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Shipyard De Hoop Celebrates its 130-Year Anniversary

Shipyard De Hoop is celebrating its 130th anniversary as a designer, engineer and builder of custom-built vessels. For the occasion, the company hosted a big celebration in November 2019. The event was held in the yard’s own welding shed, which gave it an industrial yet domestic feel. Some 700 people of around 20 nationalities attended the festivities, including the yards own employees, business relations and other stakeholders.

Shipyard De Hoop origins lie in Lobith-Tolkamer in 1889. The shipyard’s facilities were partially destroyed by fires on several occasions and completely destroyed during the Second World War. After the war, a modern yard was built and the production of a large variety of advanced vessels began.

The nineties were important for the shipyard, as it marked the debut of De Hoop on several niche markets, such as inland passenger cruise vessels and offshore vessels. In January 1999, De Hoop acquired the former Verolme Shipyards in Heusden and renamed it De Hoop Heusden. With the acquisition of Houma Fabricators in Louisiana, USA, renaming it De Hoop Houma in 2001, the American offshore market opened up for De Hoop and they were awarded a series of orders from offshore suppliers. The three building facilities complemented each other well and, in collaboration, they could not only accept more, but also larger projects.

In 2004, Patrick Janssens joined the board at De Hoop and the strategy was adjusted to keep up with the changing economy. The shipyard in Heusden was sold in 2005 and the yard in Louisiana in 2006, in order to strengthen the yard’s focus on innovative shipbuilding, which was in high demand. The combined shipbuilding and design knowledge of the three yards was regrouped to form the basis of a comprehensive engineering department. In 2007, when the economy seemed healthy and the market was picking up, De Hoop acquired De Volharding shipyard in Foxhol, in the northern part of the Netherlands, renaming it De Hoop Foxhol. In October 2007, Patrick Janssens took over both yards in a management buyout.

In 2014, when it was already foreseeable that the offshore market would decline, De Hoop scored the largest offshore order in the world at the time: a series of ten modern offshore supply vessels for Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC). In recent years, the yard has built a series of shallow draft tugs for Kazakhstan, various luxurious river cruise vessels, Fast Supply Intervention Ships, Special Mission Vessels and more. Furthermore, for the first time in almost 60 years, De Hoop commenced the design and construction of an upmarket seagoing cruise ship: Celebrity Flora (for Celebrity Cruises, part of Royal Caribbean Cruises).

De Hoop’s order portfolio today comprises a great variety of vessels, ranging from very exquisite (design) vessels, such as expedition cruise ships and river cruise vessels, to sturdy Special Mission Vessels.