Is this the world’s most luxurious cruise ship? – The Telegraph

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Cruising and classic railway journeys have always made good bedfellows. Historically, ships and trains have pulled into grand stations or dropped anchor in iconic sea ports with a sense of “arrival”, still unmatched by motor vehicle or even plane today.  

It was only a matter of time, then, before the legendary Orient Express, which first ran from Paris to Constantinople (Istanbul) in 1883, opened a floating hotel. The particular company , owned by the Accor group, will launch its first cruising yacht in 2026, 140 years after its luxury rail carriages 1st rolled out of Paris. Navigate Express Silenseas will have got 54 Suites, two pools, two restaurants, a spa, a speakeasy bar, an amphitheatre for cabaret-style entertainment.

The announcement comes as the particular brand prepares to release a hotel portfolio plus a new train service – La Bella Vita – later his year. The Orient Express Una Minerva and Orient Express Palazzo Donà Giovannelli will open within Rome plus Venice respectively in 2024.

The sails have a combined surface area of 4, 500 sq m Credit : Maxime d’Angeac & Martin Darzacq

The luxury brand is not the very first to venture into custom-built cruising. In 2015, Yangon heritage hotel The particular Strand launched a 25-cabin ship styled after the sister property, to sail along the Irrawaddy in Myanmar. Aman, Four Seasons and most recently the Ritz-Carlton hotel team have all put ships on the water.  

But what truly sets Silenseas apart is something a little more structural: the head-turning trio of rigid, glass-polyester panels that fold like fans. The sails, which have a combined area associated with 4, 500 sq m, will be hoisted on a 360-degree adjustable balestron (rig), with three tiltable masts reaching 100 metres high. At launch it will be the largest passenger sailing ship in the world (with the Golden Horizon and Star Clipper being the particular largest square-rigged ships in the world). The 220-metre-long hybrid ship will combine wind power along with dual-fuel engines powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG); Navigate Express says it may eventually switch from LNG to green hydrogen.  

It’s innovative stuff. Guillaume de Saint Lager, vice president with regard to Orient Show, says the project got off the particular ground a year ago when French ship-building company Chantiers de l’Atlantique proposed its Solid Sail technology. Working within conjunction with an revolutionary rigging system and given the right wind conditions, Solid Sail can operate at maximum propulsion. The particular touch paper for the cross, sail-powered ship was lit.

“We’d had the idea regarding a luxury boat but in the end, it came down to timing plus a perfect product match, ” states de Saint Lager. “The yacht will be green, it’s futuristic, this centres upon craftsmanship and it’s People from france. I said: ‘Let’s go! ’”

Modern craftsmanship is going to be central to the Silenseas experience, he adds. “Trains plus boats are part of our history and are very much connected. They also share lots of common features; craftsmen who worked on famous liners also labored on trains. ” 

Guillaume says the ship is neither a resort nor a train, but is part of a “luxury experiences” portfolio that might even one day extend to air travel. “Silenseas will be a showcase intended for French style and savoir-faire – fine woods, good food and fine service. We want to create an air of nostalgia but it is also about finding the right balance. We don’t want our guests in order to be able to place a date on the design. ”   

Chantiers sobre l’Atlantique – based in the port associated with Saint-Nazaire, near Nantes — has plenty of shipbuilding pedigree. Among its big-name builds are usually Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 and Celebrity Cruises’ Edge-class ships, as well as the The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection’s forthcoming yachts, Ilma plus Luminara. It can also claim the particular ground-breaking SS Normandie, which usually first crossed the Atlantic in 1935. Normandie reached New York at such a speed that she took the Blue Riband (transatlantic speed record) on her maiden voyage.

On board Silensea passengers can expect flawless service (the crew-to-passenger ratio will be almost one to one), gourmet food and high-class experience. “It’s about adapting existing brand concepts, ” says de Saint-Lager, “whether it’s fine food, tableware, linen or the turndown of a suite after the guest has left for dinner. ”

While the exact amount is still to be announced, fares will be sold on a good all-inclusive basis and will certainly include all but the most expensive Champagnes and wines. Inspired by the particular glamorous touring heyday of the 1930s, Silenseas may call at Portofino, St-Tropez and other classic Mediterranean ports plus in the winter, her solid sails will take guests around the Caribbean.  

Riviera di Levante, Genoa, Italy Credit : DEEPOL

De Saint-Leger expects Silenseas to attract an international clientele associated with mainly British and American travellers, along with on-shore excursions including visits to private beaches, vineyards and perhaps the chef-hosted supper at a shoreside restaurant. Yet according to sobre Saint Lager, it’s the journey that matters. “The experience is usually less regarding ticking places off the bucket list and more about the journey. We want our guests to relax, have fun plus enjoy being with family. ” 

He adds: “As long as we follow our own sustainable and ultra-luxurious mantra the playground for us is huge. ”

Back in the particular 1930s the Orient Express became known as the particular “King of Trains”. Time will tell if its maritime counterpart takes a similar crown.

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