10 things you need to know about astrophotography from a cruise ship

Astrophotography from a cruise ship
The Moon from the Holland America Prinsendam, Atlantic Ocean (shot with Nikon D810a and wide angle lens). (Image credit: Greg Redfern)

Cruise ships aren’t usually associated with astrophotography – unless there’s a remote total solar eclipse happening – but can present anyone with a camera or even just a smartphone with unique nocturnal opportunities. 

Light pollution on land is now so bad that few can see – or will ever see – the arc of our own galaxy. While on a cruise ship, you’re in a privileged position, but you do need to plan your equipment in advance. For best results, use a tripod. Even a small tabletop tripod is helpful, or one that grips onto a deck railing. “I carry a collapsible carbon fiber tripod in my camera bag, but if you’re using a smartphone you can brace yourself against the ship, effectively using it as a tripod,” says Greg Redfern, author of Cruise Ship Astronomy and Astrophotography and a NASA JPL Solar System Ambassador. “Just always keep a hand on your camera – you're on a moving ship and you don't know what's going to happen.”  

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Jamie Carter
Astrophotography expert

Jamie has been writing about all aspects of technology for over 14 years, producing content for sites like TechRadar, T3, Forbes, Mashable, MSN, South China Morning Post, and BBC Wildlife, BBC Focus and BBC Sky At Night magazines. 

As the editor for www.WhenIsTheNextEclipse.com, he has a wealth of enthusiasm and expertise for all things astrophotography, from capturing the Perseid Meteor Shower, lunar eclipses and ring of fire eclipses, photographing the moon and blood moon and more.

He also brings a great deal of knowledge on action cameras, 360 cameras, AI cameras, camera backpacks, telescopes, gimbals, tripods and all manner of photography equipment.