Orient Express is Launching the World’s Largest Sailing Yacht in 2026

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Renowned for its luxurious train service, Orient Express is launching its first luxury sailing yacht. The Orient Express Silenseas will be the largest of its kind, and take to the waters in 2026.

Fancy spending your summer on a journey through the Mediterranean riviera with stops at Portofino, Capri, Saint Tropez, and the Caribbean?

One-hundred-and-forty years after launching its prestigious train journey through Europe, Orient Express is releasing its first luxury sailing ship: The Orient Express Silenseas.

It will be co-created by French shipbuilders Chantiers de l’Atlantique and Hotel company Accor and is due to set sail across the Mediterranean in the summer of 2026.

The luxury mega-yacht will be 220 metres long and headed by three large sails extending from the deck, each with a surface area of 1,500 metres. These sails will guide the ship on calm waters and will be supplemented by a wind propulsion system, as well as a hybrid propulsion system powered by liquefied natural gas.

With 54 lavish suites, tickets for the intimate Orient Express Silenseas will be incredibly sought after—particularly amongst creative circles. Artists, writers, and intellectuals will all be vying for a place onboard this luxury sailing ship, which will be the first of its kind.

Each suite will measure an average of 70 square metres, bar one: a 1,215 square metre presidential suite equipped with a private terrace offering unparalleled ocean views.

We’re yet to see renders of the interior, but we do know that the ship has been designed with the sumptuous style of the French Riviera in mind. An insider has also shared that it will be “reminiscent of the golden age of mythical cruises”—which is more than enough to get imaginations turning.

All good things come in pairs, and this is certainly the case onboard the new Silenseas Ship. Guests have a choice of two exceptional restaurants and two swimming pools, which are ideal for a morning swim or after-dinner dip.

In the evening, as the sun sets over the Mediterranean, you can enjoy a cocktail or two in the ship’s speakeasy bar or catch an inspiring performance in the grand amphitheatre. They’ll even be a private recording studio on board.

The Cruise Industry Today

The Orient Express Silenseas is hitting the market at a time when the cruise industry is gaining momentum. Like many industries, the sector was very much set back by the pandemic. However, annual passenger numbers increased by 96% in 2021, and as the travel industry gain speeds, cruises are well on their way to seeing a total of 30 million+ passengers a year.

Offering hassle-free, all-inclusive travel to multiple destinations, the Cruise has traditionally been popular with an older demographic, for whom cramped flights and long car journeys may be more straining.

In recent years, though, it seems the tide is turning, with more young people keen to experience a holiday at sea. Today, adults between the ages of 16 and 24 are the most likely age group to want to go on a cruise, and the most likely to have been on a cruise before. Over 55s follow closely behind (according to recent data from Sail Croatia).

This year, passenger numbers are expected to pick up dramatically, with more of all ages heading overseas for some long-awaited leisure time. And innovative new launches like the Orient Express Silenseas will no doubt push the Cruise to the forefront of luxury travel.

“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.

We look forward to the moment the world’s largest sailing super yacht by Orient Express sets sail in 2026.


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