Royal Bodewes has been building efficient and high quality vessels for well over 200 years. We are proud of our rich history and the progress we have made. From the wooden shipbuilder that we were in 1812 to the innovative and sustainable shipbuilder that we are today. 


Royal Bodewes is founded

The shipyard produces wooden barges and coastal vessels in Martenshoek, the Netherlands..


Introduction of the diesel engine

This leads to the construction of motorised barges and coastal vessels. Sailing vessels and steamships are build.


First fully powered ships

The first fully powered (without sails) coastal vessels are build.


Second World War

The Netherlands become involved in the Second World War. German occupiers take over the shipyard.


HRH Prince Bernhard visits Bodewes

HRH Prince Bernhard, husband of Queen Juliana, visits the shipyard.


New construction hall

A new construction hall is built. The business operates its own shipping company with an average fleet of five vessels.


Multi-purpose ro-ro vessels

A contract is signed to build two multi-purpose ro-ro vessels, the very first of its kind.


The Bodewes yard is fully family owned again.


Nescos Shipping B.V. is founded

Bodewes and UAL arrive at a partnership for building and operating Eco Trader 8700 vessels. Nescos Shipping B.V. is founded for this purpose.


Royal designation

A royal designation is received by Bodewes at the celebration of its 200th jubilee. Bodewes Shipyards changes its name to Royal Bodewes.


New production hall

A new production hall is built. This is another huge step forward for the yards’ efficiency and capacity.


World’s first newly built hybrid

Royal Bodewes builds the world’s first newly built hybrid self-discharger MV Aasfjell.


Unique Polynesian order for Bodewes

The Polynesian Navigation Company concludes an agreement with Royal Bodewes for the construction of a new ro-ro cargo vessel.


Ironclad and steel clad vessels

The company introduces ironclad and, later, steel clad vessels.


Expansion in Hasselt, the Netherlands

The company is expanded by the purchase of a shipyard in Hasselt, the Netherlands by new director Hendrik Bodewes.


Wall Street Crash, shipyards separated

Due to the Wall Street Crash, the two shipyards are separated. The former main location goes bankrupt, but makes a recovery.


Launch with tragic consequences

During the launch of the Rian, the vessel capsizes and an employee tragically loses his life.


Four sons take over

Senior Director Herman Bodewes dies. His four sons take over the business.


Management transferred to non-family members

The shipyard management no longer has family members to serve as successors. Management is transferred to non-family members.


Family back at helm

Management changes hands to Jan Smit and Harmannus Wilhelmus Bodewes: the family is back at the helm of the company. Herman Bodewes becomes Director of Bodewes and takes over management of the yard.


Building abroad

To meet demand, hull builders in Ukraine, China, India and Poland and construction companies in Romania are subcontracted.


Improving the yard’s infrastructure

The canal is widened and the construction hall is extended. An identical hall is built next to it.


Building of an innovative LNG Flexitanker

Once again, Royal Bodewes proves to be innovative. In its portfolio by then, are: LNG Flexitanker ‘Coralius’, eco-coasters and cement tankers.


Extension of the quay

The quay is extended, enabling the yard to build ships up to 120 m in length or two smaller vessels simultaneously.


First Asian order

Shipowner U-Ming orders a cement carrier with a length of 115 meters. It’s the first Asian order ever for Bodewes.


Building up to six vessels

Royal Bodewes is able to build up to six vessels a year as a result of innovations of the past years.

How we build

Royal Bodewes turns ideas into high quality products. In close consultation with our clients we build the most efficient, economical vessels in the world. Find out more about our unique building process.

Key facts about Royal Bodewes

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The people behind Royal Bodewes

Next generation shipping: Green, Lean and Clean

Shipping is a very sustainable method of logistics due to its efficient mode of transport. Because ships often last 20-25 years, in practice many ships sail with outdated techniques. With climate change becoming an increasingly important issue, Royal Bodewes – in anticipation of regulations that may come into force in the future – designs and builds highly environmentally friendly ships on the condition that these sustainable measures hardly increase the operating costs of the ships.