JAPAN AIRLINES

Drift Ice Cruises (Abashiri Aurora and Icebreaker Garinko-go) — Introducing the New Garinko-go III

If you're visiting eastern Hokkaido in the winter months, the views of the Sea of Okhotsk blanketed in drift ice are not to be missed. The best way to enjoy these views is aboard one of the icebreaker ships that run drift ice cruises from late January onward. Icebreaker ships operate from two Hokkaido cities, including the Aurora Drift Ice Sightseeing & Icebreaker Ship that runs from the port of Abashiri. You can reach Abashiri in 40 minutes via a direct bus from Memanbetsu Airport, the gateway to northeastern Hokkaido. The port is a further 10-minute bus ride from JR Abashiri Station. These large vessels plow through the icy waters, effortlessly breaking the ice as they go. Passengers are treated to a comfortable and smooth voyage lasting roughly one hour, providing ample opportunity to enjoy the sights from the viewing deck or to relax inside the spacious, heated ship as it glides serenely through the ice.

The bright-red Garinko-go II runs from the city of Mombetsu, around 100 km (62.1 miles) north of Abashiri. You can feel the crushing impact throughout the ship as the two screws at the bow crunch through oncoming blocks of ice, making for a wild and rugged ride. The all-new Garinko-go III is being introduced in the 2021 season. Whichever one you get on, the best time to see the drift ice is from early February to early March. Both options offer an atmospheric voyage with 360° panoramic views of the jaw-dropping frozen sea that simply must not be missed.

*Search for Abashiri Drift Ice Sightseeing & Icebreaker Ship to find the map location pin.

Abashiri Drift Ice Sightseeing & Icebreaker Ship Aurora

Hours:
January 20–April 3
Departure times: January: 9:00 am, 11:00 am, 1:00 pm, 3:00 pm
February: 9:30 am, 11:30 am, 12:30 pm, 2:00 pm, 3:30 pm
March: 9:30 am, 11:30 am, 1:30 pm, 3:30 pm
April: 11:30 am, 1:30 pm (Lasts approx. 1 hour)

Admission (when drift ice is present):
Adults: JPY 3,500, Children (6–12 years old): JPY 1,750, Children under 6: Free

Address:
4-5-1 Minami 3 Johigashi, Abashiri, Hokkaido

Notes:

Tel:
+81-0152-43-6000

Access:
Approx. 40 minutes by regular bus from Memanbetsu Airport

Bookings and Inquiries:
Please see the official Abashiri Drift Ice Sightseeing & Icebreaker Ship Aurora website for details.

Icebreaker Garinko-go III

Hours:
January–March
Departure times: 9:00 am, 10:30 am, 12:00 pm, 1:30 pm, 3:00 pm (Lasts 1 hour)
Note: In addition to the above there is a Sunset Cruise running at 4:10 pm through February
Note: A Sunrise Cruise and Special Cruise run at 6:00 am and 7:30 am respectively on weekends and holidays through February. All cruises are by reservation only.

Admission (when drift ice is present):
Adults: JPY 3,000, Children (6–12 years old): JPY 1,500, Children under 6: Free

Address:
1 Kaiyokoen, Mombetsu, Hokkaido

Notes:

Tel:
+81-0158-24-8000

Access:
Approx. 2 hours by car from Memanbetsu Airport

Bookings and Inquiries:
Please see the Okhotsk Garinko Tower website for details.

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