An epic party yacht sunk in the U.K. before it even set sail—metaphorically speaking, that is.
Smart Group just announced that the 282-foot Oceandiva London will no longer be a fixture on the River Thames. The entertainment company had hoped to begin hosting events on the gigantic vessel this spring but has been overcome by red tape.
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“The decision, made by the Dutch owners, comes after prolonged challenges in navigating the complex web of regulatory and certification processes in the U.K.,” the group writes on its website.
Built by a Dutch shipyard, Oceandiva cost a hefty £25 million (about $31 million) to come to fruition, according to Smart Group. It is larger than any entertainment boat operating in British rivers, with three stories offering space for up to 1,000 guests. Therein lies the major problem. Residents had previously complained that the giant floating party venue would disrupt their sleep, as reported by The Times.
“It doesn’t matter whether [the finishing time] is 8 p.m. or 10 a.m., you’ll still have a disturbance,” Paul Crosbie, an activist living in the historic riverside street Shad Thames, said. “There will also be an impact on the view—it’s like a battleship.”
Smart Group’s managing director Chloe Jackson thinks Oceandiva could have greatly benefitted the British capital, however. The group estimated that the boat would have generated £77 million (roughly $97 million) for the city. Not to mention the positive impact it could have had on London’s nightlife and the environment. (It would have been the first carbon-neutral powered vessel on the Thames, according to Smart Group.)
“Whilst we acknowledge that this may feel like a victory for some local residents and riverside stakeholders, we are sure you can appreciate it is a sad day for the city and, indeed, Smart Group, as this carbon-neutral, cutting-edge vessel will no longer be redefining events on the River Thames,” Jackson wrote in a letter. “It is quite simply a missed opportunity.”
Jackson previously pointed out that a lot of information shared about Oceandiva was incorrect. Some reports suggested the yacht would have a helipad, a 24-hour license, and host 1,500 people. The group sees it as more of a corporate-events venue, though.
Oceandiva is now heading back to EU waters. Perhaps the yacht will have better luck finding a home in party-mad Ibiza or the Med.
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