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Catch up on the latest news from Victor Emanuel Nature Tours by reading the latest VENTflash.

VENTflash #220

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Victor Emanuel: June 06, 2017

Dear friends: After several visits to my beach house on the Upper Texas Coast this April, I found it difficult to leave Texas for Europe in advance of our Birds & History cruise to Sicily and Malta aboard the Sea Cloud. In late April, warblers are still coming through in numbers, and I had yet to see some of my favorites including Blackburnian, Cerulean, and Golden-winged. However, duty called, and the prospect of traveling aboard the lovely Sea Cloud with a wonderful group of people and ...


VENTflash #219

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Victor Emanuel: April 25, 2017

Dear friends: As we've reached the middle of spring, I am reminded again and again why April is my favorite month of the year. Where I live in central Texas, April is glorious—the trees are rife with fresh green leaves, spring wildflowers reach their peak displays, and migrating birds are on the move. April is also a time when I most enjoy spending time at my beach house on the upper Texas coast in close proximity to the famed Bolivar Flats and High Island bird sanctuaries. Hoo...


VENTflash #218: Wild & Ancient Britain with Ireland Cruise - Free Webinar!

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Victor Emanuel: April 06, 2017

Dear friends: On Tuesday, April 11, my colleague Barry Lyon and I will host a free webinar, the latest in our series of webinars in collaboration with Zegrahm Expeditions, in which we'll discuss VENT's upcoming cruise to Wild & Ancient Britain with Ireland, May 9-24, 2018. For this special trip, we'll travel aboard the lovely Ocean Adventurer, voyaging from the south of England to the tip of Scotland as we explore the natural history and cultural riches of the British Isles. Designed for ...


VENTflash #217: Antarctica, South Georgia & the Falklands Cruise-Free Webinar!

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Victor Emanuel: March 24, 2017

Dear friends: On Tuesday, April 4, my colleague Barry Lyon and I will host a free webinar in which we'll discuss VENT's birding and natural history cruise to Antarctica, South Georgia & the Falkland Islands, January 4-25, 2018. For this special trip, we'll travel aboard the beautiful Island Sky, voyaging through the Southern Ocean to some of the most remote places in the world, places home to mesmerizing scenery and unforgettable wildlife spectacles. En route to majestic Antarctica, our t...


VENTflash #216

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Victor Emanuel: March 21, 2017

Dear friends: For over 20 years, VENT has operated an annual trip for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's Chairman's Council, an organization composed of the Lab's strongest supporters. The Chairman's Council likes to visit a new place every year, and this year's departure was to Panama, a trip I co-led last month with my colleague Barry Lyon. Chairman's Council 2017 — Photo: Raul Arias de Para Of all the Chairman's Council trips we've operated, this one was the best ever. I s...


VENTflash #215: Fiji to Tahiti Cruise - Free Webinar!

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Victor Emanuel: February 03, 2017

Dear friends: Next Wednesday, February 8, my colleague, Barry Lyon, and I will host a free webinar in which we'll discuss VENT's upcoming fall cruise to the South Pacific: Faces of Polynesia: Fiji to Tahiti, October 22–November 7, 2017. For this special trip, we'll travel aboard the beautiful Caledonian Sky, voyaging through remote Central Polynesia, island-hopping our way through a tropical paradise filled with volcanic islands, spectacular reefs, coral atolls, picture-perfect beaches,...


VENTflash #214

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Victor Emanuel: January 31, 2017

Dear friends: I make a point of appreciating each of the seasons. Although spring is my favorite time of the year, I always enjoy my time in nature regardless of what the calendar says. Black Skimmers, Bolivar Flats, TX — Photo: Greg Lasley Over the last two weekends, I was able to get out and enjoy some wonderful winter birding. Two weekends ago I visited my beach house on the Upper Texas Coast north of Galveston. As always, the mudflats and salt marsh that I can view from...


VENTflash #213: Another Harpy Eagle Opportunity & Mongolia

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Victor Emanuel: January 12, 2017

Dear friends, Two months ago I informed you of the thrilling news of the discovery of a Harpy Eagle nest in close proximity to the Canopy Camp in the Darien lowlands of eastern Panama. In response to this remarkable event, we added a second Canopy Camp departure ahead of an already scheduled departure in January. Both trips filled immediately! Two days ago, I received the wonderful news from my good friend Raul Arias de Para, who built the Canopy family of lodges, that the first of these grou...


VENTflash #212: Alaska Tours 2017, the Sea Cloud & More!

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Victor Emanuel: January 10, 2017

Dear friends, VENT closed out 2016 in ritual year-end fashion with our annual Christmas and New Year tours to Panama in addition to our first-ever holiday tour in Europe, New Year in Portugal. We begin the new year with a terrific suite of January trips including birding and natural history cruises to Antarctica, the Amazon River, and the Subantarctic Islands of New Zealand, and traditional land-based trips to Arizona, California, Ecuador, India, Japan, New Mexico, Panama, and Peru. ...


VENTflash #211: The American Tropics: So Near. So Wonderful

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Victor Emanuel: December 15, 2016

Dear friends, Much of the country is now experiencing harsh winter weather, with frigid temperatures, heavy snow, and ice prevailing from coast to coast. Although getting outdoors and into nature can indeed bring rewarding winter birding, the lack of avian diversity (in most places) and the uncomfortable conditions of the season are enough to keep many of us indoors much of the time. Violet-bellied Hummingbird, Panama — Photo: Barry Zimmer It is for this very reason that VE...


VENTflash #210; Extraordinary Harpy Eagle Opportunity!

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Victor Emanuel: November 22, 2016

Dear friends, From Panama, via my close friend, Raúl Arias de Para, comes the electrifying news of the discovery of a Harpy Eagle nest in close proximity to the Canopy Camp in the Darien lowlands of eastern Panama. Equally thrilling, I recently heard from VENT leader Barry Zimmer who reported that his tour to the Canopy Camp last month enjoyed amazing, close views of an adult bird at the nest! Harpy Eagle; Darien, Panama; October 2016 — Photo: Barry Zimmer Throughout...


VENTflash #209: Antarctica, South Georgia & the Falklands: Space Newly Available!

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Victor Emanuel: October 27, 2016

Dear friends, VENT will kick off the new year with our annual cruise to Antarctica, South Georgia & the Falkland Islands, January 5–26, 2017. Looking ahead to this voyage, I have some important news to share: first, owing to a fantastic turnout of participants, VENT leader Rafael Galvez will join Brian Gibbons as co-leader for this trip; and second, I am excited to announce that space on board the ship has become newly available to VENT travelers! Southern Elephant Seal &am...


VENTflash #208

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Victor Emanuel: October 12, 2016

Dear friends, A year ago at this time, I had recently returned from co-leading our inaugural Birds & Music tour to Hungary and the Czech Republic. This multi-themed tour is one we had wanted to offer for years, but we hadn't found an agent in Europe with whom we wanted to work. That changed several years ago when we met Balázs Szigeti and Attila Steiner at the Space Coast Birding & Wildlife Festival in Titusville, Florida. Balázs and Attila are Hungarian and the pri...


VENTflash #207

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Victor Emanuel: September 21, 2016

Dear friends, VENT operates approximately 150 tours a year to destinations all over the world. With so many tours in the field every month, I regularly receive reports of amazing sightings that occur on our trips. In August, we operated tours to Africa (Namibia, Botswana & Zambia and South Africa) North America (Canada: Grand Manan), Australasia (Borneo, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and West New Britain), and South America (Brazil: Pantanal and Peru: Manu). The tour reports that we receiv...


VENTflash #206: Sicily & Malta Aboard the Sea Cloud

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Victor Emanuel: September 06, 2016

Dear friends, For many, the opportunity to travel aboard the historic sailing ship, Sea Cloud, is the thrill of a lifetime. Unique in her all-wood construction and spectacular under sail, this legendary ship has no peer. For years, it had been a dream of mine to charter the Sea Cloud exclusively for VENT travelers for a Mediterranean cruise that emphasized history and nature—two of my favorite things. That dream became a reality in the autumn of 2005 when we reserved the entire ship for...


VENTflash #205

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Victor Emanuel: August 29, 2016

Dear friends, As many of you know, this past April VENT celebrated its 40th anniversary. On the heels of that historic milestone, this summer marked an occasion just as significant: the 30th anniversary of the founding of our summer youth birding camp program. Back in 1986, VENT inaugurated the country's first-ever youth birding program with Camp Chiricahua, a two-week summer camp in southeastern Arizona. Nothing like this camp had ever been attempted, and the idea behind it was to connect yo...


VENTflash #204

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Victor Emanuel: July 26, 2016

Dear friends, Of all the places where I've led tours, few are nearer to my heart than Panama. Starting with the very first trip VENT ever operated to Panama in January 1978 to the present, that small Central American country has remained a staple of VENT's foreign tour repertoire. Rufous Motmot, Panama — Photo: Barry Zimmer That first tour was one I co-led with my friend John Rowlett, and although it's been almost 40 years, I still recall that trip well. I remember the...


VENTflash #203/Summer Discount Extended for Polar Bears of Churchill!

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Victor Emanuel: July 05, 2016

Dear friends, In mid-May I announced a Summer Discount for our upcoming Polar Bears of Churchill tour, October 23-28, 2016: $500 off all registrations received by July 1. You may be interested to know that we have extended the discount to September 1. The fee for this tour is $5,195 in double occupancy from Winnipeg; register by September 1 and pay $4,695. If you've ever wanted to see Polar Bears in legendary Churchill, I encourage you to take advantage of this offer now as this tour will not...


VENTflash #202

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Victor Emanuel: June 16, 2016

Dear friends, Twenty years ago VENT tour leader Steve Hilty suggested we offer a tour to the Ozarks and prairie country of Missouri and Arkansas. Although I had never been to those regions, I was certainly familiar with their reputation for natural splendor. I accepted Steve's suggestion, and now, two decades later, I am proud that this tour has become a reliable component of our annual domestic tour offerings. Steve Hilty & Victor Emanuel — Photo: Bonnie Randall Althou...


VENTflash #201

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Victor Emanuel: May 18, 2016

Dear friends, I'm thrilled to report that the 40th Anniversary Celebration we hosted last month in Beaumont, Texas was a huge success! This event was the biggest in our company's history, bringing together 114 participants, 17 tour leaders, several of our office staff, and an array of special guests as we proudly commemorated our fourth decade of providing birding and nature tours of the highest quality. In some ways it's hard to believe how far we've come and all that we've accomplished sinc...


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