Going on an Alaska cruise trip can prove to be one of the most memorable trips of your life and since summer is here, it is the best time to plan a trip along with your family.
Alaska is known for its amazingly diverse wildlife and stunning landscapes. To experience and witness everything, you need a good quality pair of binoculars.
I have done all the ground research here by analyzing different binoculars and picked up some suitable choices for you, in case you want to invest in the best inexpensive binoculars for Alaska cruise.
The best binocular should be rugged and good enough to provide you with great quality views so you don’t miss out on a thing while cruising on sea or onshore excursions.
Quick Answer: Here are my top 4 binoculars for Alaska cruising.
- Steiner Marine Binocular – High end, brilliant quality durable binocular
- Hooway Waterproof Binocular – With Compass and Rangefinder
- Celestron Nature Binocular – Best for nature and ocean viewing
- Vanstarry Kids Binocular – Best for kids, families and beginners
Here is an interesting video on Alaska Cruising. Get inspiration and book your trip now!
Here is a comprehensive guide on how to choose the best binoculars for the Alaska cruise?
How to choose the best binoculars for Alaska Cruise
Choosing a binocular has never been an easy task- what with market saturation and all that?
A seemingly easy task will turn into a confusing one, once you dive deep in the realms of binoculars.
All the terms and technicalities can easily overwhelm you, especially if you want something specific- like the best binoculars for your upcoming Alaska cruise trip.
But you need not worry because right here, I am going to tell you about a few things that should be your priority while choosing ship binoculars.
So, here we go.
#1 Buy waterproof and fog proof binoculars
As the weather patterns in Alaska are quite unstable, you should always prefer waterproof and Fog proof binoculars.
These binoculars are O-ring sealed and Nitrogen purged, so even if they get wet, you will get a clear picture and the internal lens won’t get damaged.
#2 Buy non-slip sturdy binoculars
Go with binoculars that are rubber-armoured and have a non-slip grip. Non-slip binoculars will serve you well because even if the external casing gets wet, they won’t easily slip off your hands.
#3 Buy binoculars with high image quality
Going to Alaska means you will get to witness nature in its most beautiful form in all shapes and sizes. From wildlife to beautiful vistas, Alaska won’t disappoint you.
But you need to have binoculars that will provide you with a clear view and image quality so you can enjoy the most out of your trip.
#4 Shockproof binoculars
Shock-proof binoculars are good to have by your side if you accidentally drop them. They can absorb shock and not get damaged.
It’s a worthy investment because no one likes spending a hefty amount on binoculars every now and then.
#5 Look for floating binoculars
Most ship binoculars these days have floating binoculars feature. It means that if you drop the binoculars in the water while on the cruise (it can really happen if you are sloppy like me), the binoculars won’t sink to the bottom and keep floating on the surface.
A dependable feature to have in your cruise binoculars.
#6 Look out for ideal magnification
This part is quite tricky as you will be tempted to go for higher magnification- but that is not always a wise choice.
As you will be on a moving cruise, you should not go for binoculars with more than 7x magnification.
If you go for higher magnification, the image stability will get compromised and every bump and move will be magnified too.
#7 Invest in a High-Quality binocular
It will be nice to use your cruise binoculars for your future endeavours, so opt for a good quality binocular. You can have fun with your binoculars even when the trip is over.
A good-quality binocular is a durable one and can be used for quite some time.
#8 Buy marine binoculars
Marine binoculars are specially designed keeping in mind all the nautical aspects which is why these binoculars are compact and lightweight compared to other binoculars.
If you like watching whales and other marine creatures, do check my guide on the whale watching binoculars.
#9 Binocular with compass and rangefinder
Most marine binoculars come with internal compass and rangefinder. If you want to determine the size and location of the objects, it is a must-have feature for you.
By following this guide, you can easily choose the best binoculars for cruising.
Top 8 best inexpensive binoculars for Alaska Cruise reviews
To make the binocular buying decision even easier, I have picked up 8 top rated binoculars for your Alaska cruise trip.
1. Nikon ACULON Zoom Binocular
Nikon is a trusted brand in the market when durability is your first concern. Nikon Aculon zoom binocular is an ideal binocular for your Alaska Cruise trip because with zoom feature you can see everything down to its tiniest details.
Many zoom binoculars do not focus very well and as you zoom in, they lose focus and you have to zoom out a bit to gain the focus. But that is not the case with NIKON.
Even while fully zoomed in, they still stay focused and crystal clear! What a nice little perk to have while on a cruise trip. Also, the zoom lever works like a charm.
The Eco-Glass lenses provide you with maximum clarity so you don’t miss out on a thing. This is the best binocular for cruising because it is inexpensive but the performance is up to the mark from every aspect.
With a smooth central focus knob, you can quickly focus your binoculars when you spot something worth watching.
Nikon Aculon binoculars are rugged and clad in rubber armour so the wet and slippery environment of Alaska won’t hurt it one bit. Perfect match for a perfect trip!
- Magnification power is 8X.
- Lens diameter is 50 mm.
- Zoom power is 10x-22x.
- Item weight is 32 oz.
- Item dimensions are 8.58 x 4.25 x 4.25 in.
- Field of view @1000 m is 199 ft.
- Turn and slide eyecups ideal for easy viewing experience.
2. Celestron Nature DX 8×42 Binocular
Celestron nature binocular aims at providing the best for nature and outdoor enthusiasts. The nature DX 8×42 binoculars will add more splendour to your Alaska cruise trip and turn it into a memorable one.
The phase-coated Bak-4 prisms makes the wildlife stand out by increasing the contrast. You will not have a hard time spotting whales, eagles, bears and other wildlife.
These are mid-sized binoculars that are fog-proof and water-proof so you can lug them around without any worry. In wet weather of Alaska, you need a product that can withstand all the harsh blows the terrible weather throws its way.
Celestron Nature DX binoculars are super affordable and the picture quality is stunning. Fully multi-coated lens coatings will let you see everything around the cruise with spotless accuracy.
The wider field of view of Nature DX binocular will let you take in all the beauty of great Alaska and you can enjoy nature to its fullest.
This binocular is best for cruising because they are pretty lightweight- an ideal trait to have in travel binoculars.
Ergonomic design and good construction material make them a popular choice for birders and nature lovers.
- The item weight is 1.75 pounds.
- Item dimensions are 5.5 x 2 x4.9 inches.
- Magnification is 8x.
- Lens diameter is 42 mm.
- Field of view is 388 @1000 yards.
3. Wingspan Optics Spectator 8×32 Binocular Review
Best binoculars for cruising are the ones that are compact, lightweight and generates an image that is crystal clear and crisp. Wingspan Optics Spectator 8×32 binoculars meet all these standards and more.
Fully multi-coated lenses help you enjoy wild-life and far off views, on the cruise, with clarity and detail.
The wider field of view is also an advantage when you want to spot wildlife while on the cruise.
Wingspan Optics 8×32 has on “point focus” that lets you focus from wide field to sharpest focus in a jiffy.
This high-quality binocular will make a perfect companion for your Alaska cruise trip because it is fog proof and waterproof, a worthy feature to have when you are exposed to every kind of weather element.
For the price, the overall quality is excellent and the binoculars feel GOOD in your hand. The non-slip design makes it a durable and long-lasting pair of optics to own.
It is very user-friendly and the ergonomic design is complemented by the use of the thumb-grooves, on both sides of the binocular, which lets you hold them easily, even for extended viewing sessions.
The lens caps are attached so you don’t lose them again and again. This binocular also comes with a neck strap and a high-quality padded cover case.
- Magnification power is 8x.
- The lens diameter is 32 mm.
- The item dimensions are 4.5 x 4.5 x 1.75 inches.
- Wide field of view, 362 feet @1000 yards.
- This binocular weighs 15.2 ounces
- Inexpensive and high-quality binocular
- Longer eye relief of 14.8 mm.
4. Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fog proof Binocular Review
Bushnell H2O binocular will make your Alaska cruise trip better and enjoyable because you won’t miss anything with Bushnell by your side.
Whether it is humpback whales in the water or the eagles on the mountain: you are ensured to not miss a thing with this amazing binocs.
These 7X50 binoculars are best binoculars for a ship, for the fact that they generate an image that is well-stabilized and clear.
For your Alaska cruise tour, Wildlife and bird watching is the main attraction and this Bushnell binocular will meet all your requirements.
Well-made and sturdy, this binocular is a bargain you cannot refuse. The pictures generated are bright and clear.
Equipped with Bak-4 prism and multi-layered optical coatings, this binocular will be an asset for your Alaska cruise tour.
Being O-ring sealed and nitrogen purged, Bushnell H2O are great inexpensive binocular for Alaska cruise trip because even if they are wet, the internal lens won’t get wet hence providing you a clear picture.
- Waterproof, fog proof, perfect for travel
- Big focusing knob provides easy adjustment
- Sturdy and non-slip armour
- 7x magnification and 50 mm lens diameter
- Equipped with Bak-4 prism
- Lightweight and compact
- Reasonable price tag without affecting the quality
5. Vanstarry 8×21 Kids Binoculars Review
Kids are very curious creatures and they want to explore everything. A good binocular will make a great gift for your kids and they can utilize it on the cruise trip too.
Vanstarry 8×21 kids’ binoculars is an excellent binocular for kids. It is kids friendly and has soft rubber eye-contact so your child’s eyes don’t get hurt.
As kids are known to be clumsy, Vanstarry binocular is drop-resistant and durable.
You will also get a neck strap so your child can easily carry them around and don’t misplace it.
Don’t be fooled by the tag “kids’ binoculars”, as they are pretty high quality. Bak-4 prism and high-quality lenses provide a crystal clear image perfect for wildlife spotting, Bird watching and for ship use.
This cute binocular comes with an even prettier carrying case which makes it a travel-friendly gadget. Also, it protects the binoculars and keeps it away from accidents and mishaps.
The price and the performance of this binocular are unmatched. You can also gift it to your kids or your friend’s kids as this is such a unique product. I bet all kids will love it.
- Perfect binoculars for little boys and girls
- Satisfy their curiosity and exploring thirst with this inexpensive Vanstarry binoculars
- Kids friendly design, Drop safe and durable
- Easy to focus perfect for kids
- Bak-4 prism for clean and clear pictures
- Suitable for kids from age 3 to 12.
6. Hooway 7×50 Marine Binocular with Rangefinder and Compass
If you want a binocular that can be used for different purposes such as fishing, boating, hunting, marine, and water sports, HOOWAY 7×50 waterproof binocular won’t disappoint you.
Hooway binocular is a floating binocular which means even if you drop it while on board, it won’t sink rather keeps on floating.
The large ocular lens provides you extra wide view and that too in HD quality.
With Bak-4 prism and fully multi-coated lenses, you are going to experience colour-corrected and uber-sharp images in clarity.
Hooway binocular is military suitable so it is IPX7 waterproof and fog proof and suitable for even extreme weather conditions.
Armed with a built-in compass and range finder, you can determine the location, size, and extent of an object. Perfect for Wild-life viewing.
Individual focusing system lets you adjust the focus to satisfy the visionary requirements of both your eyes. You can set the individual focus by using left and right diopter adjustment.
Construction material is tough and sturdy along with an ergonomic design that won’t tire your hands.
The objective lens colour is green which looks pretty cool…flaunt it on your Alaska cruise tour all you want!
- Magnification power is 7x.
- Lens diameter is 50 mm.
- Wider field of view of 396@1000 yards.
- Extended eye relief of 23 mm.
- The item dimensions are 200 x 85 x 150 mm.
- Comes with useful accessories like a carry case, neck strap, lens cap, floating strap, etc.
7. Steiner Model Marine 7×50 Binoculars Review
Steiner marine 7×50 binocular is the best ship binocular because it is ALWAYS focus-ready. This feature is worthy if you are taking a cruise trip because it is difficult to adjust focus on a ship or cruise generally.
Everything within 20 yards radius is already focused so if you are hoping for a rare sight, this binocular will save you precious time.
Steiner is a trademark name when it comes to making durable and tough products. Suitable for military and marine, this 7×50 binocular is sure to survive all weather conditions.
The rubber armour is non-slip and friendly to grip.
Not to mention, it is fog proof and water-proof and even if you drop it in the water while on the ship, it will remain intact.
Advance lens coating and the high-quality marine glass provides an image that is colour corrected and bright.
Steiner Marine is made in Germany so the built quality and over-all finishing are excellent.
- Bak-4 prism and superior quality glass render incredibly bright pictures.
- Waterproof and fog proof, an excellent choice for wet conditions.
- Always focus readily.
- Comes with neck strap, rain guard and lens cap.
- Steiner heritage lifetime warranty, no warranty card or receipts needed.
8. BARSKA Deep Sea 7×50 Waterproof Binocular Review
This deep sea binoculars by Barska is a must-have for outdoor enthusiasts and people who love cruising. They are perfect for your Alaska cruise trip as Barska has designed these binoculars according to your needs.
Here is why I say that:
Firstly, this 7×50 binocular by BARSKA is a floating binocular which mean if you accidentally drop it in the sea, they will keep floating on the surface. This way you can quickly grab your precious binoculars.
This feature is a life-saver, really.
Barska deep-sea binocular also comes with a built-in range finder and illuminated compass. With the compass, you can navigate the sea easily and spot your targets.
The internal light is red which is suitable for range finding scale and compass.
Fully multi-coated lens and Bak-4 prism provide you with brightened pictures with minimal discolouration.
This binocular is waterproof and Fog proof which again makes them pretty ideal for cruise trips and marine adventures.
- Field of view is 395 feet@1000 yards
- Magnification of 7x
- Lens diameter is 50 mm
- Keeps floating if dropped in water
- 23mm extended eye relief
- Built-in range finder and compass for better navigation
6 tips you need to know before you go Alaska Cruising
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is the best month to cruise to Alaska?
The most recommended time for cruising to Alaska is, from the end of April to September. July to August can be quite busy as these months witness quite a bit of rainfall. For wildlife viewing, the hot weather is ideal. Plan your trip further into the summer if you want to catch some marine life and wildlife.
If you are looking for reasonable cruise fares, May and September are your best bets. But bear in mind, that due to the unpredictable weather, you may not get the chance to take a cruise trip as they get cancelled frequently.
If you are keen on catching northern lights, September is the best month. However, the Gulf of Alaska is quite stormy so keep that in mind while planning your trip.
Q. Which cruise line is the best for Alaska?
The good thing is that every Cruise line has one cruise available for Alaska. The most recommended cruise lines are Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Princess, Disney, Norwegian, and Holland America.
For more exclusive experience (that includes wildlife viewing), you can go for luxury cruises such as Crystal, Oceania, Windstar, Viking ocean, etc.
Q. What is the best side of the ship for Alaska cruise?
When you are cruising on the sea, it is highly unlikely that you are going to miss anything staying on the particular side because come on, it’s a sea after all.
Most people get confused about which side to choose: Port or Starboard? Both of them refer to the left and right side of the ship.
Does staying on one side really makes that much of a difference?
The difference is very little as you are out in the open sea. Moreover, the cabins on both sides have the same layout.
If it is scenic cruising, the captain of the ship will most likely turn the ship around if you come across something significant.
Apart from that, you can always head out on the top deck to get a good view as that is the best place for getting clear views.
If you are on a cruise that sails in one direction like one way south or northbound Alaska cruise and if you want to see the sunset, choose a port side.
To experience sunrise while sailing north or west, you can also choose the port side.
Q. Is it worth getting a balcony on a cruise?
This is the most common and confusing question which is the reason the answer here is subjective. Having your own private veranda on a cruise -where you can enjoy all that nature has to offer- is the best thing to have.
But it all comes with a price tag attached.
Which is why you have to consider all the pros and cons before making this decision.
When you are sailing, especially to Alaska or Norwegian, having a balcony is quite preferable because you will get to witness most beautiful waterfalls, mighty glaciers, Green Island and wildlife.
It’s natural to head out on the front deck to have a view so it can get crowded. A private veranda can come in handy if you don’t prefer the hustle bustle and wants to enjoy the natural scenery in private while relaxing.
Q. Which cruise line has the largest balcony cabins?
Sailing on the ship these days doesn’t have to be bumpy and unpleasant at all. The cruise standards have improved significantly and now they offer different sized luxurious rooms with large balcony cabins.
If you want to relax in your own room and spend more time there, check out the list below to get an idea of which cruise line has the best balcony cabins?
- Royal Caribbean, royal loft suite, 2253-2474 square ft.
- Cunard cruised, queen’s grill pant house, 2249 square ft.
- Princess Cruises, a family suite with balcony, 1781 square ft.
- Norwegian Cruise line, haven 3 bedroom garden villa, 4251-6695 square ft.
- Celebrity Cruises, reflection suite, 1830 square ft.
Q. Which deck level is best on a cruise?
Central location: decks in the middle of the ship usually do not witness much of a traffic and the hustle bustle that is apparent upfront is more subdued here.
Moreover, if you suffer from motion sickness, this a place to be. If you don’t like trudging from one end of the ship to other, well, the centre of the ship is a good choice.
The rear of the ship: most upfront decks are crowded as everyone thinks you can get a better view from there but that is not always the case.
A seasoned cruiser will tell you that you can immensely enjoy landscapes and sceneries from the rear of the ship as well. And that too in a more relaxing and calm environment.
As the rear is not a popular place to be and there is much less traffic here.
I would recommend to check the cruise critic for planning and preparing your next cruise adventure.
Q. Is Royal Caribbean or Carnival better?
The experience is almost the same, with more similarity and fewer differences, as these both are the most popular cruise liners in America.
So if you are a fun-loving person and love having food (that too free), Carnival is a winner. For more exclusive and elegant cruising experience you should definitely go with Royal Caribbean.
For more fun-filled cruise adventure, Royal Caribbean takes the cake. Although carnival is not particularly lacking in this department, Royal Caribbean offers cool new things like tallest water slide into the sea, ice skating, surf simulator.
Carnival sticks to traditional things like movies, pools, jogging tracks, golf, etc.
So we are done with our best picks here. I have done all the legwork here for you to help you choose the best inexpensive binoculars for Alaska cruise.
While picking up all the above-mentioned products, I have taken care to keep in mind all the feature that comes in handy while you are cruising to Alaska.
All the binoculars mentioned in this articles are best in their own regard.
However, here are my top 3 favourites:
Looking for kids friendly binoculars that are cute and performs exceptionally well? Vanstarray Kids binocular will not disappoint you. Your kids will have fun exploring and inspecting different things.
If you want the best quality in lesser price, Wingspan optics spectator binoculars will meet all your needs. High-quality pictures with ready to focus system make it the best binocular for ships.
If you want the guarantee of longevity and durability along with high performance, Steiner marine binocular is where you should invest your money.
Also, read my complete guide on choosing binoculars for beginners.