Ancient, amazing, and utterly mesmerizing to behold, icebergs are a perfect match for Newfoundland’s ruggedly beautiful shore. Because icebergs come to us from the North, the right time to see them varies along the coast: the further north you go, the longer the season is.

Iceberg sightings

During the active iceberg season, Newfoundland & Labrador’s IcebergFinder is the established place to find out about recent iceberg sightings. Another fine place for recent sightings is the Newfoundland Iceberg Reports group on Facebook, I recommend you check them both out.

In the comment section below, I’ll add my own observations and keep a record of recent sightings as well, and you are welcome to share your sightings there too:

share / check iceberg sightings

Iceberg seasons through the years

So when exactly is the iceberg season?

Every year is a little different, so it’s a good idea to keep your eye on the official Canadian Ice Service charts. By checking these charts early every year, you’ll soon see the potential of the upcoming season. This page keeps track of the annual iceberg seasons in 3 key areas:

  • the Great Northern Peninsula (St. Anthony, L’Anse aux Meadows)
  • the Kittiwake Coast (Twillingate, Fogo Island, Lumsden)
  • the Avalon Peninsula (St. John’s, East Coast Trail)

To see what iceberg activity was like in previous years, just scroll back through the years in the window below:

2017:
Great Northern Peninsula: icebergs: mid-February – (ongoing)
sea ice: mid-January – mid-June
Kittiwake Coast: icebergs: late March – (ongoing)
sea ice: late February – late June
Avalon Peninsula: icebergs: early April – (ongoing)
sea ice: late March – late April
Comments: a good iceberg season right from the start / March and April polar bear sightings near St. Anthony, Twillingate, Newman’s Cove, Melrose, Catalina, Brookside, Wesleyville and St. Brendan’s
2016:
Great Northern Peninsula: icebergs: early May – late July
sea ice: early January – early April
Kittiwake Coast: icebergs: mid-May – early July
sea ice: mid-February – early April
Avalon Peninsula: icebergs: late May – late June
no significant amounts of sea ice
Comments: April and May polar bear sightings in Goose Cove and on Fogo Island
2015:
Great Northern Peninsula: icebergs: late March – late July
sea ice: early January – mid-May
Kittiwake Coast: icebergs: late April – mid-July
sea ice: early February – mid-April
Avalon Peninsula: icebergs: early May – late July
no significant amounts of sea ice
Comments: April and May polar bear sightings in La Scie, on Fogo Island, and near St. Anthony
2014:
Great Northern Peninsula: icebergs: late March – early August
sea ice: late December ’13 – early June
Kittiwake Coast: icebergs: late April – early August
sea ice: late January – mid-May
Avalon Peninsula: icebergs: late April – early July
sea ice: early March – mid-March
Comments: good iceberg season on the Kittiwake Coast and the Avalon Peninsula / March and April polar bear sightings in St. Anthony
2013:
Great Northern Peninsula: icebergs: late February – early August
sea ice: late January – mid-April
Kittiwake Coast: icebergs: early March – early July
sea ice: mid-February – mid-April
Avalon Peninsula: no significant amounts of icebergs
no significant amounts of sea ice
Comments: March polar bear sighting near St. Anthony
2012:
Great Northern Peninsula: icebergs: mid-March – late July
sea ice: mid-January – late April
Kittiwake Coast: icebergs: mid-March – late June
sea ice: late February – mid-April
Avalon Peninsula: icebergs: mid-March – mid-June
sea ice: late March – early April
Comments: March, April and May polar bear sightings near St. Anthony (2), Newtown/Greenspond and La Scie
2011:
Great Northern Peninsula: icebergs: late March – mid-September
sea ice: late February – late April
Kittiwake Coast: icebergs: late May & early September – early December
sea ice: early April – mid-April
Avalon Peninsula: no icebergs
no sea ice
Comments: April polar bear sighting in St. Anthony
2010:
Great Northern Peninsula: icebergs: mid-April – late July
sea ice: early February – early April
Kittiwake Coast: no significant amounts of icebergs
no significant amounts of sea ice
Avalon Peninsula: no icebergs
no sea ice
2009:
Great Northern Peninsula: icebergs: early March – mid-August
sea ice: mid-January – mid-May
Kittiwake Coast: icebergs: mid-March – late July
sea ice: early February – early May
Avalon Peninsula: icebergs: late March – early June
sea ice: late March – early April
Comments: April polar bear sighting in St. Anthony
2008:
Great Northern Peninsula: icebergs: mid-February – late July
sea ice: late December ’07 – mid-May
Kittiwake Coast: icebergs: early April – mid-June
sea ice: late January – late April
Avalon Peninsula: icebergs: late April – late June
sea ice: mid-March – late March
Comments: March polar bear sighting on Fogo Island and St. Anthony
2007:
Great Northern Peninsula: icebergs: early April – early August
sea ice: mid-January – early June
Kittiwake Coast: icebergs: early March – late July
sea ice: mid-February – early June
Avalon Peninsula: icebergs: early April – early June
no significant amounts of sea ice
Comments: July polar bear sighting in Raleigh
2006:
Great Northern Peninsula: icebergs: early March – mid-July
sea ice: late January – early April
Kittiwake Coast: icebergs: early May – mid-May
sea ice: late February – late March
Avalon Peninsula: no icebergs
no sea ice
2005:
Great Northern Peninsula: icebergs: late March – early May
sea ice: early January – early May
Kittiwake Coast: icebergs: early May – mid-May
sea ice: late January – late April
Avalon Peninsula: no icebergs
sea ice: late March

About these dates

The dates listed above are based on personal observations, information shared on social media, and on the official charts published by the Canadian Ice Service. A threshold of 5 icebergs was used as the minimum required amount for the observed ‘start’ and ‘end’ of an iceberg season in any of the three key areas.

Wildlife

While icebergs are the undeniable stars of any good iceberg season, they’re often accompanied by more infamous visitors too: polar bears hunting seals are known to drift in with the spring sea ice, giving coastal communities a good reason to be extra vigilant.

East Coast Trail Guide

With Newfoundland’s #1 hiking guide in your pocket, you’ll have no trouble finding your way to any of the icebergs that arrive on the East Coast Trail this year.