Towering over the waves like an ice colossus, it dwarfs the remote Newfoundland town below.

And this enormous iceberg, one of the first of the season to float into 'iceberg alley,' has turned the small town of Ferryland into a sudden tourist spot.

Photographers, both amateur and professional, caused traffic jams along the Southern Shore highway over Easter weekend as hundreds jostled to see the hulking mountain of ice.

The area of Canada's east coast by Newfoundland and Labrador is known as Iceberg Alley due to the large number of the 10,000-year-old glacial giants which drift down from the arctic each spring.


And the iceberg which has taken up residence just outside Ferryland is thought to be about 45m high, more than 15m higher than the one which the Titanic struck in 1912.

A large iceberg is visible from the shore in Ferryland, an hour south of St. John's, Newfoundland. Photo / AP
A large iceberg is visible from the shore in Ferryland, an hour south of St. John's, Newfoundland. Photo / AP

"It's the biggest one I have ever seen around here," Ferryland mayor Aidan Kavanagh told the Canadian Press.

"It's a huge iceberg and it's in so close that people can get a good photograph of it."

Most of the icebergs float past the coast, but this one appears to have become grounded in the shallow water, mayor Kavanagh added.

Typically 90 per cent of an iceberg's mass is underwater, with just the tip protruding above the surface, meaning many run aground and are locked in place when they drift into shallow water towards the coast.

This is good news for the town's tour operators, skipper at Iceberg Quest Ocean Tours Barry Rogers told CBC News, with business booming because of the ice giant.

"When they come in along the shoreline, and go grounded, we are very happy about that," he said.

As many as 616 icebergs have moved into the shipping lanes so far this year, compared to 687 in the whole of 2016.


Strong anti-clockwise winds and the effects of global warming are being blamed for the high numbers, as chunks of the Greenland ice sheet have been breaking off at a quicker rate.

Icebergs are so plentiful around Newfoundland that Canadians make their own spirits with chunks of the frozen mountains - Iceberg Vodka, Iceberg Gin and Iceberg Rum, as well as Iceberg Beer.