AJT Logo

Ice Breaker Cruise    View Tours

SHARE
View
Saved
Tours
View
Saved
Tours
Reserve
Tours
Search
Tours

Ice Breaker Cruise

The drift ice of Abashiri start appearing around January, but the best time to see the spectacle is in February when it is the coldest.

The drift ice (流氷, Ryūhyō) is formed from the fresh water of the Amur River in Russia, which then traverses through the Sea of Okhotsk by the borders of China until it reaches Abashiri. The drift ice can be seen at Shiretoko Peninsula all the way to Wakkanai, but it is the thickest in Abashiri. The natural phenomenon usually reaches the northern part of Hokkaido in mid to late January. Abashiri is the southernmost area to see the drifting sea ice and has become a popular tourist spot to view the frozen clumps. However, due to global warming the drift ice is not as thick as it was back in the 1980s. To promote awareness of the changes in climate, Abashiri has the Drift Ice Festival to remind people to take care of our environment. If the conditions are good during the season, then you will be able to see the drift ice from the shore. Ryuhyo Norokko is a train service that only operates in the winter goes from Abashiri to Shiretoko-Shari. On the one hour train ride you can see the drift ice along the shores of the Sea of Okhotsk. The train makes a stop at JR Kitahama station, which is made of wood, because it has a great panoramic view of the drift ice.

There is a sightseeing cruise that goes out into the Sea of Okhotsk that uses the ice breaker cruiser Aurora. It plows through the ice at 3 knots per hour and from the observation deck you might have a chance to see the wildlife that migrates with the drift ice. The Steller’s sea eagles are one of the migratory birds that can been seen on top of the frozen water mass. The spotted seals give birth and raise their young in the Sea of Okhotsk so it is possible to catch a glimpse of them too. Under the drift ice you might encounter Clione, which are small floating sea slugs, also known as sea angels. These creatures have a transparent body about the size of 10 mm and while they swim it looks as though they are flapping their wings. The Clione are attached to the drift ice so once it melts these aquatic specimens go away with it.

Please see below for tours that include Ice Breaker Cruise:

3 trips through Japan
Filter by :
Season

Departure Month

Travel Styles  

Interest

Duration

Regions

Must-See & Do

3 trips through Japan
×

Japan Deluxe Tours

Visit the must see sites of Japan with group sizes ranging from 12 to 35 people.

These tours are great for first time visitors to Japan looking for comfortable accommodation with all entrance fees and most meals included. Our Japan Deluxe Tours are accomodated with professional tour guides, fluent in both Japanese and English, to ensure an educational and valuable visit. Air-conditoned, private coaches are also included, so you can enjoy a comfortable and hassle-free time in Japan. Our tours range from 7 to 21 days, to various regions of Japan.

Deluxe-Plus Small Group Tours

Experience the culture of Japan at a slower pace with groups of 10 to 18 people.
(Smaller group departure available)

These tours combine enrichment, enjoyment, and education with time to truly absorb and appreciate your surroundings. Our Deluxe-Plus small group tours are created to cater to those who are interested in having a deeper understanding of Japan's culture. You will have the opportunity to participate in culturally rich activities and visit destinations only locals may know. Experience luxurious hotels and travel at a leisurely pace when you book a Deluxe-Plus small group tour.

Budget Group Tours

Our Budget Tours are designed for our guests who are on a limited budget.

Explore the must-see sights and enjoy the hassle-free trip to Japan at an affordable price. Our most cost-effective way to see the highlights of Japan while staying in budget-friendly accommodations. If you would like to have a quick stop to sample the must-see sights of Japan, or plan to explore Japan on your own but would like to take a short trip to learn about Japan before your self-guided journeys. These are the tours for you.

Active Small Group Tours

Travel Japan more flexibly in groups of 6 to 13 people using public transportation.

Explore Japan off the beaten path via Japanese public transportation, walking, hiking, cycling and more. Take more time to enjoy local experiences and picturesque landscape. Our Active Small Group Tours combine the best of cultural destinations with off-the-beaten-path via Japanese public transportation, Discover the country of Japan the way the locals do and see Japan from a different angle. A focus on getting away from the crowds and into the real Japan, see the diversity of Japan’s countryside unfold before your eyes.

Charms of Hokkaido Tour: Hokkaido Winter Festivals

Group Tour |          Book Now & Save $100

Group Tour |    Book Now & Save $100

Charms of Hokkaido Tour: Hokkaido Winter Festivals
Charms of Hokkaido Tour: Hokkaido Winter Festivals

9 Days 8 Nights | from US $3598.00

Shiraoi / Lake Shikotsu / Sapporo / Otaru / Asahikawa / Sounkyo / Kitami / Abashiri / Lake Tofutsu / Lake Akan / Kushiro
See the Sapporo Snow Festival, as well as three other main Winter Festivals in Hokkaido.

9 Days 8 Nights | from US $3598.00

Shiraoi / Lake Shikotsu / Sapporo / Otaru / Asahikawa / Sounkyo / Kitami / Abashiri / Lake Tofutsu / Lake Akan / Kushiro
See the Sapporo Snow Festival, as well as three other main Winter Festivals in Hokkaido.
Start Date End Date Twin/Triple Start City End City Style Compare Status
Sun. Feb 5, 2023 Mon. Feb 13, 2023 US $3598.00 Sapporo Kushiro Save this tour Book Now  
Sun. Feb 4, 2024 Mon. Feb 12, 2024 US $3598.00 Sapporo Kushiro Save this tour Book Now  
Hokkaido & Beyond: Winter Festivals, Kawazu Cherry 
Blossoms & Snow Monkeys

Group Tour |          Book Now & Save $100

Group Tour |    Book Now & Save $100

Hokkaido & Beyond: Winter Festivals, Kawazu Cherry Blossoms & Snow Monkeys
Hokkaido & Beyond: Winter Festivals, Kawazu Cherry Blossoms & Snow Monkeys

13 Days 12 Nights | from US $4998.00

Shiraoi / Lake Shikotsu / Sapporo / Otaru / Asahikawa / Sounkyo / Kitami / Abashiri / Lake Tofutsu / Lake Akan / Kushiro/ Yokohama / Kawazu / Mt Fuji / Matsumoto / Yudanaka / Obuse / Nagano
Experience the incredible Snow Festivals of Hokkaido, followed by an extension which includes Kawazu Cherry Blossoms and adorable snow monkeys!

13 Days 12 Nights | from US $4998.00

Shiraoi / Lake Shikotsu / Sapporo / Otaru / Asahikawa / Sounkyo / Kitami / Abashiri / Lake Tofutsu / Lake Akan / Kushiro/ Yokohama / Kawazu / Mt Fuji / Matsumoto / Yudanaka / Obuse / Nagano
Experience the incredible Snow Festivals of Hokkaido, followed by an extension which includes Kawazu Cherry Blossoms and adorable snow monkeys!
Start Date End Date Twin/Triple Start City End City Style Compare Status
Sun. Feb 5, 2023 Fri. Feb 17, 2023 US $4998.00 Sapporo Tokyo Save this tour Book Now  
Sun. Feb 4, 2024 Fri. Feb 16, 2024 US $4998.00 Sapporo Tokyo Save this tour Book Now  
Best of Honshu & Hokkaido: Snow Monkeys & Hokkaido 
Winter Festival Tour

Group Tour |          Book Now & Save $100

Group Tour |    Book Now & Save $100

Best of Honshu & Hokkaido: Snow Monkeys & Hokkaido Winter Festival Tour
Best of Honshu & Hokkaido: Snow Monkeys & Hokkaido Winter Festival Tour

16 Days 15 Nights | from US $5798.00

Honshu (Tokyo / Lake Kawaguchi / Matsumoto / Yudanaka / Takayama / Shirakawa-go / Kanazawa / Kyoto / Nara / Osaka), Hokkaido (Shiraoi / Lake Shikotsu / Sapporo / Otaru / Asahikawa / Sounkyo / Kitami / Abashiri / Lake Tofutsu / Lake Akan / Kushiro)
Explore the two main winter attractions of Japan - Snow Monkeys and Hokkaido Winter Festivals.

16 Days 15 Nights | from US $5798.00

Honshu (Tokyo / Lake Kawaguchi / Matsumoto / Yudanaka / Takayama / Shirakawa-go / Kanazawa / Kyoto / Nara / Osaka), Hokkaido (Shiraoi / Lake Shikotsu / Sapporo / Otaru / Asahikawa / Sounkyo / Kitami / Abashiri / Lake Tofutsu / Lake Akan / Kushiro)
Explore the two main winter attractions of Japan - Snow Monkeys and Hokkaido Winter Festivals.
Start Date End Date Twin/Triple Start City End City Style Compare Status
Sun. Jan 29, 2023 Mon. Feb 13, 2023 US $5798.00 Tokyo Kushiro Save this tour Book Now  
Sun. Jan 28, 2024 Mon. Feb 12, 2024 US $5798.00 Tokyo Kushiro Save this tour Book Now  

Tour type