Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri has signed a contract with France's SNCM to build a 44,500 gt ferry to be used mainly on the Marseilles to North Africa routes.
The new vessel will be 574 ft. (175 m) long and able to transport 2,200 passengers in 470 cabins and 320 pullman seats. The ferry will also accommodate 700 cars, a Fincantieri spokesperson said.
No financial details were given, but industry sources said the contract was worth around $126 million.
The ferry will be built in Fincantieri's Ancona yard and delivered in spring 2002.