Jeff Bezos’ megayacht has quietly left the Dutch shipyard where it was built, sans a bridge dismantling and crowds of spectators.
The 417-foot vessel, known as Y721 and estimated to cost $500 million, has been under construction by the shipbuilding company Oceanco in a shipyard in Alblasserdam, Netherlands. It was towed to the Greenport shipyard in Rotterdam in the wee hours of the morning Tuesday, according to the German magazine Der Spiegel.
The controversy surrounding Bezos’ yacht began in February, when Oceanco requested the city of Rotterdam dismantle the Koningshaven Bridge to allow the vessel to pass through the city. Known colloquially as De Hef, the beloved bridge is considered something of a landmark by locals. It’s nearly 100 years old. Upon completion, the yacht will have three masts too tall for the bridge’s clearance, which is about 131 feet.
Dutch residents were outraged and planned an event to throw eggs at Bezos’ yacht if it required the bridge to be dismantled for its passage. Within days, Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb said no decision had been made to dismantle the bridge and that Bezos or Oceanco might need to foot the bill if it happened.
Earlier this month, Oceanco withdrew its request for the dismantling after the public outcry.
Hanco Bol, a local yachting enthusiast from the yacht fan club Dutch Yachting, saw and recorded a video of Tuesday’s relocation, which he posted on YouTube, Der Spiegel reported. He said preparations for the move started about 1 a.m. and the yacht departed at 3 a.m.
Bol speculated Oceanco “tried to keep the launch and transport under wraps” because the vessel took a route that was longer than necessary but avoided going through the city center and past the Koningshaven Bridge.
“We never saw a transport going that 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.
On its voyage Tuesday morning, Bezos’ yacht was towed without its masts, which will be installed later, Der Spiegel reported.
Watch the video of Bezos’ yacht moving shipyards here:
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