Jeff Bezos Is Literally Having a Bridge Dismantled to Deliver His Megayacht

A historic lift bridge in Rotterdam will be temporarily deconstructed to make way for the Amazon founder's new plaything

The Black Pearl sailing yacht from Oceanco. Jeff Bezos's own megayacht, which is reportedly based on the Black Pearl, will be able to enter the ocean only after a historic bridge in Rotterdam in the Netherlands is dismantled.
Oceanco's Black Pearl, the vessel Jeff Bezos's yacht is reportedly based on.

In today’s installment of Money Can’t Buy You Happiness, But It Can Buy That, a historic lift bridge in Rotterdam that was once promised to never be dismantled again will indeed be dismantled again to make way for Jeff Bezos’s $500 million megayacht. 

As we noted last summer, 58-year-old Bezos hired the Dutch yacht builder Oceanco to build him not just one, but two yachts — one called the Y721 that will become the largest sailing yacht in the world and a smaller supporting vessel with a helipad. Now, Jalopnik has pointed us to English-language site, which reported that Koningshaven Bridge in the Netherlands will be disassembled so that Y721 can pass through the river and, like Willy, be set free into the ocean. 

One problem? According to DutchNews, the 95-year-old bridge, “known to Rotterdammers as De Hef, was renovated in 2017 and the council pledged at the time it would never be dismantled again.” To be fair, Bezos and his pocketbook weren’t at that city meeting. 

A spokeswoman for the city of Rotterdam told The New York Times that Oceanco will pay for the process of taking apart and reconstructing the bridge. And if this seems like the case of an obscenely rich person gallivanting over the will of the people, Dennis Tak, a Labor Party city councilor for Rotterdam, told the Times he supported allowing the bridge’s dismantlement because it’s “a great way to take some of [Bezos’s] money.”

You may be thinking, didn’t someone consider this predicament when putting together the plans for Y721 in the first place? Well, we’re dealing with fairly uncharted territory in the yacht world.

As Architectural Digest wrote in October, “The superyacht is said to be modeled after Oceanco’s famous yacht, the Black Pearl, which the company site says, ‘is one of the largest and most ecological sailing yachts in the world. She can cross the Atlantic without burning even a liter of fossil fuel.’” But the Black Peal is 350 feet long. This one will be 417 feet.

Bezos’s new floating palace may be able to operate without burning fossil fuels, but all the money he’s saving on diesel he will now be spending on bridge deconstruction. I have a hunch his accountant won’t mind.

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