After causing quite the controversy, Jeff Bezos’s multimillion-dollar megaycht just made a very quiet escape.
In the wee hours of Tuesday morning, the epic $485 million vessel was towed away from Oceanco’s Alblasserdam shipyard where it was being built to a port in Rotterdam, as reported by Marine Industry News. It seems a rather anticlimactic end to the months-long “Bridgegate” saga.
For the unversed, the Amazon founder sparked outrage last February when Oceanco requested the historic Koningshaven Bridge in Rotterdam be dismantled to allow his marine behemoth to pass. See, the 417-footer, known as Y271, exceeded the 144-year-old bridge’s 131-foot clearance even without its three towering 229-foot masts fully erected. The solution was to temporarily disassemble the middle section of De Hef.
Suffice it to say, Rotterdam locals were none too pleased about the idea. Thousands of residents even went so far as committing to egg the billionaire’s schooner in protest. Following the public outcry, Oceanco withdrew its request to dismantle the bridge. Lo and behold, Y271 has still managed to escape.
Local yachting enthusiast Hanco Bol witnessed the yacht’s stealthy departure at 3 am on August 2 and subsequently posted a video of the three-hour journey on YouTube. Bol speculated that Oceanco opted for an alternate route (we’re guessing one with fewer bridges) to keep the launch and transport under wraps. The yacht reportedly hit an average speed of 8 knots and arrived at the Port of Rotterdam at 6 am. By Bol’s account, it was a quiet and quick getaway.
“We never saw a transport going that fast,” the YouTube post reads.
Oceanco has been tightlipped about the gigayacht and did not immediately respond to Robb Report‘s request for a comment. Upon completion, Y271 will not only be Holland’s largest superyacht to date, but it will also be the world’s biggest sailing yacht. It just might be the most controversial, too.