Wildlife boat cruises

Wildlife boat cruises

Take a boat cruise around the shoreline of the Shiretoko Peninsula and experience the diverse wildlife and marine life of this remote wilderness

The wildlife of Shiretoko Peninsula is best seen from the water. In summer look for whales, while winter brings magnificent drift ice from the Sea of Okhotsk.

The port town of Rausu on the Shiretoko Peninsula is a great base for wildlife cruises in the Sea of Okhotsk. Summer is a great time for whale watching as the deep waters close to shore attract minke whales, giant beaked whales and Dall's porpoises. Enormous flocks of petrels also come to Rausu in summer, all the way from Australia.

In winter the landscape changes dramatically as giant flows of ice float south from the Russian Far East. This is the southernmost region of the northern hemisphere to see ryuhyo drifting sea ice. This harsh environment suits Steller's sea eagles and white-tailored eagles which number around 2,000 in February. After the birds migrate, rare spotted seals can be seen on the drift ice. The best way to view the wildlife up close is to take a drift ice boat cruise which InsideJapan can book as part of any winter Hokkaido itinerary.

Wildlife boat cruises

located in Rausu

Read more >

Interested in this Experience? It is included in this tour:

  • Japan in the winter is a magical destination, blanketed in snow and free from the crowds that throng the cultural hotspots in summer.

    Winter Highlights

    From incredible snow sculptures and rare birds in Hokkaido to snow monkeys and cultural treasures on Honshu; this tour demonstrates the myriad attractions of the winter season on Japan's two largest islands.

    Read more >

    Japan in the winter is a magical destination, blanketed in snow and free from the crowds that throng the cultural hotspots in summer.

Other Wildlife experiences

View more >
  • Steller's sea eagles

    Steller's sea eagles

    Take a small ice breaker cruise into the ice flows of the Nemuro Straits to photograph Steller's sea eagles fishing for Pacific cod.

    Read more >

  • Red-crowned cranes

    Red-crowned cranes

    Observe the amazing spectacle that is the annual red-crowned crane mating dance.

    Read more >

  • Snow monkeys

    Snow monkeys

    Don't miss the famous snow monkeys enjoying bath time at Yudanaka Onsen.

    Read more >