Superyacht Shipyard Tour 2016

Denison’s 2016 Superyacht Shipyard Tour of Northern Europe took our team of brokers through the shipyards of 9 leading superyacht builders in Germany and Holland.

The tour gave our superyacht team the opportunity to see the shipyards’ new launches, current builds, future plans, and build slots. They got a behind-the-scenes look at each shipyard’s philosophy, culture and innovations, which were invaluable toward our mission of providing our clients insight on all things superyacht.

The team was made up of Bob Denison along with superyacht brokers Glynn Smith, Justin Onofrietti, David Johnson, Bruce Schattenburg and Alex Clarke. Special thanks goes to Alex Clarke for organizing the tour. 

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The team started off the tour on Day 1 with a visit to the Royal Huisman shipyard in Vollenhove, Holland. Royal Huisman, one of the most well respected shipyards in the world, has built award-winning sailing yachts such as Wisp, winner of the 2016 World Super Yacht Awards.

In 2014, Dutch firm Royal Doeksen acquired a majority shareholding in Royal Huisman.

Royal Huisman, founded in 1884, delivered three yachts last year and currently has three yachts under construction: two 58-meter yachts (classic and modern) and 65’ carbon-fiber day sailor, designed by Sparkman & Stephens.

In addition to Wisp, notable builds by Royal Huisman include Twizzle, Elftje, Athena, Hyperion and Meteor.


Their second stop of the day was at the Hakvoort shipyard in Monnickendam, a quaint, small town about 8 miles north of Amsterdam. A family business for 5 generations, Hakvoort is known as one of Holland's premier builder of aluminum yachts.

Founded in 1919, Hakvoort yachts embody a century of shipbuilding experience, traditional values of craftsmanship, the latest technologies and the finest equipment and fittings.

The yard specializes in building motoryachts and sailing yachts up to 65 meters in length. It also has facilities for major refits. It currently has two yachts under construction: 38-meters and the former Project Zeus.

Notable launches include Lady Marina, Freesia, Spada, Solaia, Campbell Bay, Saga, Perle Bleue, My Trust, MY Snowbird and Pamela V.


Tuesday, the team visited the Feadship yard as they continued their tour through Holland and Germany. Feadship is one of the premier shipyards in the world, building top pedigree custom yachts such as Joy.

Sales Managers Spike Halbertsma and Maarten Janssen gave an overview of the 19 projects underway at the yard, which is synonymous with quality and tradition.

Notable launches by Feadship include Air, Predator, Sea Owl, Symphony, Como, Kiss and Madame Gu.

Feadship, founded in 1849, uses an engineering system that develops their own propulsion systems (breathe and hybrid system), and has the largest engineering department in the industry.


Amels is the largest shipyard in The Netherlands and excels in the 45-60m superyacht market. Through its series of limited editions, Amels has revolutionized the concept of the semi-custom superyacht.

By starting construction of the yacht prior to order, the yard allows customers to build a semi-custom yacht in a much faster time frame and can deliver these yachts for a true value. Amels is prepared to build completely custom projects of any size.

At Amels, the team met with Managing Director Rob Luijendijk and was given the tour by Sales Manager Peter Dijkwel. Amels is in the process of delivering its largest yacht ever built, the 84m Here Comes the Sun, which is just under 3,000 GRT. 

The yard has a 55m (scheduled for Spring 2018 delivery), a 58m (Spring 2017 delivery), a 60m (2018 delivery) and a 74m (2018 delivery) all being built on spec and available for immediate purchase. Its new 55m, Elixir, will be on display at Monaco.


Oceanco is one of the premier builders in the world focusing specifically on custom superyachts over 85 meters. Oceanco has the capacity and resources to build the largest and most sophisticated yachts and is known as a global leader in the 80-meter+ segment of the superyacht industry.

The Oceanco shipyard boasts a 145m x 45m climate-controlled shed for building or refitting yachts up to 130 meters. The yard’s new build shed has private meeting rooms, a private kitchen and private shower facilities so clients can helicopter in and go straight to see their yacht. 

In the last two years, the yard’s owner has purchased the adjacent fire station, which he has since updated, and built a new paint facility. The yard still has room to expand and build a second, larger 200m shed.

Special thanks to Sales Manager Robert Tan for showing us around the yard, whose highlights included a 109m sailing yacht under construction and a 90m being built on spec - asking price is 185m euros, with delivery in 2018.


Heesen, the yachting industry’s leader in aluminum construction, has earned a sterling reputation for being the shipyard of choice for anyone wanting a performance superyacht.

Founded by Frans Heesen in 1978, Heesen has built some of the world’s fastest superyachts, including Octopussy (38m) in 1988, which broke the 50-knot speed barrier. 

During their visit, the team had lunch with Director Mark Cavendish and Sales Manager Robert Drontman. Heesen just launched its largest yacht ever, Galactica Super Nova (70m), which will be on display at Monaco and FLIBS. 

The team had the opportunity to board Project Alida, a 55m with delivery scheduled in only 9 months. Heesen is also building a 50m project on spec.

Recent improvements to the facility include knocking down an old shed to make room for a new 60m building. The yard has a separate facility that focuses strictly on interiors, which are all done in house.


Abeking & Rasmussen is a top pedigree shipyard in Germany building gorgeous yachts such as the 60m Elysian, formerly known as Elandess, which was recently sold by Denison Fort Lauderdale Yacht Broker Glynn Smith

The shipyard has a reputation for building the highest quality custom-made motor yachts from 45 to 125 meters.

The team was shown around by Project Managers Andre Jonker and Jens Bottke and was joined by Sandra Schulz, executive and project assistant for the yacht department.

Abeking & Rasmussen just delivered Cloudbreak, an 85m explorer, and has a 74.5m under construction. It also has a massive 95m 5,000 GRT under construction for a 2018 delivery and has expanded to make room for two new build sheds.


The Lurssen family continues its commitment, which began in 1875, to build the world’s finest vessels and yachts. Through 5 generations of one family, Lurssen has maintained its core values and strong reputation for quality and performance.

It's no surprise the owner of the world’s longest yacht, Azzam (180m), trusted Lurssen with the new-construction contract, which Lurssen delivered in a record-breaking time, less than 3 years. Lurssen recently launched the award-winning Ester III, which was designed by Espen Oeino.

Sales Director Michael Bremen accompanied the team during its visit. Lurssen just delivered the largest yacht in the world, Dubai - Azzam has a larger LOA, but Dubai has a larger GRT.

Lurssen has two projects under construction that are over 140m. The shipyard utilizes a robotic automated parts storage system, much of which it has borrowed from the automotive industry. It also plans to focus on its refit division, in addition to building a large number of military vessels.


Van der Valk Continental Yachts has been constructing both steel and aluminium motor yachts since 1968. The yard offers its Continental series of motoryachts, with the layout, interior and style of yacht offered as “custom-built” according to clients' special needs and wishes.

Van Der Valk was one of the "big finds" of our Northern European tour. Most Dutch and German yacht builders won't look at smaller yacht projects, as they prefer to build in the 150' and up range. Van Der Valk prefers to build in the 70 to 135' range with great in-house design and full custom projects.

The yard embodies strong family values and insists on pedigree shipyard building standards and practices, and its owner is heavily involved in day-to-day operations. It will start a build of each size on spec to shorten the delivery time for a custom build.

Van der Valk is installing the new VEEM VG120 gyrostabilizers in its yachts. The quality is amazing, and the shipyard is clean, modern and efficient - a great place to build your next quality yacht at a very competitive price.

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