What good is Bezos’s sprawling 417ft yacht Y721, the biggest sailing yacht in the world, if it can’t even reach the open seas? If you thought constructing this $500 million superyacht was backbreaking work, then getting it out from Zwijndrecht shipyard in West Netherlands is another saga in the making. Amazon founder’s giant three-masted ship is too tall to pass through Koningshaven Bridge. The Dutch city will have to dismantle the iconic bridge temporarily to accommodate the vessel to pass through. One of the world’s wealthiest people, Bezos, will obviously foot the bill for the onerous activity, which Rotterdam officials are also dubbing a revenue generator.
The middle section of the bridge to be disassembled is locally known as ‘De Hef.’ “From an economic perspective and maintaining employment, the municipality considers this a very important project,” municipal project leader Marcel Walravens reportedly said to The New York Post. “In addition, Rotterdam has also been declared the maritime capital of Europe. Shipbuilding and activity within that sector are therefore an important pillar of the municipality.” Not everyone is singing the same tunes as the Rotterdam officials.
Ton Wesselink of the Rotterdam Historical Society reportedly said, “Employment is important, but there are limits to what you can and may do to our heritage.” Wesselink was seconded by Rotterdam politician Stephan Leewis who tweeted, “This man has earned his money by structurally cutting staff, evading taxes, avoiding regulations, and now we have to tear down our beautiful national monument?” Many would wonder why tear down a landmark to allow a rich man’s pleasure boat to pass? According to the Mayor’s spokesperson, it’s the only route to the sea, leaving Bezos no choice but to break and rebuild the national monument.
About De Hef:
Railway Bridge De Hef was designed by Pieter Joosting in 1927. During World War II, the De Hef was damaged and restored for the trains. This lift bridge is the first of its kind in Europe. De Hef was decommissioned in 1993 after the Willemsspoort tunnel replaced it, and today it stands tall in Rotterdam as a monument. The bridge’s highest point is at 70 meters (nearly 230 feet), but Jeff Bezos’s three-masted ship is more elevated and needs this part to be dismantled for the sake of the uncrowned king of Planet Earth.
Jeff Bezos’ $500 million Y721 superyacht:
Y721 by yacht builder Oceanco consists of three enormous decks, three masts, and a bowsprit. It is reportedly as monumental as ‘the Great Pyramid at Giza,’ featuring an on-deck swimming pool, an ‘ambient’ cinema, several lounges, and business areas spread on the three massive decks. Once this giant ship manages to cross the legendary bridge, it will catapult Bezos as a leading member of the super-elite mega yacht owners club.