Your Alaska adventure needs the best device possible. It is challenging to see the shore from your ship without binoculars. The right bins are going to be crucial to having the best adventure possible. You don’t want to squint hoping to see a shadow of a majestic animal.

The binoculars you choose have to be rugged and able to take what the Alaskan climate throws at you. It could be bitterly cold on the deck. It might be windy, which throws sea spray around.

All of those obstacles can stand in the way of a great vacation if you don’t do your research. We have reviewed the top 5 binoculars for your Alaska cruise to be sure you get the right ones.

Best Binoculars for Cruise Comparison Table

Top 5 Binoculars for an Alaskan Cruise Review

Nikon 7577 Monarch 5 10 x 42 Binocular

Nikon has premium glass in all their binoculars from the Monarch 5 on to the newest ones. They’re lightweight and can be used on your next vacation – especially your Alaskan cruise. These bins give sharp, clear images that can even capture pictures with your smartphone.

Nikon 7577 Monarch 5 10 x 42 Binocular

These are the 10 x 42 mm binoculars. It will magnify the image by 10. The outer lens is 42 mm. With that diameter, you’re going to get a ton of light for clear images. It has extra-low dispersion glass that basically removes chromatic aberration.

The field of view for these binoculars is 288 feet at 1000 yards. The higher magnification makes the FOV a bit narrower than average. That’s not going to matter too much from the boat into the shore. The ship will move, and you can just keep your bins trained on the land as you coast past.

The rubber eyecups are going to provide 18.4 mm of eye relief. The 10x magnification will usually magnify your hand shake when moving. You can brace your arms on the railing as you look out at the coast. It won’t be as shaky.

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Great positives

Every feature of the 10 x 42 mm bins are going to make viewing easier while on a ship. The coated glass will remove any chromatic aberration. That’s usually a problem where you’ll see an aura of color around an object. Not a problem with these.

The rubber eyecups will rotate out of the way if you wear glasses. If you don’t wear eyeglasses, consider whether you’ll be wearing sunglasses. It might be a good idea to have rotating eyecups.

The focusing knob was easy to use. It’s not too tight, and it’s not too loose. You’ll be able to turn the knob a click at a time to get a sharp image in your lenses.

Minor concern

My only concern about these binoculars is that the field of view isn’t as wide as some other binoculars. The other features definitely make up for the 288-foot FOV.

Bushnell H20 Waterproof Binoculars

This company has been providing optics for sports and outdoor enthusiasts for years. The products have won awards for design and performance over the 65 years they’ve been in business. They always feature the latest technology for binoculars and other products – including the H20.

Bushnell H20 Waterproof Binoculars

The 10 x 42 binoculars are giving you a magnification of 10x. At 1000 yards, there will be a field of view 305 feet across. The lenses are 42 mm in diameter, which gives you 4.2 mm for exit pupil. All those features give you the benefit of more light into the lens. Fantastic images are viewable through this set of bins.

It has a BaK-4 prism for sharp images. There won’t be blurry edges or weird rings surrounding the viewed objects. The binoculars have coated lenses as well as the BaK-4 prism. The prism is a roof, which gives you a compact prism that won’t add any extra weight. They’ll still feel solid in your hands.

The H20 is named that because of the waterproofing. It has a textured grip, so you can get a really secure grip. The rubber armor will be very durable and absorbs the shock of the bins if they fall. The casing is waterproof as are the lenses. They’re sealed with o-rings. The interior was purged with nitrogen. It won’t become fogged with condensation.

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Great positives

On your Alaskan cruise, you’re going to be very near the water. It’ll splash over the sides. The air itself will be full of moisture. These bins will never allow water to penetrate the casing or lenses.

The textured grip on the outside of the casing is resistant to slipping. It could be covered in water, and you’ll never drop them. That’s important when you’re hanging near the side of the ship trying to see the wildlife.

Eyecups on these binoculars can be twisted out of the way if you wear glasses. They even work for people who need to wear sunglasses in sunny weather.

Minor concern

The textured grip can become uncomfortable over time. If you plan on holding the binoculars for long minutes, you might need to consider gloves. It might not be the right type of bins for you if you’re sensitive to ridges like those.

Vortex Optics Diamondback Roof Prism Binoculars

The Vortex Optics Diamondback bins are known for their quality when it comes to birdwatching. That’s why we are recommending them for your Alaskan cruise. From the ship, you’ll be able to see all manner of birds. If you can see birds, there’s no way you’ll miss bears and other wildlife from a distance.

Vortex Optics Diamondback Roof Prism Binoculars

Binoculars from this company range in magnification and lens diameter. They’re available in 8 x 28 all the way to 12 x 50. I’ll be talking about the 10 x 28 because that was the one chosen for comparison. It has a magnification of 8x and a lens diameter of 28 mm.

This set of binoculars is waterproof and fogproof. Argon purging accomplished the fogproofing of this bin. It won’t allow condensation inside the lens. The waterproofing is vital for getting the clearest look at the wildlife and landscape of the Alaskan wilderness.

The field of view is 273 feet at 1000 yards. This is one of the lightest binoculars from the company. Any other magnification and size will be heavier. It’s 13.5 ounces. Your arm will never tire from holding these binoculars during your trip.

Great positives

The eyecups can be twisted up or down to give you great eye relief. It’s 16 mm for viewing with eyeglasses. The interpupillary distance is 55 mm – 74 mm. It’s great for sunglasses, too.

These are light enough to carry with you at all times. When you’re glassing for hours, these won’t stress your arms or hands. They’re pretty compact and light, but won’t feel dwarfed in large hands.

They’re reasonably priced and provide incredible value. When you’re trying to decide on the perfect binos for your cruise, these will be perfect. They have everything you could need on your trip.

Minor concern

There is a lot of play in the focus wheel. You’re going to have to move the zoom wheel very slowly. That will ensure it doesn’t go flying past the amount of zoom you want.

Celestron 8 x 42 Nature DX Binoculars

The company was founded in 1960. By 1963, the company was featured on the cover of Sky and Telescope. They have won awards for their telescopes over the years. Binoculars are very similar to scopes in their optics. This is a company I feel very certain in recommending.

Celestron 8 x 42 Nature DX Binoculars

With 8×42 binoculars, you’re getting a magnification of 8x. The lenses are 42 mm. You’re getting a relative brightness of 27.56. That’s going to let in plenty of light. Images you view will depend on the brightness coming into the lenses. It’s much like a camera in that sense. With these bins, you’re getting a field of view at 1000 yards of 388 feet.

The prism is a Bak-4 roof one. The roof prism is lightweight and compact. That keeps the weight down on the binoculars. You’ll be able to hold them for as long as you want. The total weight of the bins is just 22 ounces. It also has a tripod adapter in case you want to mount it.

These binoculars are waterproof with rubber o-rings. No water will leak into the bins. You could stand in the pouring rain, and it still wouldn’t be a problem. A bit of sea spray won’t harm it at all. It’s also fogproof. The bins are filled with nitrogen. Changing temperatures will never cause the lenses to fog up.

Great positives

For your Alaskan cruise, waterproofing is important. Being on a ship means there’s moisture in the air. While you might expect the ship to be dry, the sea spray can whip around you.

This is a lightweight bin with a great prism. The images were sharp without the aura of color around objects. The lenses are fully multi-coated and the prism is phase coated.

While all of that is kind of technical, it means that the images are going to be sharp and clear. No fuzzy images or rainbow halos around the wildlife you want to see from the ship.

Minor concern

The adjustable eyecups are pretty loose. You’ll want to be very gentle when twisting them in or out. It feels like they could fall open too far with slight movement.

Athlon Optics Midas Binoculars

This is a company that understands optics. They make rifle scopes as well as binoculars. These are 8 x 42 binoculars with ED glass, a magnesium chassis, and a roof prism. They have many other features that make them great for your Alaskan cruise. At 1000 yards, they have a field of view measuring 426 feet.

Athlon Optics Midas Binoculars

The 8x magnification will bring objects to life before your eyes. You could be on the ship and see wildlife on the shore. The 42 mm diameter lenses are fully multi-coated. You’ll get a ton of light into the lens for clear images. They will provide the truest color, too.

Glass for the lenses are extra-low dispersion – or ED – glass. It has anti-reflection properties. It’s one more feature giving you the best images with no distortion or color problems. When you see anything off the side of the ship, it’s going to be a true reflection of what’s out there.

The binoculars are waterproof and fogproof. The binoculars can handle any splash of water or rain. It can even be submerged underwater and be dry inside after. The interior has been purged with Argon, which removes all the oxygen. It keeps the interior from developing condensation.

Great positives

The first thing you’ll need to consider for any binoculars on this trip is the waterproofing. The ship is surrounded by water. You’re going to be out there trying to get a glimpse of animals or birds in the distance.

It’s important to have waterproof and fogproof bins. The second thing you should consider is the image itself. I found these to be really clear with no colorful rings around the objects I’m viewing.

The 426 feet for FOV is truly impressive. You’re also getting a generous eye relief of 17.2 mm. Those wearing eyeglasses or sunglasses are going to be able to see much at a distance.

Minor concern

In the focus wheel, you’re going to have a bit of tension. The first few movements of the knob felt strange. That clears up after a few turns, so once you get past that, it’s truly fine.

Considerations for the Best Binoculars for an Alaskan Cruise

On your Alaskan cruise, it’s important to have binoculars to see all the breathtaking views. Landscape viewed from the ship can be blurred due to distance. Wildlife are simple specks on the shore. Binoculars are essential to viewing everything your cruise has to offer.

  • Full-Size or Compact for Your Trip

The lightest binoculars are ones that can fit into your daypack. While they seem like a good choice, it will depend on other factors. Some small bins don’t have all the features needed. The small ones might have only a light magnification and no other features.

Full-sized bins are able to collect more light. They gather more light for better images through their bigger lenses. Full-sized binoculars have a wide field of view. They’re usually not too heavy for use on the ship.

  • The Magnification of Binoculars

There are two numbers on a pair of binoculars. It’s usually one number after another between an X. The first number is the magnification. The second is the diameter of the lens. For example, 8 x 40 means a magnification of 8 and a lens diameter of 40 mm.

Beginners believe that the magnification should be as high as possible. That’s not true. What you want is a magnification that allows you to see. It should be balanced with a good field of view. The diameter of the lens influences the amount of light the device gathers for clear images.

  • Your New Binoculars’ Field of View

FOV was just mentioned. You might be wondering what that means. At a distance of 1000 yards, you’ll be able to see across the horizon. The amount of view you have is the field of view.

This means you can catch movement and narrow in on that movement. You won’t miss anything to the sides. The field of view will be a few hundred feet depending on the bins. A wider field of view is good for scanning the shore and not missing a thing on your cruise.

  • How Important is Relative Brightness?

Bright images are going to be sharper and clearer. Binoculars work much like a camera. The more light you have in the lens – the clearer and better your image. It can make all the difference in low-light situations.

The relative brightness might not be listed on every bin. You can figure that out yourself by taking the exit pupil number and squaring it. That means that an exit pupil measuring 4.3 will be a relative brightness of 18.5.

  • Eye Relief and Glasses

Someone that has never used binoculars before might expect to place the eyepiece on their eye. The fact is that you don’t have to. Long eye relief is the distance between your eyes and the distance from your eyes to the lens. It’s not just the distance itself, but the distance where you can still view images.

It’s important if you wear glasses. You will still need glasses when viewing through bins. The rubber eye cup around the lenses can be adjusted for someone will glasses. If you wear eyeglasses, try to get binoculars with an eye relief of more than 11 mm.

  • Prism Type and Weight/Image

Without a prism, your images would be upside down. The prism flips the image and allows you to see it magnified. It’s based on how the light passes through the lenses.

There are Porro prisms, which are typically in bins that are inexpensive. The prisms are heavier than the other prism option you have. Roof prisms are lighter. They’re slim, compact, and more expensive.

Out of the two, roof prisms are thought to be best. You can always choose Porro due to budget, but they will be heavier in your binoculars.

  • Weather-Resistant Versus Waterproof and Fogproof

You’re on a ship on the open water. Sea spray will hit you from the side of the boat. Even if you’re on a calm sea and a still boat, the air is full of salt and moisture. While weather-resistant might seem sufficient, you’ll need a step up from just being resistant.

The bins should be waterproof. Water won’t enter the bins even if you’re standing in the rain. Alaska can be very cold in certain seasons. If you’re going from the warmth to the cold, you’ll have to worry about condensation. The binoculars should have nitrogen and rubber, waterproof o-rings for protection.


On your adventure, you’ll want to have the best bins possible. There’s so much to see from the ship. Wildlife like birds and bears are not going to be visible unless you have a good set of binoculars.

We have given you much to consider when it comes to the right binoculars. The best binoculars for your Alaska cruise will be lightweight and able to give you a clear view of the shore.

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