Shiretoko Sightseeing Cruises 知床観光船
Unspoiled wilderness at the end of the earth
Take a sightseeing boat to the tip of the Shiretoko Peninsula to understand why the indigenous Ainu called this place the end of the world. With its steep cliffs and hidden waterfalls, much of the incredible coastline is inaccessible by road or foot. Bears rule the beaches, seals laze nearby, dolphins and orcas swim in the pristine waters. The majestic sperm whale may even pay a visit.
How to Get There
Shiretoko boat tours operate from two towns on opposing sides of the peninsula, Utoro on the north side (Okhotsk Sea) and Rausu on the south side (Nemuro Strait).
Utoro is a 90-minute drive from Nakashibetsu and Memanbetsu airports. Direct flights to these airports run to and from Tokyo and Sapporo. Alternatively, buses from Memanbetsu Airport to Utoro take two hours. For those arriving from Sapporo or Asahikawa, bus and train services are available, commonly routing through Kushiro or Abashiri .
Rausu is a 60-minute drive from Nakashibetsu Airport, while bus journeys take about 100 minutes.
The bulk of the tours run from mid-April to mid-November
During winter drift ice cruises operate instead
Some companies will provide chartered cruises upon request
Choose your course
Multiple companies offer a variety of cruises. Choose your boat, large or small. Prices start from 3,000 yen for a 90-minute trip. Aurora cruises in Utoro provice larger ships with excellent viewing platforms.
The advantage of tours on smaller boats is that they can get closer to the shore. The Gojiraiwa company offers various tours starting from both Utoro and Rausu.