Maritime transport group Irish Continental is to build the largest cruise ferry in the world.
The company, which operates Irish Ferries, has announced it will invest €165.2m to build the new ferry for its Dublin-Holyhead route.
The group has entered into an agreement with the German company Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft.
Irish Continental Group says upon completion, it will be the largest cruise ferry in the world in terms of vehicle capacity.
It will accommodate 1,800 passengers and crew, with capacity for 5,610 freight lane metres - which provides the capability to carry 330 freight units per sailing.
Overall, it will effectively be a 50% increase in peak freight capacity compared to the MV Ulysses.
The cruise ferry is scheduled to be delivered before the middle of 2020.
Some 20% of the contract price will be paid in installments during the construction period - the remaining 80% will be paid on delivery.
The cruise ferry is being built specifically for Irish Ferries Dublin-Holyhead services, and is expected to replace the schedule of the MV Ulysses, which in turn will replace the currently chartered vessel MV Epsilon in the fleet.
Irish Continental, which is listed on the Irish Stock Exchange, say this will allow for the deployment of the WB Yeats (from mid-2018) full-time on the direct Ireland-France route alongside the MV Oscar Wilde.
Passenger facilities will be spread over three decks, including a choice of bars, restaurants and state-of-the-art entertainment options.