Every spring, hundreds of icebergs make their journey from the Canadian Arctic and western Greenland to the coast of Canada’s eastern-most province. Considered to be one of the best places in the world to take in the magnificent views, catching a glimpse of icebergs in Newfoundland is an experience that will take your breath away every time. With unique shapes, sizes and even colours, no two icebergs are ever the same and locals will tell you that the views along Iceberg Alley never get old. And although the typical iceberg viewing season ends around August, the Iceberg Alley Concerts music festival celebrates the end of the season with music, food and fun every September, so you can keep the party going and the celebratory spirit alive for just a little bit longer.

Looking for Icebergs? There’s an App For That

Iceberg season in Newfoundland is from April to August; however, late May and early June are generally deemed to be the best and most consistent months for iceberg viewing. As many factors, including weather and climate change, contribute to not only the season as a whole, but each individual iceberg’s path and location, they may not always end up exactly where you’ve seen them before, or where you were hoping to catch a glance. Luckily, the Iceberg Alley App is here to help. It’s free to install (though you will need to set up an account) and users can post up-to-the-minute pictures and information about iceberg sightings, making sure that your quest to get a peek is a successful one. Make the most of the app by sharing details and images with other iceberg enthusiasts!

Celebrate Iceberg Season with the Iceberg Alley Concerts

Send off the 2021 icebergs in style with a good old fashioned music festival! From September 8 – 18, dozens of musical acts will be taking to the stage in St. John’s Pleasantville neighbourhood, on the shores of Quidi Vidi Lake. This year’s festival goers can expect to see stars like The Barenaked Ladies, Melissa Ethridge, April Wine, Our Lady Peace, July Talk and Newfoundland and Labrador’s own Alan Doyle of Great Big Sea delighting the crowds under a 36,000 square foot big top tent just a few minutes from downtown St. John’s. Food from local vendors and refreshments are available on site, and protocols are in place to ensure that everyone has a safe and enjoyable time. For more information, including set times and ticket sales, visit the Iceberg Alley Concerts website.

The View From the Coast

Due to their impressive size and the province’s fantastic coastline, you can spot icebergs without ever leaving dry land. Newfoundland’s roads were built with the province’s natural beauty and sightseeing in mind, so you can go for a leisurely drive along the eastern coast and pull over at a local beach or lookout point to get a better view when you see an iceberg cruising by. From Gander to Clarenville and down to St. John’s, the icebergs will greet you along your journey.

Setting Sail

Boat tours set sail from a few different points along the coast with knowledgeable tour guides who exude quintessential east coast hospitality (just one of the best things about Newfoundland) and are eager and excited to show locals and visitors alike around the icebergs. If a self-guided day is more up your (iceberg) alley, paddle out in a kayak to get a closer look…but not too close – as with any experience in nature, safety is paramount. Your iceberg excursion may even turn into a wildlife adventure, with whales, friendly puffins and other animals popping up to say hello.

The Tip of the Iceberg

The phrase the tip of the iceberg” is no joke – if you’re astounded by the sheer size of what you’re able to see above the water, keep in mind that 90% of the iceberg lies below the surface. As with anything in nature, icebergs can be unstable, and there is always a risk of falling ice and dangers underneath the water. If you’re keen to see the icebergs from your own kayak or boat, always be sure to keep a safe distance – generally at least one iceberg’s length or double the iceberg’s height, whichever is greater.

A Sip of the Iceberg

Yes, you read that right – you can actually taste an iceberg in the form of Iceberg Vodka or Iceberg Lager from Newfoundland’s own Quidi Vidi Brewing Co. The icebergs that float to Newfoundland annually are thousands upon thousands of years old and contain some of the purest water on earth. The ice is harvested by a highly experienced team and used to create some of the smoothest drinking beverages in the world. The best part? Because these icebergs have already broken off of Arctic Glaciers and unharvested ice will simply melt into the ocean eventually, this process doesn’t negatively affect the environment. Talk about an ice cold drink! 

Wondering how else to experience the best of Newfoundland? Take in these must-see sights in Corner Brook, NL or enjoy a local brew on a patio at one of Newfoundland’s best watering holes. And don’t forget to commemorate your visit (even if it was just a staycation)! Newfoundland is famous for its touristy trinkets and homemade treasures from local artisans will make sure that you’ll always have Newfoundland close to your heart.

Special thanks to the team at Clayton Hospitality, Quality Hotel in Clarenville, NL, Comfort Hotel Airport in St. John’s, NL and Comfort Inn in Gander, NL for their contributions to this article.

Always follow Canada and local health authority COVID-19 guidelines for travelling or visiting attractions. Learn more about current restrictions and travelling within Canada.

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