TWILLINGATE, N.L. — While Twillingate is billed as the Iceberg Capital of the World, the number of icebergs vary from year to year.
There were fewer icebergs than usual this year which is having an impact on the number of tour bookings, but local tourism operators say there’s still a variety of interesting options for tours and activities.
“My numbers are about the same as this time last year, but we have had an extra month of tours,” said Chris Scott, owner and operator of Twillingate Adventure Tours, recalling that last year the harbour ice delayed the start of the tour season.
“There are still a lot of people coming to Twillingate and going on tours,” Scott said. “But we have had a lot of cancellations when they find out there are no icebergs.”
Mandi Young, president of the Twillingate Islands Tourism Association (TITA) and owner/operator of Twillingate & Beyond, has found the same thing.
“We certainly did have some cancellations,” Young said. “Some people made bookings here and then cancelled them to go to where the icebergs were.”
However, Scott thinks that focusing on whether there are icebergs present is a very narrow view of tourism in the Twillingate area.
“We have been putting a lot of eggs in the one basket just thinking about whether there are icebergs,” Scott said. “We need to remember that we have one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world, it’s worth taking a two-hour tour just to see that. The icebergs and whales should be a bonus.
“We have a gem here. It never gets old getting out to look at the coastline — every time you see it in different light and different weather.”
And tourists have been thrilled with their tours, whether or not they see an iceberg.
“The tourists who are going with us, they are pleasantly surprised,” Scott said. “We are getting a lot of positive feedback — once they go on the tour they are not disappointed. They are getting to see things they have only seen on TV.
“We should be proud of what we’ve got.”
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“The boat tours are not just about icebergs,” Young said. “We have whales, and seabirds, and geology to see — sea stacks and volcanic rock.”
She stresses there are a variety of land-based activities as well.
“Businesses like Split Rock Breweries (which makes craft beer) and Auk Island Winery are attracting people to the region,” Young said. “And we have evening entertainment seven nights a week.”
Young also highlighted the series of eight trails available for people to explore and the Wooden Boat museum where one of the builders is on site to provide a tour.
“Other new things happening this year in Twillingate are kayak tours, guided hiking, sea to plate experiences, helicopter tours and horse and buggy rides,” Young said. “There is a lot more than just icebergs.”
The Twillingate Islands Tourism Association invites people to check out #atimeintwillingate social media campaign to see everything that is going on in the area. For more information about tourism in Twillingate go to visittwillingate.com