ABASHIRI, Hokkaido--Timed with the arrival of ice floes on the eastern coast of Hokkaido, a sightseeing ice-breaker ship carries travelers from home and abroad to witness the spectacular winter spectacle.

The vessel, named the Aurora, left the port here on Jan. 26 on its first tour this year of the drift ice.

Less than an hour later, the ship reached the area covered with an infinite number of ice floes and sailed slowly through them to allow passengers to marvel at the sight.

“It is my first time to see floating ice,” said a 65-year-old man from Nihonmatsu, Fukushima Prefecture, who joined the tour with his wife. “It is nice to know the ice came from the Amur river.”

Passengers, including those from Taiwan and Hong Kong, gazed at the ice floes and snapped selfies with the drift ice in the background. Seagulls occasionally fluttered over the boat and sea lions were spotted, adding to their delight.

More information about the tour is available at https://www.ms-aurora.com/abashiri/en/