Family owned & client-driven since 1927

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We are Damen

Damen stands for fellowship, craftsmanship, entrepreneurship and stewardship. A family company, we are committed to securing tomorrow for the next generation, caring for our oceans, seas, lakes and rivers. Through our comprehensive portfolio of maritime services, we enable humanity to responsibly harness the opportunities our waters present. In the previous century, we introduced standardised shipbuilding in series. Facing the future, we aim to combine our heritage with innovation to become the world’s most sustainable shipbuilder.

Meet the Damens

Three Generations

As a family business, our primary concern lies in the future—the next generation. This implies our commitment to providing you with a solution that not only upholds reliability but also embraces responsibility. Being a third-generation family company, Damen consistently adopts a forward-looking approach, considering the long-term implications of every action. On this page, we invite you to meet the generations of Damen and acquaint with our story.

Our story

Beginnings (1927 - 1939)

Our story begins with the brothers Jan and Rien Damen opening a small yard on the River Merwede in Hardinxveld, the Netherlands. By the end of the 1930s, though still a small concern, Damen was nonetheless successful and had delivered its 100th vessel.
Our story

A new era (1969 - 1975)

The second generation begins as Kommer Damen takes over the company with a new vision – standardised shipbuilding. Damen is on the move. To ensure its ability to meet growing demand, Damen moves its HQ down the river to Gorinchem.
Our story

Going global (1978 - 2000)

Damen begins to construct vessels outside the Netherlands. Over the coming years, the company expands its operations, acquiring De Groot (1988), Amels (1992) and Royal Schelde (2000) entering the dredging, yachting and naval markets.
Our story

Taking a bow (2006)

Damen is involved in the development of the Sea Axe Bow. This revolutionary hull form increases safety and onboard comfort and offers more efficient sailing. Its distinctive shape is a hallmark by which many Damen vessels can be recognised.
Our story

The next generation (2020)

Arnout Damen, son of Kommer, becomes CEO. Arnout’s appointment comes at an exciting time for the company as it aligns towards the future with a focus on sustainability, digitalisation and operational excellence.
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Listen to our inspiring podcast that tells you the story of a small company transforming into a global shipbuilder

Key figures

Turnover (2023)

billion EUR

Damen Shipyards Group worldwide


Shipyards worldwide


Damen employees


Ships yearly delivered

ships delivered yearly

Ships delivered in 2023

ships delivered in '23

We operate globally, so we are never far away

We build vessels either at our own yards or at our numerous partner yards around the world.

Discover Damen companies

Our strategic focus

  • Customer centric

    Our customer centric approach is focused on being relevant and aiming for long-lasting relationships with our clients in the global maritime environment, supporting them in every step of the lifecycle of their fleet with innovative solutions.

  • Operational Excellence

    To us, our focus on operational excellence means that our work is never done. We are continually seeking ways in which we can improve our processes and, as a result, our products and services. The world is changing and we aim to change with it in order to be successful - for us and for our customers. This means working together, as One Damen, recognising the needs of our customers and working to ensure we deliver them. Ultimately, our drive for operational excellence is about providing you with solutions that are reliable, low risk and, crucially, profitable and sustainable.

  • Digitalisation

    Digitalisation will enable us to support our clients throughout the lifetime of their vessels with services and performance upgrades to maximise effectivity, efficiency and profitability. As a digital solution provider, Damen will expand its rule in the aftersales market, translating our data and knowledge into advisory and supporting services. Information will be used to create a digital twin, connected to the actual vessel, turning it into a smart ship able to perform optimally.

  • Sustainability

    At Damen, sustainability is about creating added value for economical, societal and environmental purposes. We believe firmly that by embracing sustainability we ensure our continued growth and relevance for the future. Our sustainability strategy is built on three pillars: sustainable solutions, sustainable operations, sustainable organisation.

Oceans of possibilities

At Damen, we believe that oceans, seas, lakes and rivers offer humanity a growing range of possibilities in the areas of trade, food, energy and recreation.