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

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...


VENTflash #200

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Victor Emanuel: April 11, 2016

Dear friends, We are now less than a week away from the start of our 40th Anniversary Celebration. This afternoon I will be heading to East Texas for pre-event scouting and to check on the progress of spring migration on the Upper Coast. Before I leave, I want to share with you the exciting news of a brand new discount opportunity on our upcoming Galapagos Islands Cruise. In this issue: BRAND NEW GALAPAGOS ISLANDS CRUISE OPPORTUNITY: $1,500 DISCOUNT & FREE INTERNATIONAL AIR TRAVEL!VENT T...


VENTflash #199

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Victor Emanuel: March 17, 2016

Dear friends, The last month has seen me on the road a lot, with a trip to the Eastern Caribbean being the centerpiece of my recent travels. VENT Staff: Barry, John, Greg, Peter, Victor, and David — Photo: Cruise Participant Mike Babcock In the middle of February VENT operated a birding and natural history cruise to the Lesser Antilles aboard the Sea Cloud. This trip has become a staple of our cruise offerings, operating on an every-other-year basis. Once again, we had...


VENTflash #198

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Victor Emanuel: February 02, 2016

Dear friends, The Space Coast Birding & Wildlife Festival in Titusville, Florida has become one of our favorite events. For many years, each January, VENT leaders Michael O'Brien and Louise Zemaitis have attended the festival on behalf of VENT, staffing our exhibitor booth, leading field trips, and delivering classroom seminars. In most years, Barry Lyon and I have joined them as VENT representatives. Space Coast Festival, '16 with Victor Emanuel, Louise Zemaitis, and Barry Lyon ...


VENTflash #197

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Victor Emanuel: January 12, 2016

Dear friends, Although our sights are set fully on the year ahead, I want to share with you the events of an amazing day which occurred toward the end of last year, on December 20, 2015, a day on which I participated in the 59th annual Freeport Christmas Bird Count on the Texas coast. Joining me were friends and birding associates Cullen Hanks and Barry Lyon. Some of the many special qualities of participating in the same Christmas Bird Count year after year are the memories that we make. Sin...


VENTflash #196: Another Amazon River Cruise Opportunity

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Victor Emanuel: January 06, 2016

Dear friends, Our second Amazon River Cruise of 2016, February 18-28, will depart in a little over a month. Since the start of the new year, we have received notice of cancellation by two couples who had been registered on this trip. Because cancellation penalties were incurred, we are able to offer these newly available cabins at a discount of $2,000 per person in double occupancy. The published fee is $6,495 in double occupancy; with the discount, the fee is $4,495 in double occupancy....


VENTflash #195

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Victor Emanuel: December 15, 2015

Dear friends, In the spirit of the holiday season, we are offering a wonderful opportunity to give the gift of birds and nature! Once again, we are holding a Holiday Sale featuring discounts on a selection of upcoming VENT departures. I can't think of a better way to celebrate the holidays than by treating yourself, a friend, or a family member to a VENT tour! I hope you will take advantage of these special holiday offerings. In this issue: 2015 HOLIDAY SALEOTHER SPECIAL OFFERSHOLIDAY GIFT S...


VENTflash #194: Amazon River Cruise Opportunity

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Victor Emanuel: December 01, 2015

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 d...


VENTflash #193

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Victor Emanuel: November 11, 2015

Dear friends, With the second week of November comes the startling reminder of how fast time passes. It's hard to believe we've already reached the mid-point of autumn. Looking back on the month that was, October was an enjoyable time for me here in Austin. The heat of the Texas summer finally abated and I was able to spend more time around my home and office following a lengthy trip to Eastern Europe in September. The highlight of the month was hosting VENT's newest tour leader, Machiel Valk...


VENTflash #192

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Victor Emanuel: October 13, 2015

Dear friends, Extraordinary. Riches upon riches. One of our best tours ever. These descriptions might sound extravagant in describing our first-ever Birds & Music tour to Hungary and the Czech Republic, from where I've recently returned, but they are not. Following two years of planning, this highly anticipated trip exceeded my expectations in almost every way. From the birdwalk around our hotel south of Budapest on the first afternoon to the walking tour of magical Prague on the group's ...


VENTflash #191: 2016 Alaska Tour Discounts & Spitsbergen

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Victor Emanuel: September 03, 2015

Dear friends, The summer of 2015 will long be remembered as one of our best Alaska tour years ever. This year we offered five tours to Alaska, all of which either were full or almost full. As always, our tours were filled with great sightings of birds and mammals, and replete with scenic wonders. Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska — Photo: Barry Zimmer Although we still have not reached the end of summer, I'm informing you that our 2016 schedule of Alaska tours ha...


VENTflash #190

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Victor Emanuel: August 19, 2015

Dear friends, As we approach the anniversary of our 40th year in business, I find myself reflecting on many of the great moments in VENT's remarkable history. Many of you probably have never heard about these events so I thought I would tell you about one of the greatest stories ever to come out of a VENT tour. Steller's Eider, Barrow, AK — Photo: Kevin Zimmer The date was June 27, 1993, and VENT tour leader Kevin Zimmer was in Barrow, Alaska at the tail-end of our Gra...


VENTflash #189

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Victor Emanuel: August 06, 2015

Dear friends, VENT is fortunate in having a superb team of tour leaders. Many of our leaders have been with us for over 20 years, and some even more than 30 years. In the last year, our staff was further bolstered by the addition of four terrific new leaders: Erik Bruhnke, Rafael Galvez, Machiel Valkenburg, and Rick Wright. Barry Zimmer Anyone who has taken a VENT tour knows how skilled our tour leaders are. I take great pleasure in reading the comments on the tour evaluatio...


VENTflash #188

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Victor Emanuel: July 23, 2015

Dear friends, Ten years ago VENT chartered the Sea Cloud for a marvelous Birds & History cruise from Athens to Istanbul. I am thrilled to report that we've recently completed a repeat of that epic trip, and that this one was just as wonderful. This departure, unique among our various cruise and tour repertoire, offers a wonderful combination of history, culture, birds, and other aspects of nature. This was our fifth Birds & History cruise to the eastern Mediterranean since 2...


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