Tourists come from all over to experience Newfoundland iceberg season

Visitors to the province embrace the season to take in the beauty of icebergs making their way along the coast.

Abby Butler

An iceberg floats in the water in Bauline. The deep blue water casts an aquamarine shadow on the ice. Abby Butler/Kicker

Ocean waters in Newfoundland are filled with beautiful icebergs throughout the spring and early summer. 

Colors range from pure white to dazzling blue, and the icebergs come in all shapes and sizes.

Annually, these structures come and go – to no surprise of residents in the province.

But for tourists, these glacial sculptures draw them to our province and its coastlines.

Whether it’s your first time or your tenth time seeing it, the ice show never fails to amaze its audience.

A woman sits on the ice taking photos of the icebergs with her phone.
Kathy Galambos sits on ice that has built up on the rocks in Bauline. It is her first time ever seeing icebergs and she captures the experience in photos. Abby Butler/Kicker

Kathy Galambos is a tourist from Ontario who has been coming to Newfoundland since 1998.

For Galambos, one of the biggest parts about coming to the province is “finding the beauty of the island and exploring all of the things it does have.”

“It was like a fairytale come true.”

– Kathy Galambos

She has a bucket list of things she hopes to see: moose, whales, puffins, capelin, eagles, seals, and of course, icebergs. 

Recently, she finally checked icebergs off of her list.

She was in awe when she laid eyes on them, focused on “the way the sun was shining off of the ice and the water,” she said, “because the other days that I’d been in Newfoundland it was all foggy and gross, and so it was as if that was meant to be.”

Galambos was in the small community of Bauline when she laid eyes on the structure.

“It was like a fairytale come true.”

75 per cent see icebergs

Steve Crocker, minister of Tourism, Culture, Arts and Recreation in Newfoundland and Labrador, says this is an important time of year because it is the “shoulder season” for the province.

“Around 75 per cent of our spring vacation visitors actually report seeing icebergs,” Crocker said. “So obviously if three-quarters of our tourists are seeing icebergs, it means that they’re actually looking for icebergs.”

For tourism operators, especially on the Northeast Coast, these numbers are crucial. Tourists drive business in these areas. 

“Quite frankly, to see accommodators booked up in May and June is not common across the province, but you will find it common in those areas that have icebergs,” said Crocker.

Iceberg charts from the government of Canada indicate a season with substantial iceberg flow this year. 

So, what does this mean for tourism in the province?

“Anytime that we have a strong season, indications are that, that usually makes for a strong follow-up season as well.”

Bearing this trend in mind along with this year’s predictions, Crocker says there are high hopes for another good ice season. 

Abby Butler is a photographer and student journalist studying at the College of the North Atlantic. A lover of photography from a young age, she aims to tell her stories as much through photos as she does through writing.

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