Santa Maria cruise sailboat sets sail from the Tempozan Harbor Village and sails around the Osaka Bay. Modeled after the famous flagship of Christopher Columbus, it is actually twice the size of the original. On board you can find a room dedicated to Columbus, with countless artifacts and fascinating information about the discovery of the New World.
The Twilight Cruise is slightly different from the standard cruise, taking 60 minutes as opposed to the day cruise. It operates between late April and October, only on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. The exact operating hours differ with season and month. The cruise can also be chartered privately, in which case it will not be available to other passengers so it is highly recommended to confirm in advance whether the cruise is publicly available on the day you would like to participate. The ship sets sail westwards from the port so you literally sail away into the sunset, however with nightfall Osaka Bay comes to life with countless lights illuminating the bay. Due to its impressive and romantic nature the twilight cruise is extremely popular with couples but also groups of friends looking to create memories that last a lifetime. The ship itself is a sailboat with a proper mast and sail in the middle, adding an extra layer to the romantic atmosphere of the cruise. On the inside you can find a small store selling refreshments, perfect if you get a tad bit peckish along the way. However please be advised that bringing your own refreshments on board is prohibited.
The ship has a total of 4 decks from which you can enjoy a spectacular sunset view of the sea. Whether you decide to spend the cruise on the open deck outside or just enjoy the view from the comfort of the special rooms on the 2nd floor the choice is yours, however we absolutely recommend the amazingly liberating feeling of the sea breeze on the open deck.
Set sail toward adventure!
Santa Maria is a very detailed replica twice the size of the original ship of Christopher Columbus, with a mast and a large sail in the middle. As you leave the harbor it truly feels as if you were embarking on a grand adventure to unexplored lands beyond the horizon.
As it’s quite rare to board an authentic sailboat this cruise is very popular among children and adults alike. The feeling of sailing into the sunset is what makes the twilight cruise so special and sets the cruise apart from other similar experiences.
Even though the ship sets sail at dusk, it returns to port after sunset when the nearby aquarium and the giant Ferris wheel are illuminated and sparkle against the dark sky. The departure feels like the beginning of an adventure, but reaching the port as you marvel at the stunning nightly cityscape is just as impressive!
Sunset cruise in just 60 minutes!
Compared to the day cruise it isn’t just the cruise duration that’s different, but also the route.
As the ship leaves the Osaka Bay Area it sails along the Ajigawa toward Universal Studios Japan. The flashy USJ park is quite a sight on its own and you can see countless visitors as you sail by, and head toward the Konohana and Yumemai bridges, before making your way back to the Kaiyukan aquarium port. During the 60 minute cruise the sun will set and on your way back you will be greeted by the dazzling cityscape of nightly Osaka.
Marvel at the stunning light art projections on the Ferris wheel in Tempozan or special illuminations at IKEA or Universal City from the sea. You also get to see the three grand bridges of Osaka, namely Minato, Namihaya and Sennen bridges, all neatly lined up before your eyes from Diamond Point. Even though 60 minutes might sound like a quite long cruise, with so much to see and enjoy, the time will fly faster than expected.
Private charter available!
It is also possible to charter the Santa Maria cruise ship for a private twilight cruise. The price starts at 585,000 yen, however depending on the number of passengers this is actually quite a deal as you get the whole ship just for yourselves! As the minimum number of participants is set to 60 passengers, if broken down the price per passenger comes down to less than 10000 yen.
Private cruises also take approximately 2 hours in comparison to the standard public cruise of 60 minutes, making it a great choice for a special party or for group tours. They also come with an additional dinner option in the form of a buffet at 3000 yen per person, or with a drink bar starting at 1600 yen per person. There are several additional options to choose from, for example bingo and other games so the cruise is an excellent choice for outings by groups of various age ranges as well.
The cruise is also a very popular option for school trips and even offers specialized school trip courses ranging between 80 and 105 minutes. The 105 minute course comes with a buffet dinner and costs approximately 220,000 yen. As it is longer in duration than the standard course you can enjoy both a leisurely meal and the cruise to the fullest at your leisure. Last but not least there’s also a private twilight cruise option available for 80 or more people. It takes 60 minutes just like the standard public course, but the price per person drops to a very budget friendly price of 1,470 yen. Perfect choice especially for elementary and junior high schools!
First class leisurely cruise
On board the Santa Maria sailboat there are first-class luxurious rooms equipped with comfortable sofas and tables from which you can enjoy the beautiful scenery outside.
The rooms are located on the 3rd floor, ensuring one of, if not the best view on board. The rooms are available for a surcharge of 500 yen, however they are quite obviously on a different level compared to the other rooms and even come with a complimentary drink and premium ice cream. The first class rooms are on a first-come-first-serve basis, however with a total capacity of 40 seats it is nearly impossible for them to be sold out. If you plan on riding the Ferris wheel at Tempozan as well, there is a special discount ticket combining the cruise with the ride. If you would like to enjoy the twilight cruise, we highly recommend the luxurious rooms!
Sail under the impressive bridges
The Santa Maria Twilight Cruise sails through the Osaka Bay and passes underneath the Tempozan, Konohana and Minato grand bridges. As you pass underneath the bright red Minato Bridge it appears as if the tip of the mast is about to touch the underside of the bridge, making for quite an exciting experience. Be sure to not to miss it and observe from the upper deck as you sail underneath the bridge! The upper deck is also equipped with binoculars so you can gaze upon the distant scenery as you enjoy the soft sea breeze.
In the vicinity
The Hatoba dock from which the cruise departs is located in the Osaka Bay Area, across the bay from Universal Studios Japan. The Captain Liner ferry boat can take you to USJ in mere 10 minutes, so you can enjoy the countless popular attractions like the recently opened and extremely popular Super Nintendo World. Embark on an adventure with Yoshi or try your hand at real Mario Karts, the Super Nintendo World area guarantees loads of fun for all age ranges.
There are also many attractions directly in the vicinity of the Hatoba dock, for example the Kaiyukan Osaka Aquarium, Tempozan Ferris Wheel, Lego Discovery Center, Tempozan Animal Park, Tempozan Marketplace, ATC Hall and more.
At the Osaka Aquarium you can see various rare species of marine life, including whale sharks and various species of jellyfish. The aquarium also offers night features so you can combine a visit to the aquarium with the Twilight Cruise and even a ride on the Tempozan Ferris Wheel. The Ferris wheel offers not only a breathtaking view of Osaka at night from a vantage point, it is also equipped with a state of the art illumination and projection technology, becoming a canvas for various pictures, from whale sharks to the latest weather forecast.
On the other hand Lego Discovery Center closes rather early so if you plan to visit it is highly recommended to do so before the cruise. The same applies for the Tempozan Animal Park, where you can learn about and enjoy the company of various kinds of animals. At the Tempozan Marketplace you can enjoy the various tasty meals at the gourmet lane and food court, shop for souvenirs or various typical Osaka goods and even stay overnight at the adjacent hotel! Right next to the marketplace is Mt. Tempo, the lowest mountain in Japan. Even though the title of the lowest mountain in Japan might not sound too impressive, it is a very popular cherry blossom viewing spot in spring. The ATC Hall is quite often used for various popular events and exhibitions, so be sure to keep an eye out for the upcoming events. The Hatoba dock itself services not only the Santa Maria cruise ship and the Captain Liner but also luxury cruise ships, adding to the already impressive atmosphere.
Venue Name: Santa Maria Twilight Cruise
Business Hours: Varies per season, please confirm in advance
Regular Closing Days: Dec. 31 - early February, On days when the aquarium is closed
*Special New Year Countdown cruise on Dec. 31. available
Phone Number: 0570-04-5551
Address: 〒552-0022 Osaka, Minato Ward, Kaigandori 1-1-10 Aquarium 2nd floor
Access: 10 minutes from the Osakako Station on the Chuo Line, City bus headed for Tempozan Harbor Village
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