I’d never really pondered icebergs before. Yes, I knew a sea full of hulking bergs caused the Titanic to go down. But since I never encounter those icy chunks in my daily life, I rarely thought about them. This is, until a PR colleague from Newfoundland told me about Iceberg Alley.
Every spring, 25,000 to 40,000 icebergs split away from glaciers in western Greenland. Eventually, they drift past Newfoundland’s east coast, dubbed Iceberg Alley. You can watch their impressive migration from a number of spots in this Canadian maritime province, generally in spring and early summer.
Interestingly, icebergs were the bane of the area’s cod fishermen for decades. But when the cod industry collapsed in the 1980s due to overfishing, Newfoundlanders turned to their next biggest resource: ice. If cod could no longer keep their economy afloat, perhaps these icy behemoths could, via tourism. And that’s exactly what happened.
Visiting Iceberg Alley
Today, Newfoundland hosts an annual Iceberg Festival in the city of St. Anthony, and creative locals produce Iceberg beer. Some restaurants and bars use bits of the glacial ice in their drinks, but it’s not just for show. No, these smaller “bergy bits,” as they’re called, melt much more slowly than regular ice. There are also a slew of tourism companies that take visitors out in the water on berg-hunting expeditions. All of this sounded quite novel and exciting to me. So I grabbed my husband and off we went.
You can read about our experience in the story above. But I’ll tell you this – it was a very cool (no pun intended) experience. The ice chunks come in varied shapes and sizes, and in stunning blue and green hues. They’re just gorgeous, whether viewed from the land or sea.
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