Jeff Bezos’ unfinished mega yacht was towed away from a Dutch shipbuilding yard before dawn Tuesday just weeks after the city of Rotterdam bowed to intense public pressure and refused to dismantle a landmark bridge to make way for the $500 million luxury vessel.
The 417-foot long, three-masted yacht, which goes by the name Y721, was relocated from the Oceanco shipyard in Alblasserdam to the Greenport yard just 24 miles away in Rotterdam, according to the German-language daily Der Spiegel.
Video of the towing was posted to YouTube by Dutch yacht enthusiast Hanco Bol.
“We never saw a transport going that fast,” Bol writes of what he witnessed. It took less than three hours for the ship to travel southwest along the Noord canal even though it normally requires nearly twice as much time to traverse the route, according to Bol.
He speculates that Oceanco, the company that was commissioned to build the yacht, chose the timing of the move in order to keep it under wraps given the considerable publicity it has generated.
Rotterdammers who were furious about plans to dismantle “De Hef” bridge, also known as Koningshaven, had threatened to pelt the yacht with eggs if it made the journey.
Bol writes that the yacht’s route was designed to avoid traveling through the Rotterdam city center and underneath “De Hef” — even though it would have saved more time.
Oceanco last month announced that it had dropped its request for the Rotterdam city council to approve the temporary dismantling of the bridge.
The company had indicated that Bezos, the Amazon founder and second-richest person in the world, was willing to foot the bill for the removal of the middle section of the span so that the yacht would be able to sail through the Nieuwe Mass River.
Bol speculates that Oceanco intentionally avoided towing the unfinished yacht underneath “De Hef.”
“I think that was intentional,” he told Der Spiegel.
“When I was standing on one of the bridges, they shined a searchlight on me, so it wasn’t easy for me to take pictures.”
According to Dutch media reports, it will take several more months for the ship to be completed.
The Post has reached out to Amazon and Oceanco seeking comment.