In an e-mail statement provided to TradeWinds, the company said: “As a result of the widespread reactions which have emerged over the last few days, Edward Heerema, president of the Allseas Group, has announced that the name of the vessel Pieter Schelte will be changed.

“It has never been an intention to offend anyone.”

The public outcry began a month ago, when the giant 403,342-gt vessel arrived at the port of Rotterdam for its final stage of construction.