Saint-Nazaire: It's signed, the largest sailboat in the world will be a French liner

A “new era” is opening up for the shipbuilding industry. The French hotel group Accor, by means of its subsidiary Orient Express, has indeed placed an order with Chantiers de l’Atlantique of the first two sailing liners, an innovative technology, baptized “Silenseas”, on which the Saint-Nazaire builder’s design offices had been working for several years. 220 m long, these ships will be surmounted by three giant carbon fiber sails, which will make them the “biggest sailboats in the world”. Their delivery is scheduled for 2026 and 2027. Two additional orders are also available.

” We have had an interest in sail propulsion for several years. We needed a first customer. We We are delighted that it is Accor “, rejoiced this Friday Laurent Castaing, director of the Chantiers de l’Atlantique. Significantly smaller than the last giants of the seas released by the marine manufacturer, the two boats will each be able to embark 120 cruise passengers. Luxuriously equipped, they will offer 54 cabins with an average surface area of ​​70 m2, including a “monumental presidential suite of 1,415 m2”. Two swimming pools and two restaurants will also entertain passengers.

But it is the presence of masts and sails that will give the boats their main originality. Designed on the “strong sail” model developed by the Chantiers de l’Atlantique, the sailing device will save “30 to 40%” fuel (fuel oil and liquefied natural gas) and “reduce by the same amount” the emissions of CO2. Objective: to make the ship a “benchmark on the environmental strategy”.

“If it works, there will be many others”

Composed of a steel base topped with carbon, the mast, not a model has been installed since this Friday on the port of Saint-Nazaire, will be 72 high m and will be able to tilt 70 degrees. The sails, for their part, will each extend over 1,500 m2 and will be foldable. “They will be enough for the ship when there is wind. But when the wind dies down, the engine will have to be used”, explains Laurent Castaing. Unlike most sailboats, the boat will sail flat thanks to the installation of heel boxes. “Passengers won’t feel anything”, assures the manager. “It’s a sailboat designed to leave room for dreams. A setting welcoming the best of French know-how”, enthuses Sébastien Bazin, the CEO of Accor.

A 78 model mast m high has been installed since January 13 in the port of Saint-Nazaire. – F.Brenon/20 Minutes

An identical sail propulsion system will be installed on the future freight from the French company Neoline, do not the building and construction schedule will be unveiled next week. “We are more and more convinced that this service will have a future for both ocean liners and cargo ships [cargo transport] If it works, there will be many others”, bet Laurent Castaing. The points of view are such that Chantiers de l’Atlantique is now studying the possibility of building a “specific factory for masts and sails”. The Saint-Nazaire website being often saturated, boy establishment is envisaged in Brittany. ” Put the current orders, we have the means to make on rental in Saint-Nazaire But we think that there will be other orders.”

Present in 110 countries, with 5,300 hotels and 10,000 restaurants and bars, Accor is one of the world’s heavyweights in the sector of the hotel industry.


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