134 years to the day after the first Orient Express trip between Paris and Constantinople
(October 4th, 1883), SNCF Group, owner of the iconic “Orient Express” brand, teams up with
AccorHotels to continue the development of Orient Express within the luxury hospitality
As part of this partnership, which will combine the expertise and savoir-faire of the two
groups, AccorHotels will be acquiring a 50% stake in the share capital of Orient Express, until
now fully-owned by SNCF.
The Orient Express brand is a timeless symbol of the art of luxury travel, steeped in culture,
splendor and refinement. The legendary train, which for almost a century connected
Europe’s greatest cities, from Paris to Istanbul, is imprinted in both History and imagination.
Since 1977, SNCF Group has been actively involved in developing the brand’s prestigious
image, notably through the restoration of vintage carriages dating from the 1920s (known as
the Pullman-Orient-Express) and the organization of events (such as the exhibition “Once
upon a time the Orient Express” at the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris in 2014).
AccorHotels intends to build on this partnership to strengthen its leadership in the luxury
segment, by developing a new collection of prestigious hotels under the Orient Express
banner. This collection, which aims to be the very epitome of the art of travel, will offer a
unique experience steeped in history that combines the luxury, exoticism and sophistication
of East and West in iconic locations.
In addition, the seven historic cars, symbols of French Art Deco, will remain the physical
property of the state-owned rail group, and will be operated by Orient Express for private
journeys and events. They will provide a new and exceptional setting for the organization
of events, which may be held in collaboration with AccorHotels’ other businesses such as
Potel & Chabot, Noctis and John Paul.
AccorHotels and SNCF Group are also together committed to preserving, promoting and
sharing the heritage connected with the legendary train and its history through the Orient
Express Endowment Fund, a public interest body whose aim is to encourage and support
awareness-building initiatives to benefit a wide audience in the field of the arts and culture.
Sébastien Bazin, Chairman & CEO, AccorHotels:
“We are delighted with this strategic partnership, which today cements the alliance of two
major French players in the world of travel for a shared purpose, that of giving fresh
impetus and international standing to an historic and world-renowned brand.
Thanks to this partnership, our customers will be able to enjoy a prestigious range of
services and exceptional experiences based on a portfolio of luxury brands”.
Mathias Vicherat, Deputy CEO in charge of the Corporate Project, Communication and
Image, SNCF Group :
“SNCF Group is proud to have contributed to the renaissance of this historic brand and we
intend to continue our involvement and provide our expertise, acquired over the past 80
years in the field of rail engineering, to help develop this project.
Through our heritage policy, we will be actively involved in promoting this legendary train
to the widest audience.
The interest shown today by AccorHotels bears witness to the relevance of the project which
has been supported since 2008 by our Chairman Guillaume Pepy.”
Guillaume de Saint Lager, Corporate Secretary, Orient Express:
“In its time, the Orient Express took the art of traveling to its peak. This ambitious project,
which is unique, cannot come to fruition without the complementary skills of our two
shareholders. We are proud and particularly look forward to being involved in writing this
new chapter with such strong backing. Our ambition is to recreate this experience and make
the Orient Express the gold standard in luxury travel and hospitality.”
The AccorHotels Group is a global leader in travel and lifestyle, and a pioneer in digital technology, offering unique
experiences in more than 4,200 hotels, resorts and residences, and in more than 10,000 outstanding private residences
worldwide. With its dual expertise as an investor and operator, through its HotelInvest and HotelServices divisions,
AccorHotels operates in 95 countries. Its portfolio includes internationally renowned luxury brands such as Raffles, Sofitel
Legend, SO Sofitel, Sofitel, Fairmont, onefinestay, MGallery by Sofitel, Pullman and Swissôtel, the mid‐range boutique hotel
brands 25hours, Novotel, Mercure, Mama Shelter and Adagio, and very popular budget brands such as JO&JOE, ibis, ibis
Styles oribis budget, as well as the regional brands Grand Mercure, The Sebel andhotelF1. AccorHotels provides innovative
services to travelers, throughout their entire journey, notably through the recent acquisition of John Paul, the leading
concierge service worldwide.
Boasting an unrivalled range of brands and a rich history dating back some five decades, AccorHotels has a global team of
more than 240,000 committed women and men investing all their energy into making “Feel Welcome” resonate as the finest
hotel promise. Guests have access to one of the world’s most attractive hotel loyalty programs ‐ Le Club AccorHotels.
AccorHotels plays an active role in the local communities where it operates and is actively involved in promoting sustainable
development and solidarity through PLANET 21, a comprehensive program bringing together employees, clients and partners
in order to ensure sustainable growth.
Accor SA shares are listed on the Euronext Paris stock exchange (ISIN: FR0000120404) and traded in the United States on the
OTC market (Ticker: ACRFY).