What circumstances have led to AMELS becoming the most successful builder of superyachts in Holland? Good management decisions and careful planning by our parent company DAMEN are
a big part of the reason. But another important factor is the heritage of our people and our town, Vlissingen, whose association with the art of shipbuilding stretches back hundreds of years.
In the 14th century, shipwrights started settling in Vlissingen, which became the first centre of shipbuilding in Holland. That tradition has endured to the present day, with the skills and expertise being handed from generation to generation for more than 700 years. Many of our people at AMELS descend from a long line of boatbuilders, the proud family tradition being handed from father to son. Yacht building is in our blood. It’s in our DNA.
Situated on an island, Walcheren, in the estuary of the River Scheldt, Vlissingen has long been considered the spiritual home of Dutch shipbuilding. In 1304 a Dutch count, Willem III, started to build a harbour. On both sides of the harbour arose a village that eventually became known as ‘Vlissingen’. It became a focal point for the Dutch Navy and for warship construction, and is widely acknowledged as a centre of excellence for shipbuilding. Vlissingen is the gateway to many important cities including Antwerp, Bruges, Ghent, Brussels and Cologne.
After the Napoleonic wars the harbour of Vlissingen was developed into the most important yard for the Dutch Navy. When the Navy moved out at the end of the 19th century, the Royal Shipyard de Schelde took its place, giving birth to the first Dutch submarine and many famous transatlantic luxury passenger vessels. Today this historic yard, witness to centuries of master shipbuilding, is the site of DAMEN Schelde Naval Shipbuilding and AMELS. It may be that today our people are building ships not for war, but for pleasure, although the quest for military precision in everything we do, remains as strong as ever.
AMELS has been building ships since 1918, but it was in 1982 with the construction of KATALINA that the builder set out on a more specialised path. The 48-metre yacht created a new image for luxury cruising and established AMELS’ reputation for building the finest superyachts. AMELS has since delivered almost 60 luxury yachts, not least HERE COMES THE SUN, the 83-metre Limited Editions flagship and the largest yacht delivered by AMELS to date.