First Orient Express cruise ship to set sail in 2026

Orient Express Silensea is the very first Orient Express sailing ship.
Photo credit: Martin Darzacq

Around 140 years after making its debut as one of the most luxurious trains in the world, the iconic Orient Express is branching out into the cruising world.

Orient Express Silensea, the very first Orient Express sailing ship, has just been unveiled by French hospitality group Accor.

Due to set sail in the spring of 2026, the 220m vessel, inspired by the Golden Age of the French Riviera, will take the title of world's largest sailing yacht on its launch, according to Accor.

With room for up to 120 passengers, Orient Express Silenseas is to feature 54 suites, including a 1,415-square-metre Presidential Suite, two swimming pools, two restaurants and a speakeasy bar.

Powered by a hybrid propulsion formula that combines wind power with an engine fueled by liquefied natural gas, the ship will also hold an amphitheatre cabaret, where guests will be treated to special performances, as well as a private recording studio.

New chapter

The ship's interior layout is to be designed by French architect Maxime d'Angeac, while Nantes-based design company Stirling Design International will take on the exterior architecture.

"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," reads a statement from Sébastien Bazin, chairman and CEO of 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."

Orient Express Silensea is the very first Orient Express sailing ship.
Photo credit: Martin Darzacq

While there are no scheduled cruises available to book at present, the cruise liner will likely offer itineraries to the Mediterranean seas during the summer and the Caribbean Sea in the winter, with "stopover explorations to discover cultural treasures."

The unveiling of the Orient Express Silenseas comes after Ritz-Carlton's highly-anticipated superyacht cruise made its maiden voyage back in October.

Meanwhile, the Four Seasons revealed its upcoming 207m long superyacht, due to enter service in late 2025, in late 2022.