As temperatures rise, Greenland is ready to share a bit of its ice with the ocean. Massive slabs of ice break off the glacier and begin their long journey across the North Atlantic. The so-called Iceberg Alley stretches from the coast of Labrador to the southeast coast of Newfoundland.
When to view icebergs
The iceberg viewing season runs from April to July, with late May and early June being the prime time. The further north, the longer the iceberg season lasts. The overall number of ancient ice giants wandering along the waterway throughout summertime counts up to a few hundred.
Where to view icebergs
The iceberg route lies along the east coast of Newfoundland and Labrador. Some of the popular places to view the icebergs from shore or a tour boat are (north to south): St. Lewis, Battle Harbour, St. Anthony and nearby St. Anthony Bight, Twillingate, Fogo Island, Bonavista, Bay De Verde, St. John's with nearby Cape Spear (the easternmost point of North America), Bay Bulls, and Ferryland. The good news is that most of these locations are accessible by road; other spots can be accessed by car ferry.
The southernmost of the above-mentioned spots is a small scenic coastal town of Ferryland. This cozy town with nice bright huts set on the cliffs above the sea is home to some 400 individuals. The locals are lucky to enjoy beautiful marine sceneries year-round, but particularly breathtaking views take over the horizon during the season of icebergs floating by. Normally, they simply pass by, but occasionally an iceberg gets trapped in the shallow coastal waters and stays there a little longer.
Hundreds of tourists head to Ferryland to witness this natural phenomenon and take pictures of giant ice slabs. The tourist flow is increasing with every succeeding year. It might be somewhat stressful for the locals who have to forget about solitude and get used to traffic jams and crowds on the shores during these spectacular icy summer months.
How to see icebergs
The best ways to view icebergs are from land or hopping on a boat or kayak tour. Numerous tour operators across the province offer boat tours that take you closer to icebergs. Another perk of joining a tour is spotting wildlife such as whales and various seabirds. Adventure-seekers can paddle out to have a closer look at the icy giants. Take into account that these icebergs are in a constant state of melting and can break up or have large pieces fall off quite spectacularly, often with big splashes or waves. These conditions could be hazardous to anyone close by in a small boat, so viewing from land is an excellent alternative too.
When is the best time to visit Iceberg Alley in Newfoundland and Labrador?
The peak season for iceberg viewing in Newfoundland and Labrador is from late May to early June, but they can be seen from April through July. Iceberg season is longer the further north you go, and a number of ice giants can be seen during summertime, often in the range of several hundred. Show more
Where are the best places to view the icebergs in Newfoundland and Labrador?
Joining a tour is an excellent way to view icebergs up close, and many popular places in Newfoundland and Labrador are accessible by road or car ferry. St. Lewis, Battle Harbour, St. Anthony, Twillingate, Fogo Island, Bonavista, Bay De Verde, St. John's, Bay Bulls, and Ferryland are some of the names on the list. Ferryland is farther south, and visitors can get a good view from there. Show more
What other wildlife can be spotted on an iceberg viewing tour?
Apart from icebergs, catching a glimpse of humpback whales, fin whales, minke whales, and orcas is a possibility on an iceberg viewing tour. Visitors can also spot seabirds like puffins, gannets, and kittiwakes. Iceberg viewing tours provide adventure-seekers with a unique opportunity to get up close and person with majestic, wild creatures. Show more
When do icebergs in Iceberg Alley typically melt?
Icebergs are in a constant state of melting and break up or lose large pieces throughout summertime. Large pieces of them can fall off with big splashes or waves, making them hazardous to view from a small boat or kayak. Observers are reminded to keep a safe distance. A safer alternative is to view icebergs from land. Show more
How can visitors ensure their safety while viewing icebergs from a small boat or kayak?
People must prioritize safety while viewing icebergs from a small boat or kayak. Icebergs break up and rapidly lose large pieces, creating hazards for anyone nearby. Visitors can effectively ensure their safety by taking guided tours or by observing icebergs from land. Both options allow visitors to view the majestic natural phenomenon in a safe manner while getting an excellent view. Show more