Read the VENTFLASH and catch up on the latest news from VENT!

JANUARY 23, 2019

VENTFLASH #248: Spain and Portugal/Sea Cloud & Bhutan Opportunities

Dear friends:

With the start of spring now only a couple of months away, I'm thinking ahead to VENT tours that will operate in late March and April. In particular, I share news of two remarkable opportunities for international travel. First, our upcoming Sea Cloud cruise, Spain & Portugal Aboard the Sea Cloud: Birds, Nature & Culture, has one cabin newly available at a discount. Second, our Bhutan tour still has spaces available and offers the chance to see the beautiful mountain kingdom in the company of tour leader Machiel Valkenburg, who possesses a passion for Asian birds. Please read on for more information about each of these exciting departures.

In this issue:



Sea Cloud - Photo: Courtesy Sea Cloud Cruises

Our Spain & Portugal Aboard the Sea Cloud: Birds, Nature & Culture cruise, April 14–24, 2019, had been sold out, but last week we received notice of cancellation from someone who is now unable to participate. As a result, one Deluxe Original Cabin (#9) is now available, and we are able to offer it at a discount of $3,000/person! The original fee for this cabin was $13,495 per person in double occupancy. With the discount, the fee is $10,495 per person in double occupancy!

When construction of the Sea Cloud was completed in 1931 (under the name Hussar), the ship included 10 cabins intended for the private use of the owners, E.F. Hutton and Marjorie Merriweather Post and their family. Each cabin is unique in style and design. Together, they are known as the "original" cabins. Cabin #9 housed the nanny of the owner's daughter (known in adulthood as the actress Dina Merrill). Beautiful by any standard, it measures 215 square feet and features a queen bed, marble bathroom with a combined shower and tub, walk-in closet, porthole, chair and table, nightstands, dressing table with mirror, and more.

The Sea Cloud is one of the world's most beautiful sailing vessels. Traveling aboard her is truly a life experience. On what promises to be one of our most fascinating Sea Cloud departures we've operated, our itinerary affords a transit from Lisbon to Valencia while tracing a route around the Iberian Peninsula from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean. April is a wonderful time of the year to be in southwestern Europe, with good weather prevailing, wildflowers in bloom, and birds much in evidence. At every port of call, you'll have the option to join a cultural/sightseeing/historical tour or a birding excursion. Among the many highlights, we will spend time in the famous cities of Seville and Granada, visit the monumental Alhambra, attend a Flamenco show, go birding at famous Doñana National Park, and more.

Cabin #9, Sea Cloud - Photo: Courtesy Sea Cloud Cruises

Joining me in leading this trip are my colleagues Barry Lyon, Peter Zika, and Larry Wolff. Peter will serve as our staff botanist, and Larry, a distinguished professor of European history at New York University, will serve as our historian. Each of these gentlemen will deliver interpretation and onboard presentations throughout the trip.

We are tremendously excited about this voyage and hope very much that you can take advantage of this terrific opportunity, especially because we will not offer this trip again for several years.

To reserve your spaces, please contact Greg Lopez in our office by email ( or phone (512-328-5221; 800-328-8368).

Spain & Portugal Aboard the Sea Cloud: Birds, Nature & Culture, April 14–24, 2019 with Victor Emanuel, Barry Lyon, Peter Zika, and Larry Wolff; one Deluxe Original Cabin (#9) available; fee was $13,495 per person in double occupancy from Lisbon (ends in Valencia). Register now and pay $10,495 per person in double occupancy with discount!


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Looking ahead to the spring, I want you to know that our upcoming March/April tour to the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan still has space available.

Satyr Tragopan - Photo: David Wolf

I have long considered our Bhutan tour one of the greatest adventures of all VENT tours. Over a period of almost three weeks, participants on this tour receive an in-depth look at one of the world's least known but most extraordinary cultures. Situated in the mountains between India and Nepal, Bhutan is a Buddhist enclave nestled among the magical forests and valleys of the mighty Himalayas. Our tours annually record over 400 species of Indian and Himalayan birds and a dazzling assortment of mammals. Our Bhutan tour will be led by Machiel Valkenburg, an exceptional birder with a keen fascination for Asian birds and wildlife. Machiel brings a great deal of experience to this tour, having led previous tours to Bhutan, India, and many other tours in Asia.

If you are intrigued by the thought of visiting a unique and exotic destination of which comparatively few are aware, and where even fewer have been, I strongly urge you to consider a trip to Bhutan.

Bhutan, March 26–April 14, 2019 with Machiel Valkenburg; $9,795 per person in double occupancy from New Delhi. Limit 10.

Best wishes,

Victor Emanuel

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Our mailing address is:
Victor Emanuel Nature Tours
2525 Wallingwood Drive, Suite 1003
Austin, TX 78746
800-328-8368 / 512-328-5221