Virgin founder and entrepreneur, Richard Branson has confirmed he is looking to enter the cruising sector, and could have a ship at sea within five years.

Branson told a German newspaper, Handelsblatt, that he is currently in talks with shipyards to determine where he will build his large ships.

“We are already in negotiations with shipyards in Italy and Germany on the construction of big ships for Virgin Cruises,” he said.

Although the multi-billionaire has remained relatively tight-lipped about the project, Branson said the first ship could launch by 2019.

According to the newspaper, he will invest US$1.7 billion into the project, which is designed to compete with major cruise players – Royal Caribbean International and Carnival Corporation.

Further details are expected in the coming months.