

Accor Unveils The Orient Express Silenseas, A 54-Suite Boutique Sailing Cruise Ship

— 13 January 2023
Chris Singh
Chris Singh

Following last year’s news that The Ritz-Carlton is steadily building up a luxury yacht collection, it seems Accor is ready to throw its considerable hat in the aquatic ring. Considering the French hospitality juggernaut is already working on reviving the iconic Orient Express, Accor will be expanding upon the brand with the Orient Express Silenseas, a 220-metre cruise ship that should be ready for expeditions by 2026.

It’s been 140 years since the Orient Express brand first debuted on the tracks of Europe, fast becoming the definitive experience for luxury travellers and revolutionising how we think about premium experiences.

Transposing the Orient Express to the high seas is something that has never been done before, with Accor commissioning French shipbuilders Chatiers de l’Atlantique for the project.

The Orient Express Silenseas will be powered by both a 1,500-square-metre wind propulsion system and a hybrid propulsion system fueled by liquified gas, taking significant strides in sustainability to ensure the vessel is a lot more environmentally friendly than your regular cruise ship.

That’s not the only distinction for the Orient Express cruiser. Resisting the temptation to play the volume game, the cruise ship will have just 54 large suites, including a 1,414-square-metre presidential suite with a 529-square-metre private terrace. Capacity will be capped at 120 passengers. Regular suites will be much bigger than expected, with a reported 69-square-metres of living space.

Amenities are unsurprising, but there’s little doubt there’ll be more than just an elevated sense of luxury to help align better with the Orient Express brand. Across the ship, guests will be able to relax in any of the two swimming pools, dine at two signature restaurants, enjoy cocktails at a speakeasy-styled bar, shuk at a dedicated oyster bar and enjoy shows at an amphitheater. There’ll, of course, be a spa on the ship and even a private recording studio for guests in case they want to craft a few bangers at sea.

Upon launch, itineraries for Orient Express Silenseas will be based around the Mediterranean Riveria during summer and shift to the Caribbean during winter.

According to Bloomberg, a second cruise ship is expected to enter the Orient Express Silenseas fleet in the first quarter of 2027.

“We’re trying to go back to the best ever years of ship makers between 1934 and 1938, extremely innovative at the time,” said Sebastien Bazin, Chief Executive Officer of AccorHotels.

“It will mean going back in history but with a modern design.”

Accor’s Orient Express Silenseas project will be financed primarily by commercial banks, with the rest made up of various equity partners in which Accor will have a minority stake.

Interior design will be helmed by renowned French architect Maxime d’Angeac, whose best-known works include the forthcoming Orient Express Hotel in Rome and the historic Guerlain store on the Champs-Elysées.

Reportedly, the cruise ship will be designed both for expeditions and private charter, with speculation that the floating hotel will be used for major events like Festival de Cannes and the Grand Prix.

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Chris Singh
Chris is a freelance Travel, Food, and Technology writer. He has had work published by The AU Review, Junkee Media and Australian Traveller Media and holds tertiary qualifications in Psychology and Sociology.


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