How to Enjoy a Cruise as a Photographer and Using Cruise Miles

It’s not easy being a photographer on a cruise ship.  Photographers require a bit of liberty to explore, and the time to wander.  But, on cruise ships the name of the game is rest and relaxation.  Of course, there’s no relaxation for a traveller with a camera, is there?  Photographers want to be shooting images as often as their shutter allows them to.  Thus, cruises are sometimes avoided by photographers.  But, it doesn’t need to be that way.  In fact, there are plenty of shots to be had on a cruise ship.  In this article, I’m going to show you how to photograph a cruise, and how to take advantage of a cruise miles rewards programme and how to spend cruise miles.

Cruise Ship Photography

A cruise ship leaving port in Croatia

Embrace the Cruise Culture

As they say, “if you can’t beat them, join them!”

Accepting the cruise culture should be the first thing you do on your trip.  Embrace the buffets, pool lounging lifestyle and photograph it.  Cruise ships are full of interesting characters as well which makes them a fantastic place to shoot some great, if not quirky, portrait or “street” photography.  It might not be the style of photography you usually do if you’re a landscape or nature photographer, but it’s a great opportunity to engage in a fun photography style.

Go Free on Land Excursions

Instead of joining one of the tours when you’re on land, explore on your own in one of the nearby destinations.  If you land in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, for example, instead of doing a city tour, grab a map and explore on your own. That way, not only will you not feel dragged around and rushed, but you’ll not have to fight with the crowds of the tour in your shots.  On any cruise I’ve ever done, my favourite moments were always when I explored a destination on my own at random.

Cruise Ship Photography

Exploring the Grand Caymans

Find the Ship Architecture

It’s easy to forget the fact that cruise ships are amazing feats of engineering and architecture.  There are plenty of opportunities to shoot images of the ship itself, both inside and outside the boat.  From the giant cavernous music halls to the walkways with sea views, there are some stunning aspects of the cruise ship itself that are worth photographing.

Go on Expedition-Style Ships

Try to catch ships that have a bit of an expedition edge.  Doing so will mean that there are likely fewer people on board and you’ll have more time away from the crowds.  It’s also more likely that there will actually be a photography programme on board the ship for photographers.

Take Advantage of Cruise Miles Rewards Programmes

Although not about photography directly, it’s so much easier to enjoy yourself on a cruise ship when you’ve gotten a great deal.  If you cruise a lot, take advantage of one of the cruise miles rewards programmes, as you can not only save a lot of money, but carry forward miles from journeys to accumulate free cruises and other great rewards.

With so  many great destinations, there are plenty of ways to spend cruise miles out there.  So why not enjoy the benefits and capture some great images well you’re at it.

Author: Brendan van Son

Author: I am a travel writer and photographer from Alberta, Canada. Over my years as a travel photographer, I have visited 6 of the 7 continents and more countries than I have any desire to count. If you want to improve your skills, be sure to check out my travel photography channel on Youtube . Also, check out my profile on . to learn a little bit more about me and my work.

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