A newly commissioned Navy warship will be wintering in Montreal after its journey to Florida was interrupted by cold and ice.

A Navy spokeswoman says the USS Little Rock was commissioned in Buffalo on Dec. 16 and was expected to make its way to its home port in Mayport, Fla.

Instead, the 118-metre Freedom-variant vessel has been moored in Montreal's Old Port area since Christmas Eve due to unusually heavy ice conditions.

Lt. Cmdr. Courtney Hillson says the Navy has now decided to leave the ship in place until the winter weather improves.

While there's no departure date scheduled, she says the St. Lawrence Seaway is generally navigable by mid-March.

Hillson says the crew is doing well and will focus on training and readiness while waiting to travel to warmer waters.

The icy waterways have caused similar issues elsewhere this winter.

Six ships were halted near Kahnawake on New Years Eve for a time, and days later, a ferry shuttling about 20 passengers from Lévis to Quebec City got stuck in ice for more than four hours.

That incident led to renewed calls to replace the coast guard's aging icebreaker fleet.

With files from CBC News