Engineering company, Ingeteam is to supply propulsion equipment to the world’s largest luxury sailing ships.
The company will design and manufacture the converters and motors that will power the two ships, enabling more ecological and sustainable navigation via the latest marine technology.
They belong to the Accor Group and will operate under the Orient Express brand, and will be built at French shipyard, Chantiers de l’Atlantique.
Ingeteam will supply five motors and five converters for their propulsion systems. Two motors will drive the main propulsion system, plus the three transverse thrusters, together with the frequency converters, which will provide optimum on board comfort thanks to their low vibration and noise, the company claimed.
It will also develop two propulsion remote control systems, to enable maximum propulsion management and efficiency with the vessels’ SolidSail technology.
Notably, the converters will include a connection to the port to enable the vessels to use the shore power grid whilst berthed and thereby avoid having to run auxiliary engines to power their cruise services, thus helping to reduce nitrogen, sulphur and carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere.
The equipment will be manufactured at the company’s facilities in the Spanish Basque region where it has several production centres, which supply its most technical products for the naval sector, which have been fitted on over 900 vessels to date.
The first ship, ‘Orient Express Silenseas’, will be the world’s largest sailing ship and a benchmark from an environmental point of view on the ultra-luxury cruise market, Ingeteam claimed.
She will be delivered in 2026 and be either fully or significantly powered by the winds depending on the weather conditions with a revolutionary technological design developed by Chantiers de l’Átlantique known as SolidSail.
This consists of three rigid sails with a surface area of 1,500 m each, which will be hoisted on a balestron rig, with three tilting masts reaching more than 100 m high, able to ensure up to 100% of the propulsion in suitable weather conditions.
This hybrid propulsion formula will combine wind power with a modern engine running on LNG and there are plans to use green hydrogen once the technology is approved for ocean passenger ships.
When the cruise ship cannot set her sails, due to a lack of wind, Ingeteam’s electric propulsion unit will come into operation.
The new ship will be 220 m long with a gt of 25,400. She will feature 50 suites, – including a large 900 sq m Presidential Suite – two swimming pools, two restaurants and a speakeasy bar.