By Mauro Orru

LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton plans to invest in the Orient Express brand behind the iconic passenger train connecting European cities, underscoring efforts from the luxury-goods giant to expand its presence in the high-end hospitality sector.

The owner of Louis Vuitton, Dior and Celine said it entered into a strategic partnership with French hotel operator group Accor, which owns the Orient Express brand, to further develop the trademark.

Inaugurated in 1883, the legendary train has long embodied the art of luxury travel throughout journeys between European cities like Venice and Paris. Accor acquired a stake in the brand in 2017 from France's railway operator SNCF Group and took control of the Orient Express in 2022, hoping to develop new ventures for trains, luxury hotels and sailing ships.

The brand is due to launch the first Orient Express sailing ship in 2026 and open its first hotels in Rome and Venice. The first ship is under construction at Chantiers de l'Atlantique, France.

LVMH agreed to invest in the entity that will own two sailing ships and in the company that will operate future hotels and trains, though the groups didn't disclose financial details.

"Orient Express epitomizes the art of refined living and the audacity that drives each of our Houses," said LVMH Chief Executive Bernard Arnault.

Write to Mauro Orru at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

06-13-24 1309ET