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Destinations Underwater Video

Migration of Glacial Giants

Photograph by Maxwel Hohn / Words by Roseanne Keatley

A sure sign that a change of seasons has arrived in the north is the annual appearance of giant icebergs on the horizon, as they lumber down the coastline. These unlikely travellers migrate annually from the glaciers in Greenland, sailing across the Atlantic Ocean to the shores of Newfoundland and Labrador. These glacial visitors drift down the coast to spend summer in Newfoundland, giving ice harvesters work, beer drinkers beer, and divers a place to explore. 

An iceberg is created when the edge of a glacier breaks off into the ocean in an event called ‘calving’, resulting in an iceberg with its own unique physical characteristics. Many of the icebergs off the coast of Newfoundland can be upwards of 10,000 years old, and it is this ancient ice that draws adventures, photographers, divers, and brewers alike as these icebergs sail by on their last migration before melting to the sea.

Most of an iceberg is underwater, which gives experienced divers a unique opportunity to explore the hidden secrets of these mammoth ice formations. Iceberg diving comes with many hazards, as they could flip or break apart at any moment. It is very important to dive with an experienced local outfit. 

If you don’t get the chance to dive or see an iceberg, you can still taste one! The ice is harvested to be used by local distilleries and breweries to create refreshing craft beers and spirits. 

Every year is unique, so the tides will keep you anticipating what shapes and sizes will be in the annual iceberg parade. One thing for sure, though, is that the show will dazzle tourists and locals alike. 

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