Orient Express has unveiled the world’s largest wind-assisted sailing ship that will also run on liquified natural gas (LNG).
Orient Express is part of Paris-based hotel conglomerate Accor and the project was developed in cooperation with compatriot shipbuilding company Chantiers de l’Atlantique and with the consultation of Hetland Maritime.
Orient Express Silenseas, a 220-meter-long sailing ship, will sail with SolidSail, a foldable sail made of 100% composite materials developed by Chantiers de l’Atlantique.
Three rigid sails with a surface area of 1,500 meters will be hoisted on a balestron rig, with three tilting masts reaching more than 100 meters high.
The Saint Nazzaire-based shipyard recenfly completed the manufacturing of its first carbon-fiber mast along with project partners Lorima, Multiplast, Avel Robotics, CDK Technologies and SMM.
The Aeoldrive rig, which comprises the SolidSail mast and sail, is fully automated. Its sprit can rotate 360 degrees and the masts can rotate or tilt 70 degrees to go under bridges.
Partly wind-powered, these ships will see their CO2 emissions reduced by up to 40%.
The Solid Sail solution is also being used by French low-carbon shipping company Neoline as the main propulsion for its first 136-metre main sail-powered merchant sailing cargo ship.