Each year, a stretch of water along the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador, known as Iceberg Alley, gives way to huge ancient blocks of ice that have been released from glaciers in the northern Arctic. When spring arrives, hundreds of these luminous and sculptural objects of nature float south of the eastern coast of Canada towards the open sea. As its name implies, this aquatic tract is one of the best places in the world to see icebergs.
This marine area is famous for its abundance of icebergs and the danger they pose to ships, especially when one sank the RMS Titanic. This disaster led to the area being nicknamed “Iceberg Alley” and the movement of icebergs to be carefully monitored, something that benefits both people at sea and tourists.
For visitors, the experience of seeing the icebergs is unique and wonderful; Even the residents of Newfoundland are not tired of the annual appearance of these glacial giants that range in size from tiny to 150 feet tall and in colors from dazzling white to rich aquamarine. By the time the icebergs arrive, they have been carved and contoured into sculptural works of art.
In addition to the visual impact, these frozen blocks of time-worn water creak and rumble, sometimes even collapsing in front of you.
Iceberg Alley – and Newfoundland and Labrador in general – hit many Canadian bucket travel charts with good reason. Newfoundland and Labrador (although commonly known simply as “Newfoundland,” Canada’s easternmost province comprising the island of Newfoundland and the more sparsely populated mainland Labrador to the northeast and properly called “Newfoundland and Labrador”) is geographically rich and diverse. , with a population of people famous for their humor and hospitality. Iceberg Alley is just one of the many natural wonders of the province, but possibly the most unique and dramatic.
Iceberg Alley is the stretch of water that runs from Greenland along the east coast of Newfoundland and Labrador. Popular cities where people flock to see icebergs are dotted along some 1,000 km of coastal land.
How to get to Iceberg Alley
You will most likely fly into St. John’s (airport code YYT) and then head to one of the more popular viewing spots, found for the most part on the island of Newfoundland (as opposed to the more remote part Northern Labrador). These locations, including the Bay Bulls, Witless Bay, St. John’s / Cape Spear, Bonavista, Twillingate, La Scie, and St. Anthony, are easily accessible by road from St. John’s, either by rental car or on an organized tour. .
Other established observation points are in southern Labrador: St. Lewis, Battle Harbor, Red Bay, and Point Amour. To access these cities, you must cross by ferry from the island of Newfoundland.
Icebergs tend to settle in bays and close to shore, making it convenient for viewing off shore, but there are other options, including boat tours, that are widely available.
When to go to Iceberg Alley
The best time to see the icebergs of the Iceberg Valley is in the spring, that is, from May to early June. Spring actually coincides with the best times to watch whales and migratory birds along the east coast of Newfoundland and Labrador, so if you’re really lucky, you can be rewarded three times.
Finding out where the icebergs are
The elaborate iceberg tracking is both in the name of tourism and marine safety. Icebergs are obviously dangerous to ships and have been tracked since the RMS Titanic sank.
Icebergs are quite reliable along your route from Iceberg Alley, but iceberg tracking technology can make your locations and travel routes more accurate.
See the whereabouts of icebergs in Iceberg Finder.
News reports start to appear regularly in January or February announcing the arrival and expected route of the icebergs. For example, in early 2017, it was already clear that it would be a stellar year for iceberg sightings.
On average, about 400 to 800 icebergs make it to St. John’s, Newfoundland. This number can vary greatly from year to year, with 1984, for example, recorded as over 2,200.
The number of icebergs you see on a visit to Iceberg Alley depends on how willing you are to travel. You may see some each day from one location or you may have to chase after them.
Icebergs are on the move, so they come and go from town to town. Some are housed for days or weeks, like the leviathan that hung around the town of Ferryland this year.
The best ways to see icebergs are by boat, kayak, and from land. If you decide to see these glacial giants by kayak, make sure you don’t get too close. They break and can be dangerous. Don’t forget to pack your binoculars and your camera.
Accommodation in Callejón Iceberg
The cities along Iceberg Alley are not major cosmopolitan centers and apart from the capital city of St. John’s, they will have no hotels. Accommodations and bed and breakfasts are the kind of accommodations to expect on an iceberg-watching adventure in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Without large hotels or resorts, accommodation is limited, so advance booking is required.
Also monitor your expectations. Bedding may not have a high thread count, but most of the time, the enthusiasm and warmth of your hosts will more than make up for the lack of luxury.
Fun iceberg facts
- Almost 90% of an iceberg is underwater, so what we see from a safe distance is literally just the tip.
- Icebergs come in all shapes and sizes, including arched, pyramidal, domed, blocky, and tabular, to name a few. Some are snow white, others appear more turquoise. Some have cascading waterfalls next to them.
- Icebergs can be volatile. Their irregular shapes combined with the varying degrees of melting and breaking mean that they can suddenly tip over or roll over. Beware!
- Icebergs are made up of water that is 10,000 to 12,000 years old.
- The smallest icebergs are known as “bergy chunks,” which are the size of a small house, and the “growlers” are the size of a grand piano.
- Icebergs “talk,” which means that because they are in a constant state of melting and shifting, they emit low noises and other noises.