Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has taken delivery of the largest and tallest sailing yacht in the world, the 417-foot (127-meter) Koru. This masterpiece of luxury and sophistication has captured the attention of the yachting community and beyond, reflecting the elegance and exclusivity of the superyacht lifestyle.
Constructed by renowned Dutch shipyard Oceanco, the Koru set sail from the Netherlands in April 2023. It embarked on its maiden voyage to Gibraltar after completing sea trials in the North Sea. Previously known as Y721, the Koru is a monumental creation in more ways than one.
For starters, Koru boasts three towering masts, each measuring more than 230 feet (70 meters), making it the tallest sailing yacht in the world. It also ranks among the top 25 largest vessels globally and holds the distinction of being the biggest to ever leave the Netherlands. Reportedly, the construction of this luxurious yacht cost Bezos a staggering $485 million.
However, the yacht’s size and masts have not been without controversy. In February 2022, Oceanco requested the partial dismantling of a centuries-old bridge in the port city of Rotterdam to allow the colossal yacht to pass through to the high seas. The masts’ height, comparable to the Great Pyramid of Giza, exceeded the bridge’s 131-foot (40-meter) clearance, posing a significant obstacle. Unsurprisingly, the people of Rotterdam were displeased and even threatened to pelt the yacht with rotten eggs. Ultimately, the request was denied, and the yacht was discreetly towed through Rotterdam without its masts.
While the designers responsible for Koru’s interior and exterior remain undisclosed, the yacht’s timeless and elegant appearance is undeniable. Koru features a sleek black hull and white superstructure, exuding sophistication. The yacht also boasts a large pool on the aft deck and several plush alfresco lounges for ultimate relaxation.
However, the towering masts make it impossible for the superyacht to accommodate a helicopter landing. As a solution, Bezos commissioned a second yacht to hold his toys and tenders. Christened ABEONA, the custom 246-foot (75-meter) support vessel is Damen Yacht Buildter’s largest to date, making it the perfect companion for the monumental Koru.
Koru’s impressive size and unique design elements have positioned it to become one of the most spectacular superyachts on the seas. With a swimming pool on the aft deck and accommodations for up to 18 guests and around 40 crew members, Bezos and his guests can enjoy unrivaled luxury and comfort on the high seas.
The name Koru, derived from the Māori word for “loop or coil,” symbolizes new life, growth, strength, and peace in Māori art. The spiral shape of the koru represents perpetual movement and returning to the point of origin. Bezos made an Instagram post highlighting the symbolism of Koru, emphasizing personal growth, renewal, rebirth, and the importance of being present in the moment.
Koru’s support vessel, ABEONA, is currently under construction at Damen Yachting. It will carry all the toys and tenders of the main yacht and accommodate a large helicopter in its hangar. The vessel has the capacity to house a total of 45 staff, crew, and guests.
For the delivery of Koru, a central street in Rotterdam was temporarily closed to facilitate the transport of the masts. The masts, each weighing 50 tons, were installed in a separate location before being joined with the main yacht for final assembly. The intricate process of installation was carried out by Rondal, a Dutch company specializing in the construction of sailing yacht masts and rigging. The masts’ towering height and impressive engineering have not only secured Koru’s place in history but have also created a spectacle that’s sure to be remembered.
Koru’s innovative design includes a unique DynaRig system, which allows the sails to be furled and unfurled with ease. This advanced technology, initially developed in the 1960s, has been adopted by several superyachts over the years, such as the Maltese Falcon, with 88-meter masts. The DynaRig system ensures that sailing on the Koru is not only a luxurious experience but also one that is efficient and environmentally friendly.
In addition to the cutting-edge sailing technology, the interior of the yacht is rumored to be just as lavish and breathtaking. While specific details remain undisclosed, it is expected that the yacht boasts state-of-the-art entertainment systems, sumptuous accommodations, and exquisite dining options. Bezos has undoubtedly spared no expense in creating the ultimate superyacht experience for himself and his guests.
The launch of the Koru has not only set new standards for luxury yachting but has also raised questions about the ecological impacts of such vessels. While the use of wind power for propulsion is a more environmentally friendly option than conventional motor yachts, the carbon footprint of building and maintaining a yacht of this size cannot be ignored.
As a response to the environmental concerns, Oceanco has stated that they are committed to reducing their environmental impact through continuous researching and implementing innovative technologies. The shipyard aims to create yachts that are more sustainable and efficient, demonstrating that luxury and environmental responsibility can go hand in hand.
The Koru’s arrival on the superyacht scene has undoubtedly made waves, captivating the attention of yacht enthusiasts and the general public alike. The record-breaking vessel stands as a testament to human ingenuity, wealth, and ambition.
As the world’s tallest and one of the largest sailing yachts, the Koru has set a new benchmark for luxury and extravagance in the superyacht industry. The vessel’s striking appearance, combined with its advanced technology and unparalleled comforts, ensures that the Koru will remain a symbol of opulence and innovation for years to come.
Only time will tell what new adventures are in store for Jeff Bezos and his magnificent superyacht, Koru, as they set sail together on the high seas. As the world watches in awe, the Koru and its support vessel ABEONA are poised to become legendary additions to the realm of luxury yachting, setting new standards and capturing the imagination of maritime enthusiasts across the globe.