OpticsMag is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Read more.

Best Binoculars for Alaska Cruise 2020 – Reviews & Top Picks

Last Updated:

couple holding a binocular

We were precise in our search for the best binoculars for Alaskan cruises. To find the seven best options on the market, we not only considered the optics of each unit, but also their portability, durability, and special features that will allow them to perform in the extreme Alaskan environment.

The cruise setting requires a very specific set of specifications. You want your binoculars to be powerful enough to peer out into the distance, but also durable enough to stand up to fog, water, and the general wear and tear of travel.

All seven of the products featured on our binocular reviews are going to be right for someone. The goal as we go through each product is to find the one right for you. Be you a budget buyer, or someone with an eye for uncompressing quality, there will be a great product on our list for your needs. Now it’s time to read on and find it! 

Comparison of our 2020 Favorites

ModelPriceMagnificationOur Rating
Bushnell Waterproof/Fogproof
Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Binocular
(Best Overall)

Check Price
Nikon 8248
Nikon 8248 10x50 Binocular

Check Price
Occer 12x25
Occer 12x25 Compact Binoculars
(Best Value)

Check Price
Wingspan Optics
Wingspan Optics 8X32 Compact Binoculars

Check Price
Coleman Signature
Coleman Signature 7x50 Waterproof Porro Prism Binoculars

Check Price

The 7 Best Binoculars for an Alaska Cruise

1. Bushnell Waterproof/Fogproof Binocular – Best Overall

Bushnell H2O Waterproof:Fogproof Roof Prism Binocular

Bushnell is known for making very high-quality optical equipment. This particular pair of binoculars finds its way to our top slot by several key features that make it well equipped to handle the rigors of the Alaskan frontier.

For one thing, the body of the binoculars is entirely waterproof. This is an essential feature to have for people who are going on a cruise. The lenses are also designed to overcome fog, which will be an invaluable feature on the unpredictable seas.

The exterior of the binoculars is made with a special slip-proof rubber that should keep the equipment stable in your hands. Hopefully, this feature will help keep you from losing the binoculars over the side of the ship!

The Bushnell H20 comes with a magnification rating of 8X42—enough of a range for activities like whale watching, or just sightseeing.

But for all the things that Bushnell does right, this product has a fatal flaw: price. If you are a casual buyer, you will probably favor a product that is on the more affordable side.

  • Slip-proof coating
  • Waterproof
  • Fog proof
  • Pricey

2. Nikon ACULON 10×50 Binocular

Nikon 8248 ACULON A211 10x50 Binocular

Nikon is quite like Bushnell in that they are well established in the world of optical equipment. This particular pair of binoculars is second on our list for the fact that it features perfect resolution.

The lightweight design makes it great for travel, while the specialty lenses are great for delivering high-quality images even in low light situations. We were partial to the range and scoping capability of 10X50, which is actually slightly larger viewing capacity than our top choice. This feature makes it all the better for the types of recreational viewing that people look for on a cruise.

It also features a nice durable design that will allow it to withstand a fall. Unfortunately, though, the features aren’t quite as suitable to the environment of a cruise as those of our top choice were. For one thing, the build is water-resistant but not completely waterproof. This means it won’t survive a drop into the ocean (although to be fair, what really will?).

Also, keep in mind that this is another expensive pair of binoculars. Budget buyers will want to stay away.

  • Great optics
  • Perfect for low light scenarios
  • Lightweight design
  • Pricey
  • Not waterproof

3. Occer 12×25 Compact Binoculars – Best Value

Occer 12x25 Compact Binoculars

If the price tag on our last two pairs of glasses was a little bit intimidating, you’ll find lots to love in the Occer 12X25. Our best for the money pick is extremely affordable, compact, and resistant to trauma and moisture.

The lightweight design makes it a great tool for taking with you on trips of any kind. It also comes with a handy pouch that will make on-the-go storage fast and convenient.

Buyers will want to note that the range is a little bit more limited with this product than it was with our first two choices. At 12X25, it will be great for taking in the nearby sites, but it won’t do as well for people that want to look out into the horizon.

  • Affordable
  • Compact
  • Comes with carrying case
  • Limited range

4. Wingspan Optics 8X32 Compact Binoculars

Wingspan Optics FieldView 8X32 Compact Binoculars

This lightweight moderately priced pair of binoculars will be an excellent choice for buyers that want a reliable piece of equipment for travel. The exterior of the tool features slip-resistant texture that should keep the binoculars securely in your hands at all times.

Meanwhile, the lenses include a specialty coating that makes colors and lights pop for a high-quality image. The Wingspan Optics FieldView features a range of 8X32—not the biggest on this list but still enough for most long-distance viewing situations.

Finally, you are even guaranteed to receive a satisfactory experience. The product includes a 30-day money-back return policy and a lifetime warranty that will protect you if anything goes wrong.

Unfortunately, this is not a waterproof pair of binoculars, which can cause obvious problems when out at sea. The exterior also is not quite as durable as that of some of the other options on our list.

  • Lightweight
  • High-quality images
  • Moderate price tag
  • Not as durable as some of the other options on our list
  • Not waterproof

5. Coleman Signature 7×50 Waterproof Binoculars

Coleman Signature 7x50 Waterproof Porro Prism Binoculars

The Coleman Signature series is a good all-purpose pair of binoculars that will be an awesome option for a wide variety of different outdoor activities.

The hard-plastic coating ensures that it is durable enough to withstand minor drops and falls. Meanwhile, the waterproof exterior makes it a good choice for cruises. The range is also outstanding. With a viewing capacity of 7X50, you will be equally well equipped for near and distant viewing.

One thing that users should be aware of is the strap. We’ve heard reports from several users that it snapped without any warning. This is naturally not something that you want to happen when you are standing on the edge of a boat. You can, of course, replace the strap, but this is an added expense that most people don’t want to have to incur on a new product.

  • Durable
  • Waterproof
  • The low-quality strap could lead to disaster

6. Celestron 71346 Outland 8×42 Binoculars

Celestron 71346 Outland X 8x42 Binoculars

The Celestron looks great on the surface. It is waterproof, fog-proof, durable, and designed to be easily adjusted. Unfortunately, though, it reads a little bit better than it actually performs. For one thing, the image quality is a little bit lacking. You don’t quite get the same level of refined rendering that we experienced with most of the other picks on our list. Even though the 8X42 range stands shoulder to shoulder with most of the other products on our list, you won’t be able to see very well when you get into the longer distance range.

They are also very uncomfortable to use. The eyepieces are harsh and may prove irritating over time. It’s not an issue that is necessarily disqualifying, but it is something to be on the lookout for. You will be able to find similarly priced products that perform much better.

  • Fog proof
  • Waterproof
  • Durable
  • Not very comfortable
  • Low-quality image rendering

7. Hooway 7×50 Waterproof Fogproof Binoculars

Hooway 7x50 Waterproof Fogproof Military Marine Binoculars

The Hooway binoculars are a waterproof, fog proof tool that will even float when you drop them in the water. Naturally, these are all great features to have on a cruise. And, with a range of 7X50 it is, at least theoretically anyway, well suited for the type of distant viewing whale watchers and other hobbyists require.

So, why does this unit find itself all the way on the bottom of our list? There are a few reasons. For one thing, it’s very bulky, which can make it difficult to travel with. It’s also uncomfortable, challenging to use, and significantly more expensive than all of the other choices on our list today. For the money you spend on this unit, you could potentially get two binoculars that deliver very similar results.

  • Fog proof
  • Waterproof
  • Floats
  • Very pricey
  • Uncomfortable
  • Awkward to use

Buyer’s Guide

Now that you’ve seen our top selections, read on for a couple of buying considerations that will help inform your ultimate decision.


Binoculars come in a wide variety of different sizes. While certain situations may call for binoculars to be big or small, the cruise setting tends to favor equipment that is more compact. You’ll be glad to have equipment that respects the modest dimensions of your cabin.


You probably noticed that a couple of the options on our list float in water. This is a nice feature to have for people that worry about dropping their binoculars during their adventures.

Granted, if you drop a pair of binoculars over the side of a cruise ship, you will probably have a hard time recovering them regardless of whether they are floating. Still, it may be a feature that comes in handy more often than you think.


Keeping in the same line of reasoning, it may also be wise to bring a waterproof pair of binoculars with you to your next cruise. Even if you don’t drop the pair overboard, you are still dealing with a very moist environment. Waterproof sealing will help to ensure that no serious damage is done. 


Last but not least, consider going with something that is fog proof. The great seas are nothing if not foggy. Getting a feature that accounts for this situation is going to prolong the life of the tool and help to ensure that you enjoy a refined image quality for a long time to come.


Now that you’ve read our binocular reviews it is time to finalize your buying decision. If you want to get a high-end product, and you are willing to pay a little bit more money to get it, our top choice the Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Roof Prism Binocular will probably be to your liking.

However, there are also good options available for buyers who are on a more modest budget. If you are trying to save a little bit of money while still getting an awesome project, consider the merits of our best for the money pick, the Occer 12×25 Compact Binoculars.

The good news, though, is that you can’t really go wrong with any of the products on our list.