It looks like Jeff Bezo’s new $500 million superyacht is on the move! Just not under its own power. The 417-foot yacht was towed out of Oceanco shipyard to the Greenport shipyard in Rotterdam in the wee hours of the morning, likely to avoid local attention.
Originally, Bezos and Oceanco wanted to temporarily dismantle the iconic De Hef bridge so the billionaire’s yacht can reach the ocean. However, that plan was canceled after a huge public outcry about privileged billionaires who think the rules don’t apply to them.
Bezos’ boat is a sailing yacht, with three large sailing masts. The masts are too tall to pass underneath the De Hef bridge despite its over 131 feet clearance. Oceanco’s solution was to remove the center portion of the bridge, then replace it once the vessel passed through.
Bezos dismantling of the bridge included an offer to fully renovate it to new condition after his big boat passes through. You would think the city and citizens would like that. However, De Hef was renovated back in 2017, so it’s not like it needed another renovation.
Objections to the plan were swift. Local groups voiced their opposition to the move, and thousands of people signed an online petition demanding the bridge be left alone. The petition organizer felt the plan sent a message that “as long as you are rich enough, there are no restrictions whatsoever.” They also contrast “the eagerness with which Bezos’ request is being indulged” to his “rigidness and refusal in providing basic human rights to his warehouse workers.”
There was even a Facebook group calling all Rotterdammers to “take a box of rotten eggs with you, and let’s throw them en masse at Jeff’s superyacht when it sails through the Hef in Rotterdam.” Faced with the level of backlash, Ocean decided to back down.
The yacht, known as Y721, will now get the sailing masts installed at the Greenport shipyard. Jeff’s sailing yacht will eventually be joined by a new 246 foot support yacht to carry all the toys, because clearly you can’t fit everything into only 417 foot.