Oceanco’s Y721 has reportedly been commissioned by former Amazon head honcho Jeff Bezos, which due to confidentiality reasons the shipbuilders cannot confirm, who is supposedly funding the costs of the work to the Rotterdam bridge together with the shipyard. The alleged ownership was indicated in Amazon Unbound, a book published by senior executive editor for Bloomberg Technology Brad Stone last year.
The three-masted yacht, which reportedly is worth over £360 million, needs to pass through Rotterdam to reach the sea from Oceanco’s Alblasserdam facility, but is too large to clear the historic bridge.
Known affectionately by locals as De Hef, the bridge was one of the first structures in Rotterdam to be repaired after World War II and is considered a national monument. The planned dismantling has caused some controversy particularly after previous work was completed in 2017.
However, an official in charge of the works, Marcel Walravens, explained that the bridge will undergo full restoration after the yacht sails through, stating that the economic opportunity was too good to resist.
“From an economic perspective and maintaining employment, the municipality considers this a very important project,” said Walravens.
“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.”
Y721 will become the world's largest sailing yacht when she is delivered later this year, and the largest superyacht built in the Netherlands to date. Joining an impressive fleet of boundary-breaking Oceanco vessels, she will also topple Black Pearl from the title of world's largest private sailing yacht.
Stay tuned for more updates on Y721's journey to delivery.