Miscellaneous

Sailing a Mega Yacht through the Dutch Canals

The Dutch canals are omnipresent in cities around the country. They give the cities their unique look and feel. It is however not an everyday sight to see one of the biggest yachts in the world sailing through the narrow Dutch canals. But the Symphony – a mega yacht with a length of 101,5 meter and the biggest yacht ever built in the Netherlands – and the Savannah (a slightly smaller yacht with a length of 83,5 meter) did exactly that in March 2015.
The megayachts which got pulled and pushed by tugboats, were only 15 centimeter narrower than the canal at some points. To reach the harbour of Rotterdam they had to pass fourteen canal bridges and one lock each of which had to stay open for a prolonged amount of time due to the slow speed with which the super yachts were moving.

Big, bigger, biggest

The more than 101-meter long yacht symphony is the biggest yacht to have ever been built in the Netherlands. It was not only longer but also two feet wider than the Savannah, the second biggest yacht constructed in Holland.

Both of the megayachts are bigger than a normal block of apartments which shows brilliantly on the photos below.

Mega yacht the Symphony, with 101 meter the biggest yacht ever constructed in the Netherlands

Mega yacht the Symphony, with 101 meter the biggest yacht ever constructed in the Netherlands

For Symphony’s transport through the narrow canals special adjustments to locks and bridges had to be made. At one point, the shackles that prevent damage had to be replaced by extra thin pillows because the yacht would otherwise not fit.

They also had to add load carriers/pontoons to raise the yacht an extra meter out of the water as it would have otherwise hit the bottom of the canal.

Savannah, the other super yacht passing through the Dutch canals

Savannah, the other super yacht passing through the Dutch canals

A pretty long journey

Both boats made the approximately 70 km long journey from the  Royal van Lent shipyard (just north of Leiden) where they had been constructed, via Alphen aan de Rijn and Gouda to the port of Rotterdam. It took two full days to navigate the enormous ships through the narrow Dutch canals.

Super mega yachts

There has been a lot of speculation about who is the owner of the Symphony, but it seems that the mega-yacht was built by Bernard Arnault, a French billionaire and founder and director of Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy. “Coincidentally” the conglomerate also owns Royal van Lent Shipyard on the Kaag where the yacht was constructed.

Both ships are top of the line super yachts that were constructed in Holland. They are equipped with an underwater lounge where you can watch the underwater landscape, a cinema, a nine-meter pool, five guest suites, including a VIP suite with balcony, a teak deck and a garage.

The symphony’s size is staggering with six stories, an elevator, twelve jacuzzis and a heli platform. You get all that for the ‘reasonable’ amound of 165 million Euros.

The Symphony, passing a windmill, after it reached a wider canal

The Symphony, passing a windmill, after it reached a wider canal


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Our Correspondent
Cult Netherlands correspondent
Marc - Weert

Wondering wanderer of the world! Avid cyclist, ski/snowboard guru & passionate ping-pong player. Lover of both good & cheap wines, random facts, rocking chairs and singing in the shower. I love to drink myself silly in the company of other people ...

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About this place

Continent: Europe
Capital: Amsterdam
Population: 16,645,000
Area: 41,526 km2
Currency: Euro
Languages: Dutch

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