Jeff Bezos’ yacht towed after plans to dismantle bridge canceled

  • Jeff Bezos’ superyacht was moved from a Dutch shipyard before dawn on Tuesday, likely to avoid sparking local frustrations and a possible scare.
  • After public outcry from locals, it actually didn’t require the dismantling of a historic bridge.
  • Watch Bezos’ yacht make its journey.

Jeff Bezos’ megayacht has quietly left the Dutch shipyard where it was built, with no deck dismantling and crowds of onlookers.

The 417-foot vessel, known as Y721 and estimated to cost $500 million, is being built by shipbuilding company OceanCo at a shipyard in Alblasserdam, the Netherlands. It was towed to the Greenport shipyard in Rotterdam in the early hours of Tuesday morning, according to German magazine Der Spiegel.

The controversy surrounding Bezos’ yacht began in February, when Oceanco asked the city of Rotterdam to dismantle the Koningshaven Bridge to allow the ship to cross the city. Known colloquially as De Hef, the beloved bridge is considered a landmark by locals and is almost 100 years old. When completed, the yacht would have three masts that would be too tall for deck clearance, which is nearly 131 feet.

Dutch residents were outraged and planned an event to throw eggs at Bezos’ yacht if the bridge needed to be dismantled for his passage. Within days, Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb clarified that no decision had yet been made to dismantle the bridge and said Bezos or Oceanco may have to foot the bill if that eventually happens.

Earlier this month, Oceanco withdrew its rollback request after public outcry.

Hanco Bol, a local yachting enthusiast from yacht fan club Dutch Yachting, saw and recorded Tuesday’s move in a YouTube video, per Der Spiegel. He said preparations for the move started around 1 a.m. and the yacht left at 3 a.m.

Bol speculates that Oceanco “tried to keep the launch and transport a secret” because the ship took a longer route than necessary but avoided crossing the city center and passing the Koningshaven Bridge.

“We have never seen a transport go so fast,” he wrote in the caption of his YouTube video, adding that Bezos’ yacht arrived at the Greenport shipyard three hours and 24 miles later.

During its voyage on Tuesday morning, Bezos’ yacht was towed without its masts, which will be installed later, Der Spiegel reports.

Watch the video of Bezos’ yacht quietly moving the shipyards here:

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