The 51,000 tons mega-ferry Ulysses started her annual refit on Tuesday after arriving from Holyhead.

Ulysses has almost 3 miles of parking space for 1,342 cars or 240 articulated trucks per sailing.

The ferry, in its scale, its grandeur and its technical specifications, set new standards for the construction of passenger ferries in the 21st century.

Built in the shipyard of Aker Finnyards in Rauma, Finland, Ulysses was constructed between mid-1999 and Feb 2001 at a total cost of £100 million. The ship was named in Dublin by 25 year old Irish para-olympic gold medal swimming star Mairead Berry.

The ferry stands 12 decks high towering over other vessels at a height of 167 feet (51 metres) from keel to mast. The 22 knot Ulysses operates two return sailings between Dublin Port and Holyhead each day with a sailing time of just over three hours. This means that in just one single day of operations, she has the capacity to transport 5,368 cars or 960 articulated trucks across the Irish Sea.

She is named in honour of James Joyce's Ulysses, the book that immortalised the life of Dublin on 16 June 1904.