The Story of Oceanco’s Superyachts

By Emily Dawkins

From the start of its journey in 1987 to its current-day projects, Dutch shipyard Oceanco has never failed to impress the superyacht industry. Specialising in the design and construction of custom superyachts up to 160m in length, ‘quality and innovation’ is at the heart of everything Oceanco does. This year marks the yard’s 35th anniversary of spectacular yacht building. To celebrate the occasion, we delve into the story behind Oceanco, and how it came to build some of the most iconic superyachts in the world. ‘Every detail counts’ for Oceanco.

Stretching over an impressive 28 acres of yacht-building facilities in the Netherlands, with extensive design, sales and marketing offices in Monaco, Oceanco has seen significant growth over the past 35 years. 

A design office in Monaco, a building facility in South Africa, and an outfitting facility in the Netherlands first kickstarted the Oceanco name in 1987. 1993 saw the purchase of a facility in Dreumel, the Netherlands, and only four years later in 1997, the yard relocated to an even larger establishment, the Van der Giessen de Noord shipyard in Alblasserdam, where it is still situated today. 

The Oceanco name was thriving in both success and reputation, and the appointment of Theordore Angelopoulos as chairman in 2002 created an even bigger surge for the brand. With a new chairman at the forefront, a new business strategy for Oceanco began: ‘Oceanco will focus on the niche market of 80+ metre yachts; the Y700 Generation Yachts’. This new generation of 80m+ superyachts saw the introduction of some of Oceanco’s most iconic yacht builds, including 82m Alfa Nero (originally Y702), who was launched in 2007. 

2010 saw a different kind of expansion for Oceanco. The Dutch yard welcomed Dr. Al Barwani as the new Chairman and Owner, and Marcel Onkenhout as CEO. Here began the Oceanco revolution: a new, and innovatively advanced journey for superyacht builds over 80m. 

With the length and complexity of Oceanco’s yachts increasing year on year, alongside the growing demand for Oceanco yacht builds, new dry dock facilities were constructed in Alblasserdam, the Netherlands, in 2015. For the yard, ‘this was an important decision to contribute to the development of the Drechtsteden and strengthen its maritime position.’ Not long after, in 2019, the Heerema Zwijndrecht establishment was acquired by the brand as part of its, ‘long-term initiative for growth, expansion and consolidation of its construction activities’

Marking the start of the shipyard’s move to build technologically advanced superyachts, the 2002 strategy undoubtedly set Oceanco on the path to greatness. Today, it has not only continued building some of the largest and most innovative yachts in the world, but has also become the industry’s sustainability pioneer: championing green technology, responsibly sourced materials and eco-friendly equipment to move away from the conventions of fossil fuels and to move towards the future. 

CEO Marcel Onkenhout commented: ‘as a builder, we always keep in mind that innovation should never be pursued for the sake of it; innovation should always add benefit to the owner.’ 

Marketing Director, Paris Baloumis, added: ‘we indeed build yachts, but we also want to create a better world for future generations.’

Launching into the NFT Universe this year with ‘Superyacht NFTs’ is yet another prime example of Oceanco’s pioneering ethos. Becoming the first superyacht builder to expand into the world of non-fungible tokens, Oceanco once again proved its commitment to pushing conventional industry boundaries and embracing the evolving future with technology at the forefront. Designed by Timur Bozca, the limited collection of NFTs blend a harmony of real design with remarkable features, bespoke owner benefits and a plethora of rarities.

‘Entering the world of NFTs felt like a natural progression for Oceanco and we wanted to make sure that we offered something unique and exciting. We are making the exclusive more inclusive’, commented Paris Baloumis at the NFT launch in March this year. 

As an esteemed superyacht shipyard building iconic vessels since 1987, Oceanco continues to expand its fleet as a testament to its ‘dare to ask new and bold questions approach’. We take a look at the Dutch yard’s most iconic yacht builds since its 2002 market expansion, as highlighted by Oceanco. 

82m Alfa Nero

82m motor yacht Alfa Nero marked the second addition to the new generation of Oceanco yacht builds. Leading the way for the brand, the 2007 delivered vessel was positively revolutionary for her time. Boasting a timeless exterior design by Nuvolari Lenard and luxurious interiors by Alberto Pinto, the 82m yacht was launched with the industry’s first rear pool onboard: a state-of-the-art addition that conveniently drains and raises to reveal a helideck and dancefloor. 

91.5m Tranquility 

Tranquility represents another industry first for Oceanco. Standing at 91.5m, she became the first superyacht compliant with the Passenger Yacht Code (PYC), ‘a set of technical, safety and operational standards specific to the size and use of a private vessel’, with accommodation for up to 26 guests. For Tranquility, the construction process required careful considerations to ensure optimum functionality, alongside strictly compliant materials and fabrics that meet the exact PYC requirements. For a yacht compliant with the PYC, Tranquility boasts a remarkable exterior profile designed by the Dutch yard, and a breathtaking interior by Winch Design. 

110m Kaos

At the time of her delivery in 2017, 110m Kaos became the largest yacht to ever be built by Oceanco and the largest yacht to be built in the Netherlands. Also compliant with the PYC, she welcomes up to 30 guests onboard a striking interior design by Sam Sorgiovanni. With exterior design by Igor Lobanov, Kaos showcases cleverly positioned ‘fake decks’ in her superstructure as a, ‘visual trick to mask an above-average deck height’ which creates a more expansive sense of space onboard. 

106.7m Black Pearl 

106.7m Black Pearl is by far one of the most innovatively advanced Oceanco yacht builds. Delivered in 2018, three colossal DynaRig masts adorn her superstructure, creating not only an impressive profile, but also the most ecologically oriented sailing yacht in the world that is able to cross the ocean without the need for fossil fuel. Alongside a state-of-the-art sailing system which regenerates power by utilising a 2,877sqm sail area, Black Pearl has a single-level engine room and an innovative hybrid propulsion installation. Wind energy converts to electrical energy, creating the possibility of complete zero-emission transatlantic crossing. Combining emission-free travel with modern comfort and luxury, this 106.7m is a piece of Oceanco ingenuity. 

90m DAR

DeBasto Design takes the glory of designing the 2018 delivered DAR, originally known as Project Shark due to her sleek, shark-like profile. Another superyacht from the Y700 collection of next-generation Oceanco builds, 90m DAR is, ‘unlike any superyacht afloat today’. Integrating the latest advances in glass technology, this unmissable vessel boasts a superstructure finished completely in reflective glass. At the time of her delivery, she became the first yacht in the Netherlands to be given the official Lloyd’s Register Integrated Bridge System (IBS) notation and designation. With contemporary interior design by Nuvolari Lenard, DAR has been fully utilised to maximise opportunities for outdoor living. 

109m Bravo Eugenia 

Delivered in 2018, 109m Bravo Eugenia is a sustainability pioneer. The first superyacht to contain the cutting-edge LIFE design, an acronym for yachts with ‘Lengthened, Innovative, Fuel-efficient and Eco-friendly’ features, Bravo Eugenia is an exemplar example of the move to the future for Oceanco. Uniting voluminous living spaces with astonishing hydrodynamic efficiency and ground-breaking sustainability benefits, the 109m vessel has become one of the most recognisable superyachts in the world. 

90m DreAMBoat

Oceanco produced yet another industry first with 90m DreAMBoat. An exceptional collaboration with esteemed yacht designers Espen Øino and Terence Disdale resulted in the 90m yacht that undeniably lives up to her name. Created with multigenerational family life at her core, 2019 delivered DreAMBoat is a true representation of meticulous Oceanco craftsmanship. 

117m Infinity

Recently delivered, Infinity marks an impeccable addition to the Oceanco fleet. At 117m, she has become Oceanco’s largest built motor yacht and impressively, the largest Dutch-built yacht to date. With a spectacular design team composed of Espen Øino, Sinot Yacht Architecture & Design, David Kleinberg Design Associates and Lateral Naval Architecture, CEO Marcel Onkenhout highlighted how, 'she represents the true power of co-makership that is central to all our projects.’ 

‘We don't copy an icon. We create a new one,’ and ultimately Oceanco continues to do just that. As an industry, we can look forward to the future superyacht world with a brand such as Oceanco at the forefront.

"As a builder, we always keep in mind that innovation should never be pursued for the sake of it; innovation should always add benefit to the owner."

Marcel Onkenhout, CEO, Oceanco


"As a builder, we always keep in mind that innovation should never be pursued for the sake of it; innovation should always add benefit to the owner."

Marcel Onkenhout, CEO, Oceanco
By Emily Dawkins
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