“SEA SPICA” is a high-speed sightseeing cruiser, specializing in island hopping in Setouchi. Let’s enjoy the gorgeous scenery of the beautiful Seto Inland Sea as well as simple islands during the sightseeing cruise, both on and off the ship.
“SEA SPICA,” a high-speed sightseeing cruiser in the Seto Inland Sea, entered service in autumn of 2020. This ship connects Hiroshima Port, located in western Hiroshima, and Mihara Port in the east.
The ship runs 4 days a week, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. There are 2 courses you can choose, the route going east, departing from Hiroshima Port at 8:30 AM, and the route going west, departing from Mihara Port at 1:25 PM.
The course to the east
Hiroshima Port – Prince Hotel – Kure Port – Shimo-kamagari Island (sightseeing on the island) – Okunoshima Island (sightseeing on the island) – Setoda Port – Mihara Port
The course to the west
Mihara Port – Setoda Port – Okunoshima Island (sightseeing on the island) – Mitarai in Osaki-shimojima Island (sightseeing on the island) – Kure Port – Prince Hotel – Hiroshima Port
Let’s get on board the “SEA SPICA” leaving from Hiroshima Port in Hiroshima City.
The logo mark, with its design incorporating the “SPICA” stars and the route connecting the Setouchi islands, is pretty cool on the deep navy color of the ship body. The interior of the cruise ship is also elegant, with its marine lamps and sofas curved like waves.
Sightseeing on and off the “SEA SPICA”
You can fully enjoy sightseeing in Setouchi. You will leave the ship twice for sightseeing on land, and the ship slows down so you can enjoy the scenery when it goes past the viewing spots, such as the port of Maritime Self-Defense Force, the red Ondo Ohashi Bridge, Chigirishima Island (which is entirely occupied by a factory), and so on.
“SEA SPICA” is a high-speed cruiser, which is a rare type for a sightseeing ship. But its highest speed (44km/h, one and a half times as fast as general cruisers) enables us to visit many different places in just 4.5 hours.
→Enjoying Ondo-no-seto, the ferry, and strolling around Ondo Town : Ondo (Kure City, Hiroshima)
▲“Okunoshima Island” – An on-shore sightseeing spot for both the east and west course
→Okunoshima: Fluffy Rabbit Island?!
→Hopping Mad for Rabbit Island
▲“Shimo-kamagari Island” – An on-shore sightseeing spot for the east course
→Shimo-kamagari : The Garden Island of History & Culture!
▲“Osaki-shimojima Island” – An on-shore sightseeing spot for the west course
→Time Travel in Mitarai – Hiroshima’s Idyllic Island Town
Its spaciousness is so refreshing – “SPICA terrace”
The entire length of the ship is 25.7 meters, and it can be said to be somewhat small for a passenger boat. However, this open-air deck allows you to experience an open-feeling voyage without being stuck in a seat.
Some of the deck chairs on the rear part of the ship are especially popular, and maybe you or even your children won’t want to leave them because of they are so comfortable.
Don’t miss souvenirs sold at the “SEA SPICA” shop and the special boxed-lunch which you can get only when you make a reservation.
One of the true pleasures of traveling is the local bento (boxed lunch) or souvenirs sold as limited-editions. So please check out the shop “Spi-counter” on the ship, which sells some original items, food, and drinks.
If you would like to try a boxed lunch, place an order when you make a reservation for your ticket. There are several choices, such as the “Kiyomori Musubi Bento” and the “Ginga Lunch Sandwich” (1,500 yen each) produced by Musashi, a famous bento shop in Hiroshima.
Boarding the “SEA SPICA” requires you make a reservation in advance.
The basic plan is 6,000 yen per person (The fare is the same for adults and children). Several plans with various sightseeing courses are available, so please check and find a cruise which matches your favorite.
Photographs and text by Akiko Isonaga
Setouchi Shimatabi Line
Setouchi Sightseeing Navigation “setowa” (application)*JP
Setouchi Palette Project | JR West
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