Cruise Industry

Luxury cruise start-up Orient Express confirms LNG engines for both vessels

Two new sail-assisted luxury cruise ships for Orient Express will be powered by Wärtsilä’s 25DF dual-fuel (LNG) engine, the most efficient and environmentally friendly marine engine in its class.

Orient Express Cruises is a new brand launched by the French hotel giant Accor, with the largest luxury sailing cruise ships in the world.

It channels the iconic legacy of the Orient Express train, but is not related to the modern Belmond-owned Venice Simplon-Orient-Express train that continues to operate in Europe.

Orient Express’ upcoming sail-assisted cruise ships will be LNG powered.

According to a press release, the Wärtsilä 25DF engine features a two stage turbocharging system, common rail fuel injection, and cylinder wise combustion control, which makes it compact, powerful and efficient.

“These will be very special cruise vessels and have been designed to operate with a high level of environmental sustainability,” said Yann Penduff, Chantiers de l’Atlantique Project Manager. “For this reason, the Wärtsilä 25DF engine was selected.”

Wärtsilä Marine Power has marketed its 25DF engine as a product that supports the shipping industry’s transition to greater fuel efficiency and a much-reduced carbon footprint, as it is also designed to be future-proof, meaning that it can be easily retrofitted to run on a variety of LNG blends.

Cruise lines are currently rolling out LNG-fuelled vessels across their fleets globally, but are also experimenting with bio-LNG and other alternatives with the potential for scalability.

The full engine order includes for each vessel four Wärtsilä 25DF engines, each developing 2070 kW at 1000 rpm, four gas valve units (GVUs), and four Wärtsilä NOx Reducer (NOR) emission after-treatment systems.

The equipment is scheduled for delivery to Chantiers de l’Atlantique next fall, and the shipyard also confirmed that the order includes a potential option for two more vessels.

The first ship in the new Orient Express fleet is due for delivery in 2026 and will be called Silensea. According to Accor, the ship will echo the Golden Age of the French Riviera.

At 220m and with a tonnage of 22,300 gross tons, Orient Express Silenseas will feature 54 Suites measuring on average 70-square-meters, including a monumental 1,415-square-meter Presidential Suite (including a 530-square-meter private terrace).

Up top, there will be two swimming pools including a lap pool, while dining options will include two restaurants and a speakeasy bar.

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