Iceberg Alley

Iceberg Alley is the area from Baffin Bay (where icebergs enter the water from the massive glaciers on the southwest coast of Greenland) down to the east coast of Newfoundland and Labrador where the bergs enter the shipping lanes.

A typical “small” iceberg looms 5-15 meters above water level and weighs about 100,000 tons. The sea here is generally littered with “bergy bits” – floating chunks of ice that weigh around 10,000 tons – and “growlers” – smaller pieces the size of a grand piano weighing about 1,000 tons.  A database of ship collisions with icebergs concentrates on collisions in this North Atlantic area, and lists over 560 incidents from 1810 to the present.

Iceberg season is May – July. You don’t have to take to the water to see them, they can often be spotted from the Newfoundland shore, but if they’re around, getting out among them is an unmissable experience.The air is noticeably cooler as you approach the huge turquoise flanks of the icy giants – the same kind that caused the sinking of the Titanic.

An estimated 10,000 – 30,000 icebergs migrate south from Greenland every year, about 2,000 of which make it to the warm waters of the Gulf Stream where they eventually melt away after a 2-4 year, 3,200km journey. A melting berg often fractures throwing ice chips and knife-sharp splinters in all directions.