Narrow bridges

Huge superyacht slips under Dutch bridges

(CNN) — It’s not every day that you see an 80m superyacht weaving under a bridge with only a few centimeters of clearance.

No wonder, then, that the sight of this gigantic Heesen ship making its way through the narrow canals of the Netherlands drew a large crowd.

The maiden voyage of Galactica, formerly known as Project Cosmos, took place earlier this month, with painful precision, and a photographer was on hand to capture the voyage.

The Superyacht Galactica is transported from the Heesen shipyard in the town of Oss, in the south of the Netherlands, to the North Sea.

Heesen/SWNS

In a series of incredible images, the superyacht is carefully transported from the Heesen shipyard in the southern Dutch town of Oss to the North Sea port of Harlingen, where it will undergo sea trials and will be equipped.

During the operation, which lasted around four to five days, the ship was pulled and pushed by expert tugs through tight locks and under at least six bridges.

Timing is extremely important. Heesen had to wait for a “calm day with no wind” before attempting to force the ship through a narrow lock at Macharen with just 15 centimeters of clearance either side.

‘Standard procedure’

The ship weaves under a low bridge as it is pushed and pulled along canals and rivers.

The ship weaves under a low bridge as it is pushed and pulled along canals and rivers.

Heesen/SWNS

At another stage, water levels were too high to allow Galactica to pass under a bridge along the Meuse, leading to a short pause while the crew waited for levels to drop enough for it slips below.

“This is standard procedure with luxury yachts of this size when it comes to domestic cruising,” a Heesen spokesperson said. “Waiting for the tide to go out is just ‘business as usual’.”

Such a delicate and crucial operation requires at least three to four months of preparation with various necessary permits and certificates beforehand, according to the Heesen team.

Fortunately, the shipyard has over 40 years of experience to draw on when it comes to maneuvering its vessels from Oss to the North Sea.

Such trips require about three to four months of preparation in order for everything to go smoothly.

Such trips require about three to four months of preparation in order for everything to go smoothly.

Dick Holthuis/Hesse/SWNS

In fact, the location of the shipyard has helped shape many of their innovative yachts, as designers should be aware that every vessel built here will need to be transported in the same way.

“Building large and complex superyachts is exciting from both an engineering and construction perspective,” CEO Arthur Brouwer of Heesen said in a statement.

“We are incredibly fortunate to have the best naval architects, engineers and craftsmen in the country to build our yachts.”

The Galactica, which is equipped with a beach club, as well as a helipad that converts into a cinema, reached Harlingen safely on January 12 and is expected to begin sea trials soon.

All aluminum yacht

The 80-meter superyacht is due for delivery in April after undergoing sea trials and fittings.

The 80-meter superyacht is due for delivery in April after undergoing sea trials and fittings.

Scott Hampton/Heesen/SWNS

Described as the longest and fastest all-aluminum yacht in the world, she is due for delivery in April, the same month Heesen is due to deliver the 50-meter Project Aura.

“No Heesen has ever been so celebrated leaving our shipyard,” read a post on the shipyard’s official Facebook page.

“We were touched by the number of people who gathered on the banks, on the bridges to cheer as he passed, and the crowds who gathered to welcome him to Harlingen.”

Heesen is not the only Dutch shipyard that transports its yachts through the narrow canals and rivers of the Netherlands.

Last April, Feadship’s Project 817 was filmed as it was moved from the shipyard’s indoor facility on Kaag Island to the North Sea in Rotterdam.

“People were actually asking questions like ‘why would someone bring their boat over here? ‘,’ photographer Tom van Oossanen, who followed Project 817 during the first two days of transport, told CNN Travel at the time.

“Obviously it’s not cruising. She’s going to set sail and she’s never coming back.”