Travel & Gastronomy

Accor and its Orient Express brand invest in luxury cruises

Eva Morletto

By Eva Morletto19 janvier 2023

The Accor group's strategy is to diversify its high-end hotel offer by exploring the world of ultra luxury sailing cruises.

The Orient Express Silenseas will set sail in 2026 (Orient Express)

The Orient Express brand - now an integral part of the Accor galaxy - has announced its intention to enter the high-end cruise market, with the construction of the largest sailing ship ever built, with an exceptional span of 220 metres. 

After having completely redesigned the interior of the Orient Express carriages, as well as creating new rail routes, Accor is investing in this new strategic axis, which will enable it to offer tourist tours on the most beautiful seas on the globe.

The French Atlantic shipyards in Saint-Nazaire are in charge of building the Orient Express Silenseas, a sumptuous luxury sailing ship that will set sail in three years, in 2026, and that will represent, according to Sébastien Bazin, Accor's CEO, "a new chapter in the history of the group". 

A statement from the holding company said that the Silenseas will be inspired by the world of the French Riviera's golden age. The yacht will house 54 suites and a huge presidential suite of more than 1,400 square metres, complete with an exclusive 530 square metre terrace. 

Travellers will also be able to enjoy two large swimming pools, two gourmet restaurants, a spa, a bar and even a recording studio.

The interior design will be entrusted to the architect Maxime d'Angeac, while the exterior lines will be designed by the Nantes-based architects Stirling Design International.

The Silenseas will be able to carry up to 120 passengers. The yacht is positioned as an ecological and sustainable alternative to traditional travel, thanks to its three tilting masts, which are 100 metres high and can guarantee the boat's propulsion. This technology will be assisted, in case of manoeuvres or more difficult weather conditions, by a hybrid propulsion system generated by liquefied gas.

After building its financial empire on the mid-range hotel sector (Novotel, Mercure, Adagio and Mama Shelter), the Accor group is increasingly targeting the luxury segment. According to the holding company's internal press releases, from July to September 2022, Accor's turnover amounted to 1.14 billion euros compared to 589 million euros obtained over the same period a year earlier.  

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