How to Take Stunning Photos on Your Cruise Holiday


If you’re like us, you’ll love snapping a few pics on your holidays. But getting that perfect holiday keepsake photo is often harder said than done. That’s why we’ve employed the help of Tara Povey from Where is Tara? to offer a few tips to give you tips about securing the best holiday snaps. Here’s Tara:

Cruises are a wonderful way to explore the world whilst still being able to relax and unwind. You get to eat wonderful food, meet new people, visit stunning places and try new things. Of course, you want to remember it forever and what better way of doing that than by taking a few photos for the holiday album. But how do you get the very best photos? The kind of pictures that will make you smile for years to come and will have your friends and family booking themselves a cruise! Well, let me share with you some of my top tips for taking stunning photos on your next cruise holiday.

Waterproof Accessories

If your cruise holiday is to tropical islands with postcard-perfect beaches then you’ll need to consider how waterproof your camera/phone is. I always pack a waterproof, zip-lock, plastic pouch that can hang around my neck. That way I can carry my phone with me while kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding without worrying about it getting wet and snap a few pics at the right moment. I even use it around the pool area to stop it from getting splashed. A waterproof action camera is also worth investing in if you’ll be diving, snorkelling, swimming or visiting waterfalls. That way you can get some unique underwater shots. Some of my favourite shots from places such as Egypt and the Maldives are underwater shots. The quality is great on most models, so it can also be used as your main camera for the whole trip. The most popular model is the GoPro but I use a TomTom Action Camera.

couple taking pictures on holiday

Know Your Camera/Phone

The last thing you want to do on your cruise is spend time fiddling around with settings on your camera or phone. Make sure you’ve figured everything out before you head off on your trip. Just a couple of hours will make a big difference. You don’t want to miss out on precious holiday time because you’re trying to figure out things like timers and how to take a panorama. You could end up getting discouraged or miss the moment you had wanted to capture. If all else fails, just set it on ‘auto’ until you have time to figure out the more complicated settings.

Try a New Perspective

On a cruise, you’ll often find that groups of people crowd around in one area to get the ‘perfect’ shot. But the best photos are often found elsewhere. Try something different. Take the photo from an unusual angle. You’ll probably end up with something a lot more interesting and you’ll avoid crowds of people in your photo. Make use of all the glorious different levels on board the ship. Take photos from the bottom deck up to the ceiling or stand on the highest stairs and take a photo downwards. Set your camera at ground level for a photo which takes in the entire expanse of the main hall area. The unorthodox angles and perspectives will make your photos fun and quirky.

taking picture with wide angle lens

Camera Accessories

Now, I’m not one for advocating bags of camera equipment. I think that can make photography a bit of a burden. However, there are a few camera accessories that can help you take wonderful photos on your cruise. For example, if you’re using your phone consider purchasing some of the various clip-on lenses available. A wide-angle lens would be great for fitting in all the action and a macro one would be perfect for wildlife shots when at port. At around $15 AUD, they won’t break the bank.

Another item I love is an octopus tripod. You can get one to fit your phone or camera and they can be wrapped around/stood on pretty much any surface. The steadiness of a tripod will help with ‘starry sky’ shots and it’s also great for taking photos of yourself and your cruise companions together. You just have to set the timer on your phone/camera or use a remote control, then ‘CLICK!’ and you have your perfect holiday snap! Both of these items are light and won’t take up much room in your luggage.

sunrise on cruise ship balcony

Sunset and Sunrise

Sunset and sunrise help to create some of the most remarkable holiday photos. This is particularly true of a cruise because you have the opportunity to see the sunrise and set over the sea pretty much every day. It is worth checking with the crew the approximate time of sunrise and sunset for your location so you know when you need to have your camera handy and get into prime photo-taking position. I know not everyone is an early riser, but sunrise is worth waking up for once during your cruise. You won’t regret it when you have that stunning photo in your holiday album or as your Facebook cover photo!

Don’t Be Shy

Fortune favours the bold, so don’t be afraid to ask your fellow cruisers or a friendly crew member to take a photo of you. After all, they are your holiday snaps, and you must be in a few of them. People will understand. Everybody needs somebody to take a photo of them (unless they have a tripod).

young woman enjoying cruise

Also, when you arrive in port don’t be afraid to ask locals and street performers if you can take their photo. Some people might ask for money, others might not want their photo taken, but the vast majority of people will be delighted to be asked and more than happy to pose for a picture. Photos of a local vendor selling jerk-chicken or a merchant selling colourful fabrics can help to tell the story of your cruise trip, and you might even get some great tips on what to see or where to eat from the locals.

Bring Extra SD Cards

You are going to take A LOT of photos. That’s allowed and encouraged! Just make sure you bring a spare SD card or two for your camera. OR, if you’re using your phone make sure that your photos are automatically uploaded to Dropbox, Google Drive or The Cloud so you can safely delete ones you took earlier to free up some space. Then you won’t be afraid to snap away until you get the shot you’re happy with.

tourists having fun with photography

Have Fun

Remember that this is your holiday. Your photos don’t have to be perfect. They just have to remind you that you had the time of your life on your cruise. So HAVE FUN! Take photos with your favourite crew members. Take candid shots of your travel companions doing things like disembarking the ship or dancing. Bring a mascot and photograph it in unusual places around the ship or at port. Smile, make silly faces and show people how much fun you’re having on your cruise. Those are the kinds of photos that will bring back memories for years to come.

So, now you’re loaded up with essential photo-taking skills, it’s time to take to the seas and get snapping. To view Cruise1st Australia’s full range of cruise deals, head over to our homepage.



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