Film characters to go head-to-head on the high seas

Royal Caribbean is to team up with DreamWorks Animation to offer themed cruise experiences, the company announced last week.

The alliance with DreamWorks, which produced the Shrek, Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda films, will allow Royal Caribbean to compete with the extensive film-based entertainment found onboard Disney Cruise Line ships.

The deal means that consumers will be able to watch separate shows featuring DreamWorks characters in the AquaTheatre and on the ice rink onboard the Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas, which is set to launch later this year.

Royal Caribbean will also install 3D screens on the ships to allow guests to watch a catalogue of DreamWorks films in 3D during their cruise.

Characters such as Shrek, Fiona and Puss In Boots of Shrek; Alex, Mort, and the Penguins of Madagascar; Po of Kung Fu Panda and Hiccup of How to Train Your Dragon will be sent to sea to entertain guests in events, parades, "character meals" and photo opportunities.

The move will pitch Royal Caribbean directly against the Disney Cruise Line, which offers entertainment featuring characters from Toy Story, Finding Nemo and Monsters Inc., as well as traditional Disney characters Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Donald Duck.

Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas liner, which will be the first of the fleet to welcome DreamWorks characters, will launch in December, only one month before Disney Cruise Line's latest ship the Disney Dream.