Province/Territory: Newfoundland and Labrador

Getting Up Close and Personal with Icebergs and Whales

  • 10000 year old icebergs
  • 15 feet long flippers on humpback whales
  • 100s of 1,000s of nesting seabirds

Steady yourself against the railing as the MV Iceberg Alley bobs gently on the waters of the North Atlantic, cruising into Iceberg Alley where surreal white mountains calved from the Greenland Ice Cap drift by. Hear tales of the iceberg wranglers who harvest the ancient bergs for the freshest water on the planet, used to make vodka, rum, beer and very exclusive bottled water. Hold your breath as a humpback whale breaches the water. As kittiwakes and murres circle above you try to count how many dolphins are playing off the bow. Back on shore, immerse yourself in coastal Newfoundland culture with visits to museums, craft shops and theatre before heading back to sea at sunset where reds and oranges dapple the icebergs in a lightshow as unique as it is unforgettable.

Why you should visit
  • See an impossibly white iceberg up close and hear how noisy it can be.
  • Learn to recognize the different types - tabular, dry dock, pinnacle, growler - and which ones are too dangerous to get near.
  • Decide whether a puffin is the silliest bird you've ever watched.
  • Sip iceberg vodka - the purest on the planet.
  • Find out what happened to the Beothuks, a now-extinct people who once thrived in the area.
  • Take in some of the local theatre productions detailing the history and culture of Twillingate.

Weather

Visitor information
  • Twillingate Island Boat Tours is open May 1 - September 30.
  • Tours run 3 times per day and an evening sunset tour is available by special arrangement.
  • Twillingate is a small town, but has plenty of amenities including shops, restaurants and accommodations.
When to go
  • Icebergs generally begin appearing in late May and are gone by August.
  • Whale sightings peak in mid-July.
  • The Twillingate Fish Fun and Folk Festival, one of the largest and longest running folk festivals in the province, is held on the last full weekend of July.
  • Live theatre shows run from June to September, depending on the venue.
Need to know
  • Iceberg tours are two hour cruises but there are plenty of other things to do in the area; plan to spend a couple of days if possible.
  • Expect changeable weather and dress accordingly; bring rainwear and mittens as well as t-shirts and shorts.
Getting Here