In the era of bloated, oversized cruise ships, a sailing vessel feels positively handsome by comparison.
Does that also apply to the world’s largest sailing vessel, the Silenseas?
Currently under construction, this enormous yet elegant vessel is being crafted by shipbuilder Chantiers de l’Atlantique, and will set sail in 2026 under the brand Orient Express, the same company that is restoring classic luxury trains around the world.
At over 220 meters (721 feet), the Orient Express Silenseas will feature 54 suites, 2 swimming pools, two restaurants, and a speakeasy bar.
This pales in comparison to some of today’s huge cruise ships, but it also caters to a different audience, one wanting a more elegant experience, not one with onboard rollercoasters.
The ship’s sailing technology also sounds fascinating, with a design that allows it to be powered entirely by wind int he right conditions.
“Capitalizing on the experience of experts in ocean racing, Orient Express Silenseas will sail with a revolutionary technological design known as ‘SolidSail’: three rigid sails with a surface area of 1,500 meters each will be hoisted on a balestron rig, with three tilting masts reaching more than 100 meters high, able to ensure up to 100% of the propulsion in suitable weather conditions. This hybrid propulsion formula will combine wind power with a state-of-the-art engine running on liquefied natural gas (LNG) and plans to use green hydrogen once the technology is approved for ocean passenger ships, launching a new, more environmentally friendly vision of sea travel.”
The ship will, of course, feature elegantly designed staterooms, led by renowned architect Maxime d’Angeac. No word yet on pricing or routes for this unique craft, but you can learn more about the Silenseas in lead up to its maiden voyage on the Orient Express website.