A 'Berg in the Hand Beats Two on the Web

There's nothing like actually seeing an iceberg, and Twillingate is famous for the number of icebergs that float into the area and run aground, providing a theatrical backdrop. Of course, it's a variable pleasure; some years are great for sighting icebergs, some aren't. Numerous factors conspire to determine if and when the 'bergs will show up, ranging from the thickness of sea ice in a given year to the prevailing direction of ocean currents to temperatures in the Arctic the previous year. (That's when glaciers in Greenland calve and produce the 'bergs that eventually float past Newfoundland the following spring.)

If icebergs are in the area, you should be able to spot them from the Long Point lighthouse or any of the other headlands or bays around Twillingate. Your best bet is to arrive in June or July, although the occasional stray 'berg has been spotted in August as well.

Of course, you get the best view of icebergs by taking a boat tour, two of which are offered right from Twillingate harbor. Twillingate Island Boat Tours (tel. 800/611-2374; www.icebergtours.ca) has been operating since 1985. It's based out of the Iceberg Shop, painted with colorful murals of icebergs, at 50A Main St. (Turn right on Main St. when you enter Twillingate.) There are three cruises daily from May through September, taking about 2 hours each. Also offering tours is Captain Perry Young's Twillingate Adventure Tours (tel. 888/447-8687 or 709/884-5999; www.daybreaktours.com), with a 40-passenger vessel. These 2-hour tours also run thrice daily, from mid-May to Labour Day; also inquire about sunset cruises, which depart when conditions are favorable. You might see anything from huge, wind-twisted shapes to tiny "growlers" spinning angrily (and audibly) in the current.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.