VENTflash #194: Amazon River Cruise Opportunity December 01, 2015

Posted by Victor Emanuel

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Victor Emanuel

Victor Emanuel started birding in Texas 69 years ago at the age of eight. His travels have taken him to all the continents, with his areas of concentration being Texas, Ari...

Dear friends,

With our first Amazon River Cruise of 2016, January 21-31, set to depart in less than two months, I thought you might like to know about a terrific opportunity to join this trip at a significant discount. This week, we received notice of cancellation by a couple who had been registered on this trip. Since they were assessed cancellation penalties, we can offer their cabin at a discount of $2,000 per person in double occupancy. The published fee for this cabin is $6,495 in double occupancy; with the discount, the fee for this cabin is $4,495 in double occupancy. We expect this cabin to go quickly, and will be sold on a first-come basis.

Blue-and-yellow Macaws

Blue-and-yellow Macaws — Photo: Andrew Whittaker

There is nothing in the world like the Amazon River, the world’s largest watershed and the lifeblood of the vast region called Amazonia. No single description can do justice to the famed river or adequately convey the wonder of Amazonian wildlife—huge macaws in flight, richly colored Red Howler Monkeys roaring from the treetops, and bright pink freshwater dolphins. The Amazon is a wonderland of natural attractions filled with sunsets, rainbows, giant cloud formations, and tropical forest of a dozen shades of green. It truly is a “must visit” destination for anyone who loves birds and the natural world.

VENT’s Amazon River Cruise is among our most popular and iconic trips. Unlike many companies, we operate on one of the wildest stretches of the river, upstream from the Peruvian city of Iquitos. Our itineraries include plenty of time on the main river in addition to exploration of its two principal tributaries: the Ucayali and Marañon rivers. Our trips are scheduled for the high water season, when we can explore smaller tributaries in comfortable and stable flat-bottom skiffs. Every outing away from the ship offers unique and delightful experiences, from parrots perched in riverside trees, to massive Horned Screamers standing like sentinels in flooded lagoons, to brilliant Masked Crimson Tanagers feeding at water level only yards away, in addition to a parade of hawks, herons, kingfishers, trogons, monkeys, crocodiles and more.

La Estrella Amazonica

La Estrella Amazonica — Photo: International Expeditions

I doubt there is another trip in our repertoire of tours that is equally as relaxing and marvelous as our Amazon River Cruise. Upon embarkation the ship becomes your home for the next week, precluding the hassles of packing and unpacking and continually changing accommodations. Contrary to popular misperceptions, there are not hordes of biting insects in Amazonia and it is not terribly hot. During the warmest time of the day we will be on our air-conditioned ship.

I feel VENT’s Amazon River Cruises are superior to all others for the following reasons:

1) In addition to the naturalists on the ship’s staff, you will have the expertise of two outstanding VENT leaders, Steve Hilty and David Ascanio, who possess years of experience in Amazonia and who have written books on Neotropical birds.

2) We include a day on the coast near Lima where we see a host of Pacific Coast specialty birds including Humboldt Penguin, Peruvian Booby, Red-legged Cormorant, Inca Tern, Many-colored Rush-Tyrant, and others.

Red Howler Monkey

Red Howler Monkeys — Photo: Andrew Whittaker

3) We use a beautiful newer ship, La Estrella Amazonica, featuring an environmentally friendly design and spacious rooms with private viewing decks. It is one of the most comfortable vessels available for an Amazon River cruise.

4) We offer pre- and post-trip options to the endemic-rich Tumbes area of Northwestern Peru and famed Machu Picchu.

There is nothing that equals the biological richness and excitement of the Tropics. I discovered this first-hand when, as a teenager, I fell in love with tropical birds during my first birding trip to Mexico. Frank Chapman, one of the greatest American ornithologists and the founder of Bird-Lore magazine (predecessor to Audubon magazine), captured perfectly in his writings my feelings about the Tropics: “One forms a deep and lasting attachment to nature in the temperate climes, but falls hopelessly in love with her in the Tropics.”

There is no better way to experience the wonder and richness of the Tropics than being on VENT’s Amazon River Cruise. I hope you can take advantage of this great opportunity.

Amazon River Cruise: Birding and Natural History Odyssey Aboard La Estrella Amazonica, January 21-31, 2016 with Steve Hilty and David Ascanio; $6495 in double occupancy from Lima. With discount, $4,495 in double occupancy. Limit 28.

If you are not able to join us in January, I’ll remind you that space is still available aboard our February departure:

Amazon River Cruise: Birding and Natural History Odyssey Aboard La Estrella Amazonica, February 18-28, 2016 with David Ascanio and Paul Greenfield; $6,495 in double occupancy from Lima. Limit 28.