Hokkaido: Sightseeing Icebreaker ‘Aurora’ Begins Operation: Cruise to Run Through March

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Passengers enjoy the spectacular view aboard the sightseeing icebreaker Aurora off Abashiri, Hokkaido, on Saturday.

The drift ice sightseeing icebreaker Aurora began operating in Abashiri, Hokkaido, on Saturday. The Abashiri Local Meteorological Office observed drift ice on Friday, and it was the first time in nine years that the sightseeing ship toured the sea of drift ice on its first day of operation.

Four cruises were made on the day, with a total of about 600 people including tourists, boarding the ship. The fourth cruise departed from Abashiri Port at 3 p.m. and arrived at the drift ice zone about 2 kilometers offshore in about 10 minutes, where passengers enjoyed the spectacular view and took photos with their smartphones and cameras.

A 22-year-old female university student from Toyonaka, Osaka Prefecture, said, “I was speechless as I’ve never seen such a view.” The cruise will run through March 31.