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Best time to see icebergs, whales, AND puffins?

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Philadelphia...
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Best time to see icebergs, whales, AND puffins?

I'm planning a trip to St. John's for sometime later this year, no earlier than Memorial Day weekend, and have read a lot of conflicting information about when it's most likely to see icebergs, whales, and puffins. I want to see all of them, but every resource has a different opinion! Has anyone been to Newfoundland — or lives there now — and can give me a fairly definitive answer on this? My best guess is mid-June, but I'd love to hear some experts weigh in on this.

St. John's, Canada
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1. Re: Best time to see icebergs, whales, AND puffins?

The best time to see whales and puffins is June to August, although you will see some in May and October. Icebergs are harder to predict because of annual variations in ocean temperature and other factors. Right now, it's too early to say what kind of year this will be for bergs. You could track bergs' progress via the Canadian Ice Service website: ice-glaces.ec.gc.ca/app/WsvPrdCanQry.cfm… and look at the Daily Iceberg Analysis Chart. Later this spring the Iceberg Finder satellite service will be available on our website: www.newfoundlandlabrador.com. Another strategy is to contact tour boat operators and get their take on the season. They are listed on our website. The Strait of Belle Isle area between Newfoundland and Labrador has the longest iceberg season.

Ed Kirby

Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism

Owen Sound, Canada
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2. Re: Best time to see icebergs, whales, AND puffins?

Humpback Whales are generally [and this varies a lot by location and by the particular year - last year they were later than average...]very early July to early-mid August. But whales might be in a particular cove or area for only a short period of time. Puffins mid-June to the end of July , and icebergs it really depends on the year as noted above. We've had them in Bay Bulls July 10th some years and other years they were long gone by then, if in that area at all.

For whales and puffins I would go to Witless Bay about the second week in July. For icebergs I would check local conditions prior to my trip and revise accordingly.

cheers- Jerry

Vancouver, Canada
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3. Re: Best time to see icebergs, whales, AND puffins?

We went on a boat tour to Witless Bay in mid-June last year. We saw lots and lots of puffins. However, there were very few whales. The tour guide on the boat said that we were probably a couple of weeks too early and there were usually more around the beginning of July. We did, however, see lots and lots of icebergs off Twillingate about a week later.

Philadelphia...
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4. Re: Best time to see icebergs, whales, AND puffins?

Wow, thanks Ed, that was a great link. My husband and I are moderately geeky about weather stuff, so we really enjoyed looking over the reports and charts. We're also very much looking forward to experiencing Newfoundland, and can't wait for our trip!

Philadelphia...
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5. Re: Best time to see icebergs, whales, AND puffins?

Thanks, Jerry. We're not counting on humpbacks (although they are always lovely to see, we've seen them many times from Cape Cod), and my understanding is that there are many species of whales off the coast. I'm particularly keen to see fin whales, in fact! Are the other varieties of whales around at different times? Or do they all basically feed in the area and travel through from the south around the same period of time?

Philadelphia...
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6. Re: Best time to see icebergs, whales, AND puffins?

Thank you, itchyfeet. We'd love to get up as far north as Twillingate, but don't think we want to take that much time out of our vacation to drive up there. I'd love to find an iceberg-watching tour that takes you significantly far north. So far, most of the ones I've found just go around the St. John's area, and are 2 or so hours. I'm surprised we haven't been able to turn up anything like an all-day boat trip that takes a few hours to go up the coast.

7. Re: Best time to see icebergs, whales, AND puffins?

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