One of the many special aspects about participating in the same Christmas Bird Count ye... read more
In 2016 VENT’s youth birding camp program will turn 30! In advance of this historic eve... read more
Sicily & Malta Aboard the Sea Cloud
May 2-11, 2017
We are thrilled to announce that VENT’s next Mediterranean voyage aboard the Sea Cloud will be a charter cruise to Sicily and Malta, May 2-11, 2017. This departure, arranged exclusively for VENT travelers, emphasizes the history, culture, and nature of this historically complex region.
Our exciting itinerary includes a day on Malta and a partial circumnavigation of Sicily. From beautiful Valletta, the capital of Malta, we’ll cruise to the western edge of Sicily before tracing a route along the south coast en route to Syracuse on the eastern side of the island. We’ll call at several important ports including Trapani, Marsala, Porto Empedocle, and Syracuse. Land excursions to some of the finest Greco-Roman archaeological sites surviving from antiquity include Segesta, Selinunte, Agrigento, and Syracuse.
Early May is a lovely time of the year to travel in Sicily and Malta, with mild temperatures, wildflowers in bloom, and birds on the move. Visits to two important nature preserves—Reserva Delle Saline and Oasi di Vendicari—promise an excellent array of waterbirds and landbirds such as Levantine Shearwater, Eurasian Spoonbill, Black-tailed Godwit, Audouin’s Gull, European Bee-eater, European Roller, Woodchat Shrike, and Italian Sparrow.
Unique in her all-wood construction and elegant under sail, Sea Cloud is the standard by which all other ships are measured. All cabins are immaculately appointed and contain private facilities. High quality cuisine is served in an elegant dining room.
Joining Victor Emanuel on this voyage is VENT leader, Barry Lyon; Larry Wolff, the Silver Professor of European History at New York University and Director of the NYU Center for European and Mediterranean Studies; and Peter Zika, a superb field biologist and botanist at the herbarium of the University of Washington.
Temple of Segesta, Sicily — Photo: luigi nifosi/shutterstock
For those who want to experience more of Malta and Sicily, land-based Birds & History tours will be offered as optional pre- and post-cruise extensions. Our Malta Pre-trip combines birding and sightseeing in a variety of island-wide locations including the Grand Harbor and the medieval fortress of Mdina. Our Sicily Extension will spend time in the island capital of Palermo, the beautiful cliff-side town of Taormina, and at Mt. Etna, Europe’s highest volcano.
Sicily & Malta: History, Culture & Nature Aboard the Sea Cloud, May 2-11, 2017 with Victor Emanuel, Barry Lyon, Larry Wolff, and Peter Zika; cabins start at $8,995 in double occupancy from Valletta, Malta.
Malta Pre-trip, April 29-May 3, 2017 with Victor Emanuel, Barry Lyon, and Peter Zika; $2,295 in double occupancy from Valletta, Malta.
Sicily Extension, May 11-18, 2017 with Victor Emanuel and Barry Lyon; $4,995 in double occupancy from Catania, Sicily.
News & Field Reports
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 want...
Unique in so many ways, South Africa is the temperate tip of a tropical continent, with its own special fauna and flora, and culture and history. It is also the most developed country on the contin...
As we were boarding the Day’s Catch for our all-day boat trip into the Bay of Fundy, I noticed a Black Guillemot swimming in the water just ten yards or so behind the boat. I had never seen o...
Our 2016 Pantanal Safari served up the usual generous helpings of birds, mammals, and other wildlife that we have come to expect from “South America’s Serengeti.” For most, if not...
Whenever someone asks if I get tired of leading our Grand California tour, I laugh and say, "Picture San Francisco, Point Reyes National Seashore, Bodega Bay, the Sierra Nevada, Lake Tahoe, Mono La...