October 20, 2021

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How a 94-meter superyacht is transported through narrow canals in the Netherlands

How a 94-meter superyacht is transported through narrow canals in the Netherlands


(CNN) – It’s not every day that you see a giant superyacht cruising through the narrow canals of the Netherlands.

Thankfully photographer Tom van Oossanen was on hand to capture the amazing scenes as Project 817, a 94-meter (310 ft) ship built by Dutch shipyard Feadship, was transported from its facility on Kaag Island to the North Sea. in Rotterdam last week.

In a series of jaw-dropping images, the ship, one of the largest launched in 2021, is guided across the water by tugboats, passing houses and churches, as crowds watch in amazement.

According to Oossanen, around four or six superyachts are relocated along this route each year before going for sea trials, which usually take place in Amsterdam. However, few are as big as Project 817, probably known as Viva when it officially launches.

Feadship’s new superyacht Project 817 is guided through the canals of Holland on the voyage to the North Sea.

Courtesy of Tom van Oossanen

“It’s always a pretty operation,” Oossanen tells CNN Travel. “Everyone loves to see it.”

But these maneuvers lead to severe growls on land and water. Do you have a dentist appointment? “Then you won’t make it,” Oossanen says. “Sometimes it takes an hour to cross a bridge, and with the amount of traffic we have in the Netherlands, it builds up quickly.”

Kaag Island is one of two Feadship shipyards based inland (the other is in Aalsmeer, near Schiphol), which means that every yacht delivered from here must be carefully pulled equally.

Adherent

The 94-meter ship is maneuvered across a bridge in Woubrugge during the difficult voyage.

The 94-meter ship is maneuvered across a bridge in Woubrugge during the difficult voyage.

Courtesy of Tom van Oossanen

“They [the two shipyards] they are actually quite far from the North Sea, so to transport the yachts out to sea they have to pass a small canal to Rotterdam, “he explains.” There is only one way to go “.

Some parts of the canals along the route are only a few feet wider than Project 817, which spans 44.7 feet from port to starboard, so to say the transfer required great care and attention is an understatement.

“This boat was completely designed to actually fit the waterway,” says Oossanen, noting that he has only seen four superyachts of this size embark on this same journey.

“So [the designers] it probably couldn’t add another inch to its length or another inch to its width.

“They maximized the design by using the boundaries of bridges and waterways, which is pretty cool.”

Feadship says the length of a transfer depends on several factors, such as winds and bridge times, and can take anywhere from two to four days. Transportation of Project 817 took about four days.

A superyacht is usually steered out to sea by a team of five experts and one crew on board, according to Feadship.

A superyacht is usually steered out to sea by a team of five experts and one crew on board, according to Feadship.

Courtesy of Tom van Oossanen

During the first phase of the operation, Viva was moved from the shipyard on the island of Kaag to Lake Braassemermeer, where it was equipped with pontoons to lift it, thus ensuring it was not too deep to maneuver through the canals.

The tugs were then attached to the pontoons on both sides of the superyacht, which was also wrapped with a protective film, in order to guide the ship through the water with precision.

At this point, he was ready to be pushed and pulled along the canals, crossing a small bridge in the tiny village of Woubrugge, as well as Alphen aan den Rijn, a city in West Holland, before reaching the Dutch. Gouda city, located south of Amsterdam, a few days later.

A team of five experts and one crew on board usually drive a superyacht out to sea, according to Feadship.

Complicated transfer

Project 817 crosses the Albert Schweitzer bridge in Alphen aan den Rijn.

Project 817 crosses the Albert Schweitzer bridge in Alphen aan den Rijn.

Courtesy of Tom van Oossanen

“It takes a long time,” says Oossanen. “Nobody is in a hurry, because you don’t want to scratch the paint.”

Explain that Feadship uses the same transport company and the same tugboat drivers for each delivery to ensure a smooth transition.

“They [the captains] they are very experienced at what they are doing, “he says.” There is obviously a lot of money involved, so you want to do things right.

And if you’re going to rush things, things can go wrong. “

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the relocation of Project 817 caused quite a stir on the ground, particularly as it passed through smaller villages along the way.

Some spectators were absolutely amazed by the sight of such a huge yacht passing the canal.

“People were actually asking questions like ‘why would anyone cruise their boat here?'” Says Oossanen, who followed Viva for the first two days of the transport.

“Obviously he’s not on a cruise. He’s going to sea and will never come back.”

Although Oossanen has photographed many of these transfers, he points out that no shots are alike and is constantly trying to find new ways to show the ships.

“Every boat is different,” he says. “It’s always the same path, but I always try to find different angles.

“It’s a challenge to imagine it in a different way. I’m really glad this worked out so well.”

Last cheers?

Photographer Tom van Oossanen was on hand to capture the meticulous transportation.

Photographer Tom van Oossanen was on hand to capture the meticulous transportation.

Courtesy of Tom van Oossanen

The photographer was particularly keen to document this voyage, as he believes it may be the last time a ship of this size has been transported along this route.

Feadship has opened a new facility in Amsterdam that has the capacity to build superyachts up to 160 meters in length.

And a 140-meter dry dock was set up at its Makkum shipyard, allowing for the construction of yachts with wider beams.

The Dutch government has also confirmed plans to expand locks in nearby Kornwerderzand, which ultimately means larger ships will be able to sail directly from Makkum to the North Sea in the future.

“They can easily build up to 160 meters in a new facility, so why would they still have to move such a large boat through all these channels and deal with all the hassle?” Notes by Oossanen.

All ships from the Kaag shipyard in Feadship have to take this narrow road to reach the sea.

All ships from the Kaag shipyard in Feadship have to take this narrow road to reach the sea.

Courtesy of Tom van Oossanen

“Knowing the inside information, I think seeing a 94-meter make this route will take some time or it may not happen. [again] at all. “

“When it is completely unwrapped, washed and cleaned, you will see it in the sun and it will shine like a star,” he adds.

Feadship confirmed to CNN Travel that the ship has successfully reached Rotterdam and will soon be ready for sea trials.

Project 817 will be closely followed by a number of major superyachts currently under construction in the Netherlands.

Meanwhile, work is still underway on Feadship’s 95-meter 1009 project, which is currently in the final stage of construction.