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The Dutch company building Jeff Bezos' megayacht scrapped its request to take apart a historic bridge following public outcry and threats to egg the ship

Business Insider logo Business Insider 7/2/2022 ahartmans@businessinsider.com (Avery Hartmans)
Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP; SEBASTIEN BOZON/AFP via Getty Images © Provided by Business Insider Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP; SEBASTIEN BOZON/AFP via Getty Images
  • The shipbuilder behind Jeff Bezos' megayacht has scrapped plans to dismantle a historic bridge.
  • Bezos' yacht was too tall to pass underneath the bridge, but public outcry halted the plans. 
  • The company worried locals would vandalize the ship as it passed by, Dutch newspaper Trouw reported.

The Dutch shipbuilder constructing Jeff Bezos' megayacht scrapped its request that a historic bridge be dismantled to accommodate the Amazon founder's vessel. 

Oceanco, a Netherlands-based custom yacht builder, informed the city of Rotterdam that it would no longer be requesting a permit to remove the center portion of the Koningshaven Bridge, known locally as De Hef, to allow Bezos' yacht to reach the North Sea. That is according to a letter written by a city official and translated from Dutch to English using Google Translate. 

While the city didn't rule out the possibility of a future permit to dismantle the bridge, Oceanco isn't going forward with the plan for the time being, the letter says.

It seems that Oceanco may have abandoned its plans to take apart the bridge following public outcry earlier this year. Dutch newspaper Trouw obtained documents from the city through a freedom of information request that showed the shipbuilder was taken aback by the uproar and had opted to drop its plans. 

"As a result of the reports, shipyard employees feel threatened and the company fears vandalism," Trouw reported, according to a translation. 

It's unclear how the yacht will now be transported if it doesn't fit under the bridge, though Trouw reports that Oceanco could choose to finish it at a shipyard closer to the sea.


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The company did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment. 

A $500 million megayacht

View of a yacht, reportedly being built for Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, on the wharf near Rotterdam, Netherlands, in October 2021. Guy Fleury/AP © Guy Fleury/AP View of a yacht, reportedly being built for Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, on the wharf near Rotterdam, Netherlands, in October 2021. Guy Fleury/AP

Bezos' yacht saga began back in February, when Dutch broadcaster Rijnmond reported that the 417-foot vessel would need to pass through Rotterdam — and underneath De Hef — on its way out to sea.

But Bezos' ship appears to be sail-assisted, which means it has three large masts, masts that are too tall to pass underneath the bridge despite its clearance of over 131 feet. The shipbuilder's solution was to temporarily remove the center portion of the bridge, then replace it once the vessel passed through. 

Frances van Heijst, a spokesperson for the municipality of Rotterdam, confirmed to Insider at the time that the city is able to grant permission to the maritime sector to take a ship to sea. But van Heijst told the Washington Post that the city would not pay to dismantle the bridge and reassemble it — that cost would fall to Oceanco.

Objections to the plan were swift. Locals began organizing an event on Facebook to throw rotten eggs at the yacht when it passed by, describing Bezos as a "megalomaniac billionaire." 

The existence of Bezos' megayacht was first reported in Brad Stone's book, "Amazon Unbound," in May 2021. Photos and videos published last October showed the yacht in a shipyard in Zwijndrecht, Netherlands — though the vessel was clearly unfinished, it appeared to have a black hull and multiple, massive decks.

Currently known only as Y721, the yacht is predicted to cost $500 million and is expected to be "one of the finest sailing yachts in existence," Stone reported.

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