2022 Was a Bad Year for Big Boats

2022 Was a Bad Year for Big Boats

From the world's biggest cruise ship getting sold for scrap to the Felicity Ace sinking with thousands of new cars onboard, this was a rough year for big boats.

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Photo: Royal Caribbean

Here at Jalopnik, we go far beyond covering cars, trucks and SUVs. Every once in a while we get to dabble in other topics of transportation. One of my favorites: Ships. Whether we’re gawking at their absurd size, judging the fact they won’t bring your ex-wife back, or watching dozens of people get into a fight on a cruise, there was no shortage of boat news this year.

We decided to take it upon ourselves to round up the best big-boat stories we wrote this year. Remember when that ship sank with thousands of brand-new cars on it? Or how about when an infamous company’s boat got stuck near the Chesapeake? Well, if you don’t, you’re in luck. Sit back, relax and sail down memory lane.

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This Old Ship-Carrying Ship Is Cursed To Live Out Its Days As A Billionaire’s Yacht (February 2, 2022)

This Old Ship-Carrying Ship Is Cursed To Live Out Its Days As A Billionaire’s Yacht (February 2, 2022)

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Photo: Timur Bozca

If you need to ship a ship, you need to turn to a ship-carrying ship. These feats of engineering can be partially submerged to allow smaller vessels to board, before they are carried across the ocean. Now, one luxury boat builder has seen these vessels and thought they’d make a great yacht for a billionaires.

Enter, the motor yacht, OK.

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Here’s The Boat That Won’t Bring Jeff Bezos’s Hair, Or Wife Back (February 4, 2022)

Here’s The Boat That Won’t Bring Jeff Bezos’s Hair, Or Wife Back (February 4, 2022)

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Screenshot: Dutch Yachting via YouTube

How embarrassing!

This is Jeff Bezos’ newest travesty – a $540 million mega yacht meant to fill the void in his body where his soul used to be.

It’s being built by Dutch company Oceano and is now making its way to it’s final fitting-out. Of course, along the way a historic bridge will have to be dismantled, but that’s all okay for ol’ Jeffrey.

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Cargo Ship Full Of European Cars Left To Burn In The Atlantic Ocean (February 17, 2022)

Cargo Ship Full Of European Cars Left To Burn In The Atlantic Ocean (February 17, 2022)

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Image: Steve DaSilva

A cargo ship hauling a load of lovely cars from the continent caught fire Wednesday and is currently burning down in the middle of the Atlantic, close to the Azores Islands.

All 22 souls on the Felicity Ace managed to make it to lifeboats with no injuries reported before the 650-foot cargo vessel began to really flame out. The Portuguese navy confirmed with the Drive it assisted with the rescue of the crew. The Ace was supposed to arrive in Rhode Island on February 23 after departing Emden, Germany on February 10, but it seems its final resting place will be the bottom of the Atlantic in Portuguese waters:

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You Get One Guess: What Company’s Container Ship Got Stuck Off The Chesapeake? (March 14, 2022)

You Get One Guess: What Company’s Container Ship Got Stuck Off The Chesapeake? (March 14, 2022)

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Image: Robert Schwemmer for NOAA’s National Ocean Service, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons, Steve DaSilva, Screenshot: Pikachu on YouTube

Let’s play a fun little guessing game. Right now, there’s a cargo ship stuck in the shallows of the Chesapeake Bay off the coast of Gibson Island, Maryland. You have one shot, one opportunity to guess the name of the company that owns that ship. Lock in your guess now if you can, but I’ll give you three hints before the big reveal:

1) The company name is painted full-height along the side of the ship.

2) The first half of the company’s name is also the first half of the ship’s name.

3) The boat is red, white, and green.

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The Felicity Ace May Prove To Be A Huge Pollution Hazard (March 17, 2022)

The Felicity Ace May Prove To Be A Huge Pollution Hazard (March 17, 2022)

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Image: Andy Kalmowitz

Just when you thought there wasn’t enough to worry about in the world, the Felicity Ace is the gift that keeps on giving.

You may remember the ship that caught fire with 4,000 Volkswagen products (including Lamborghinis, Bentley and Porsches) in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Well, it sank, and that is causing an even bigger issue than some ruined cars. As you can imagine, it means there are now about 4,000 cars, lithium-ion batteries, oil, gas and the rest of a god damn cargo ship at the bottom of the ocean.

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These Are The Seized Yachts Of Russian Oligarchs (March 18, 2022)

These Are The Seized Yachts Of Russian Oligarchs (March 18, 2022)

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Photo: Andrea Bernardi (Getty Images)

With the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, an international effort to force Russia to stop its advance and leave the country has begun. From U.S. sanctions making the Russian ruble nearly worthless to the freezing of assets of Russians who hold international accounts, it’s too early to tell whether or not any of this is working. The recent effort of seizing the yachts of Russian Oligarchs, however, may work. Here are just five of the yachts authorities around the world have impounded so far.

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Cruise Ship Calls in Coast Guard After Massive Brawl on Board (July 1, 2022)

Cruise Ship Calls in Coast Guard After Massive Brawl on Board (July 1, 2022)

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Screenshot: Sky News Australia via YouTube

There was very little magic in the air on a Carnival Magic cruise ship that saw a massive brawl break out in the early morning hours on Tuesday just outside of New York. It got so out of hand that the U.S. Coast Guard was deployed to escort the ship to its final destination in New York Harbor.

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Bezos Didn’t Even Need to Dismantle Bridge to Move Yacht (August 5, 2022)

Bezos Didn’t Even Need to Dismantle Bridge to Move Yacht (August 5, 2022)

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Screenshot: Dutch Yachting/YouTube ( (Other)

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ big fancy new boat slipped silently from its berth at a Dutch shipyard in the wee hours of Tuesday morning without needing to dismantle any major historical pieces of infrastructure. Instead, the mega super yacht was towed a little out of its way to another shipyard without its mast.

Apparently, that was always an option.

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World’s Largest Cruise Ship to Be Scrapped Before First Voyage (September 6, 2022)

World’s Largest Cruise Ship to Be Scrapped Before First Voyage (September 6, 2022)

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Screenshot: inselvideo via YouTube

The ship that would have become the world’s largest cruise liner has been scrapped before it ever had the chance to take its maiden voyage. If wasting wild amounts of resources and money is your type of thing, this is the story for you.

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The 15 Largest Cruise Ships on Earth (September 9, 2022)

The 15 Largest Cruise Ships on Earth (September 9, 2022)

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Photo: Royal Carribean

This week, we brought you the story of the world’s largest cruise ship, which, due to some strange global circumstances, seems doomed to be dismantled for scrap before it ever sets sail. It’s not the only massive cruise ship in the world, though — there are plenty that have made their way out onto the high seas.

Right, yeah, boats. Since that cruise ship is being destroyed and no longer counts, what are the biggest boats you can actually purchase a ticket to ride? Here are the top fifteen, because fifteen just seems like a nice, round number.

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Maybe We Shouldn’t Have Seized so Many of Those Russian Superyachts (November 7, 2022)

Maybe We Shouldn’t Have Seized so Many of Those Russian Superyachts (November 7, 2022)

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Photo: Gregory Bull (AP)

All those Russian superyachts that got seized when Russia invaded Ukraine are turning out to be money pits. Bloomberg reports that seized Russian superyachts are sitting at ports all over and running into money pits. And taxpayers may be the ones opening their wallets to maintain them.

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When Is a Ship a Yacht, and When Is It Not? (November 22, 2022)

When Is a Ship a Yacht, and When Is It Not? (November 22, 2022)

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Image: Lazzarini

Yachts have been in the news a lot more frequently in recent years. There have been stories like when a Dutch yacht builder requested to temporarily dismantle an iconic bridge in Rotterdam to get a 417-foot-long sailing yacht commissioned by Jeff Bezos out to sea, or when authorities around the world seized the yachts of Russian oligarchs in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Usually, the most notable yachts have the prefixes super-, mega- and even giga- attached to convey their truly enormous sizes relative to most other privately-owned vessels.

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