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A historic luxury boat has arrived in Cornwall after catching a lift on the world’s largest yacht transporter. Built in 1936, the 127ft motor yacht Amazone, which was used during the Dunkirk evacuation Operation Dynamo in 1940, has been delivered to Pendennis Shipyard in Falmouth, where it will undergo a refit.

However, this was an Amazone delivery with a difference, making the journey from France inside the huge, purpose-built Yacht Servant. Becoming the world’s largest yacht transporter when it was launched in 2022, the 700ft ship is capable of carrying up to 36 superyachts.

Leaving Le Harve in France on Sunday (February 11) Yacht Servant arrived in Falmouth the following afternoon. After being postponed for a day, the 88-year-old luxury yacht Amazone was towed out of the transporter ship in the early hours of yesterday (Wednesday, February 14).

Yacht Servant is a semi-submersible vessel, capable of taking on ballast water until the main deck is flooded. Yachts can then be floated in or out from the stern of the ship. With the other vessels in her load securely fastened, Amazone was carefully towed out of Yacht Servant at first light before being taken around the docks to Pendennis Shipyard.

Put up for sale eight years ago for £1.5 million by its then-owner architect Mireille Huet, Amazone hit the headlines when it was widely reported in the press that the classic motor boat had originally been commissioned by wartime prime minister Winston Churchill. In fact, the luxury yacht was originally built for Commander Léon Andrien Hemeleers-Shenley of the Belgium Embassy by Thornycroft Shipyard in Southampton.

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The story goes that Amazone was paid for by the Commander’s wife, Una, and three years after being built, was laid up in Thornycroft Shipyard while its ownership was disputed between the couple. It stayed in Southampton until it was commandeered by the Admiralty, at Churchill’s disposal, for Operation Dynamo in 1940.

Known as the Miracle of Dunkirk, the evacuation of Allied soldiers from France saw nearly 340,000 men rescued over the course of eight days. As the German Army advanced, a fleet of over 800 boats including Amazone rescued soldiers from France’s beaches, taking them back to the safety of England.

Amazone is reported to have made at least three trips across the English Channel, bringing almost 550 troops back to the UK. It is believed that the yacht is one of just two surviving small barges to have been part of the effort.

Following the war, Amazone was renamed My Evangeline and Welsh Liberty, when it was part of a fleet of luxury charter yachts in Wales. Now, having been safely delivered under her original name, it is hoped that a spell of TLC at Pendennis Shipyard in Falmouth could see Amazone return to her former glory.

There are 27 pictures in this photo story – click on the Next button at the bottom of the page to see them all.

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The 700-foot Yacht Servant was spotted on the horizon passing St Anthony’s Lighthouse in the afternoon of Monday, February 12.

(Image: Greg Martin / Cornwall Live)

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The yacht transporter is capable of carrying up to 36 vessels.

(Image: Greg Martin / Cornwall Live)

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For this journey, it was travelling relatively light, with only four boats on board.

(Image: Greg Martin / Cornwall Live)

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It was the first time that Yacht Servant has visited Falmouth.

(Image: Greg Martin / Cornwall Live)

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The ship is very wide, with a beam of 46 metres.

(Image: Greg Martin / Cornwall Live)

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The largest of its kind, Yacht Servant has 6,300 square meters of deck space.

(Image: Greg Martin / Cornwall Live)

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As the ship approached the harbour, it attracted a lot of attention.

(Image: Greg Martin / Cornwall Live)

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Heading for Falmouth Docks, the yacht transporter passed Pendennis Shipyard, the intended destination for Amazone.

(Image: Greg Martin / Cornwall Live)

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The weather could not have been better for the arrival of the huge ship.

(Image: Greg Martin / Cornwall Live)

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One of the most technically advanced yacht carriers glides in front of the National Maritime Museum Cornwall.

(Image: Greg Martin / Cornwall Live)

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The last sunlight of the day reflects off the starboard side of Yacht Servant.

(Image: Greg Martin / Cornwall Live)

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Looking from behind, it was just possible to catch a glimpse of the vessels on board.

(Image: Greg Martin / Cornwall Live)

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The massive ship turns towards the docks in Falmouth.

(Image: Greg Martin / Cornwall Live)

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Yacht Servant docks at County Wharf on Monday afternoon.

(Image: Greg Martin / Cornwall Live)

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As the light fades, the ship is safely docked in Falmouth.

(Image: Greg Martin / Cornwall Live)

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With its gate open at the stern, it was possible to get a first look at Amazone on Tuesday, February 13.

(Image: Greg Martin / Cornwall Live)

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The 1936 motor yacht was dwarfed by its surroundings.

(Image: Greg Martin / Cornwall Live)

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The ‘float out’ operation had been due to take place on the morning of Tuesday, February 13, but ended up being postponed.

(Image: Greg Martin / Cornwall Live)

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It was clear to see that Amazone was not in great condition.

(Image: Greg Martin / Cornwall Live)

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In the darkness of Wednesday morning, February 14, ballast water is taken on causing Yacht Servant to sink lower, letting water flood the main deck.

(Image: Greg Martin / Cornwall Live)

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This technique of floating boats in and out of the main deck means there is no need for cranes or dry docks.

(Image: Greg Martin / Cornwall Live)

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In the first light of the day, Amazone is carefully towed out of Yacht Servant.

(Image: Greg Martin / Cornwall Live)

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Once clear of the huge ship, the 88-year-old motor yacht was towed away towards the shipyard.

(Image: Greg Martin / Cornwall Live)

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Amazone takes one last look at Yacht Servant after catching a ride from France.

(Image: Greg Martin / Cornwall Live)

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The 127-foot yacht has seen better days.

(Image: Greg Martin / Cornwall Live)

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Within no time at all, Amazone reaches Pendennis Shipyard, which specialises in superyacht refits.

(Image: Greg Martin / Cornwall Live)

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Hopefully, when Amazone reappears from the shipyard she will be in finer form

(Image: Greg Martin / Cornwall Live)

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