Jeff Bezos won’t be able to sail a brand new superyacht over 400 feet across the waters of the Dutch city of Rotterdam anytime soon.
The port city drew a backlash a few months ago when it considered tearing down part of a 95-year-old bridge to allow the Amazon founder’s yacht to pass. But now the boat’s manufacturer, the Dutch company Oceanco, has decided not to apply for a license, according to Rotterdam city council members.
It’s unclear how Mr Bezos’ yacht will leave the area or whether Oceanco will complete the ship. The company did not respond to requests for comment on Wednesday and Thursday. An Amazon spokesman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
The yacht was supposed to sail over the Corning Harbor Bridge, known locally as ‘De Hef’, in the summer and is expected to become The largest sailboat in the world According to the superyacht industry publication Yachting International, the height is 417 feet.Bridges do not have enough clearance for yachtswhich is being built in a nearby town.
The middle section of the bridge will not be removed for now as Oceanco is no longer seeking applications, according to An open letter to MP Vincent KarremansThe demolition process will take about a day, and it will also take a day to put it back together, said Peter van Druten, a spokesman for the city of Rotterdam.
Opened in 1927, De Hef was the first vertical lift bridge in the Netherlands, but it is no longer in use. Mr van der Ruten said it had been demolished before – most recently for a renovation in 2017. The bridge is “an icon of the city,” he said.
The city said the full cost of the demolition will be covered by Oceanco, after which the bridge will be repaired immediately.
City officials told reporters In February, Rotterdam agreed to temporarily demolish the bridge Let Mr Bezos’ yacht pass. But after backlash, they retracted the statement and said no decision had been made.
A Facebook campaign at the time invited residents of the city to throw eggs on the boat. “Teardown De Hef for Jeff Bezos’ newest toy? Come throw eggs…!” the event’s organizers wrote in February.
Then last month, Dutch newspaper Trouw reports Oceanco decided not to apply for a license due to concerns of sabotage and threats.
“It’s worrying – the shipbuilder is just doing his job,” said Dieke van Groningen, a Rotterdam council member of the Dutch liberal party VVD.
So far, responses have been mixed. Some praised the city for not having to bow to Mr Bezos’ wishes. Facebook posts from the Dutch public in response to the news included sentiments such as: “Class! Keep the backbone for such an oligarch,” and “Let him get that thing with his own rocket.”
“We’re glad it didn’t happen,” said Marvin Biljoen, MP for the Dutch Green party GroenLinks. “The bridge is a national monument and there shouldn’t be too many changes. It bothers us that you can still do it with money anyway.”
But others see it as a great opportunity for the city.
“I talked to a lot of residents of Rotterdam,” said VVD Councilwoman Ms van Groningen. “They couldn’t be more proud of these ships sailing through our city.”
Rotterdam is Europe’s largest port and a major shipbuilding hub, including superyachts.
“It’s the best of the Netherlands,” Ms van Groningen said. “It’s about the image of the port and you should be proud of that.”