Exploring Newfoundland’s Iceberg Alley
You may have about the mammoth iceberg off the coast of Canada’s Newfoundland and Labrador province that is taking the internet by storm. The nearly 15-story iceberg seems to have stalled in shallow waters on its journey south along a zone known as Iceberg Alley, and folks from around North America are flocking to the tiny town of Ferryland, N.L. for a chance to fill up their Instagram feeds.
What few media reports have mentioned, however, is that Ferryland is not quite set up for a massive influx of tourism. And while the town does have a limited number of guesthouses, cottages and inns, most of them are “closed for the season” right now.” Even buying a sandwich in town can pose a challenge for intrepid iceberg spotters.
If you’d rather engage in iceberg viewing with a little more structure, there are plenty of opportunities. After all, the province is made up of more than 18,000 miles of coastline with hundreds of icebergs passing by its northern and eastern shores every year. Plus, optimal iceberg viewing is yet to come, The best sightings according to the tourism board, usually occur in May and early June.
June (and July) also happen to be a great time to see humpback whales and puffins in action, so the smartest adventurers will plan to stay a night or two in early to mid-June for a chance to catch up with Newfoundland’s “Big Three:” bergs, birds and whales. Of course, as with all things Mother Nature, no sightings are ever guaranteed.
Ready to create your own iceberg itinerary? Here are a few packages to get you started:
Fogo Island Inn
Newfoundland’s most-famed property is the luxurious Fogo Island Inn. In late spring, the inn features the “Escape to Iceberg Alley” package, starting from $1,775 (CDN) per night. While many lucky guests might see icebergs float past from their floor-to-ceiling windows, there’s also a full afternoon boat ride for a closer view of ‘bergs and local wildlife. The package includes an evening showing of James Cameron’s, Titanic. Titanic, of course, struck an iceberg some 400 miles off the coast of Newfoundland.
Located along Newfoundland’s Viking Trail, Tuckamore Lodge is a luxurious Scandinavian-style lodge that’s best known for its hunting and fly fishing packages but there are also plenty of options for shutterbugs. From June 1 through July 20, the Land of Giants package includes a 2 1/2-hour boat tour of iceberg Alley that might net views of icebergs, blue whales and humpbacks. The package starts from $450 (CDN) per person and includes two nights accommodation and breakfast and dinner for two nights
Historic Battle Harbour, N.L., in the Labrador Sea was once an important entry point into the New World as many sailing vessels would make a call at this easterly port. From Battle Harbour, you can hike to the eastern-most point of the North American continent. The town has several well-preserved cottages and historic buildings that serve as inns and every June, they offer the Iceberg Hunting package, which includes ferry rides to and from Battle Harbor, meals, local tours and a two-hour boat ride in search of icebergs. There’s even a truly hands-on experience as you join a group of locals in making fresh-baked buns. Rates start from $950, based on double occupancy.
Anchor Inn Hotel
A popular spot for iceberg viewing is Twillingate, N.L., a famed fishing town which has also been immortalized in a Canadian folk song. During iceberg season, the award-winning Anchor Inn Hotel and Suites offers the “Experience Outport Twillingate” which features two nights in an ocean-view room, daily breakfast, a welcome basket with a bottle of local Auk Island Wine. You’ll also enjoy two pints of iceberg beer in the pub. Iceberg hunters will be treated to a guided hike along “French Beach,” a prime viewing location. The package starts from $279 per couple and runs from May 1-31, 2017.
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