Jeff Bezos’ megayacht has quietly left the Dutch shipyard where it was built, without the dismantling of a bridge and crowds of onlookers.
The 417-foot vessel, known as Y721 and estimated to cost $500 million, has been under construction by shipbuilding company Oceanco at a shipyard in Alblasserdam, the Netherlands. It was towed to Rotterdam’s Greenport shipyard 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. Colloquially known as De Hef, the beloved bridge is considered a landmark by locals. It is almost 100 years old. When finished, the yacht will have three masts too tall for the bridge clearance, which is about 131 feet.
Dutch residents were outraged and planned an event to throw eggs at Bezos’ yacht if he required the bridge to be dismantled for his passage. Within days, Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb said no decision had been made to dismantle the bridge and that Bezos or Oceanco might have to foot the bill if it went ahead.
Earlier this month, Oceanco withdrew its decommissioning request after public outcry.
Hanco Bol, a local yacht enthusiast from the Dutch Yachting fan club, saw and recorded a video of Tuesday’s transfer, which he posted on YouTube, Der Spiegel reported. He said preparations for the move began at around 1am and the yacht left at 3am
Bol speculated that Oceanco “tried to keep the launch and transport secret” because the ship took a route that was longer than necessary, but avoided going through the city center and over the Koningshaven bridge.
“We’ve never seen such fast transportation,” 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 his trip on Tuesday morning, Bezos’ yacht was towed without its masts, which will be installed later, Der Spiegel reported.
Watch the video of Bezos shipyards in motion for yachts here: