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VENTFLASH #260: AMAZON RIVER & NEW ZEALAND TOUR DISCOUNTS; FALL TRAVEL OPPORTUNITIES

August 15, 2019

Dear friends:

Red-shouldered Hawk perched outside VENT office

VENT is very fortunate to occupy a lovely office right next to a greenbelt near downtown Austin, Texas. Unlike most of the other building owners in our complex, I have kept the area around our office in a wilder state, with no plantings of non-native plants and no manicuring (which drives me crazy). We also maintain bird feeders and bird baths.

Over the years, we have seen 79 species of birds on our property. We also have seen a marvelous array of other wildlife including Rock Squirrel, Eastern Fox Squirrel, Nine-banded Armadillo, Gray Fox, and various species of dragonflies and butterflies. A few days ago, a young Red-shouldered Hawk perched outside our entry door on a saucer that was filled with water. We all took a short break from our work to gather and enjoy this sighting. For a company that offers nature tours we couldn’t have a better, or more fitting, place to work.

In this issue:

AMAZON RIVER CRUISE DISCOUNT EXPIRING SOON!
NEW ZEALAND HIGHLIGHTS DISCOUNT OFFER
FALL TOURS WITH SPACES STILL AVAILABLE
CLOSING THOUGHTS

AMAZON RIVER CRUISE DISCOUNT EXPIRING SOON!

Blue-and-yellow Macaws, Amazonia ©​ Andrew Whittaker

As you may know, early next year we will again operate our annual Amazon River Cruise, February 6-16, 2020. Earlier this summer we announced an early registration discount opportunity of $500 per person off the published price in double occupancy accommodation. The response to this offer has been strong. At this time only four full cabins and a single male request share cabin are available. With that, I’ll remind you that the $500 discount will expire on September 2. This trip will almost certainly sell out. If you have ever wanted to experience the Amazon River—in my opinion, one of the world’s most essential destinations for those who love birds and nature—I urge you to take advantage of this special offer and reserve your space now.

Visiting remote and unspoiled regions, this trip will be an unforgettable excursion—a full Amazonian rainforest and river experience. While birding is an important element of this program, we will be immersed in the full suite of Amazonian wildlife. Our trip also includes presentations from the cruise staff and VENT leaders on an array of topics that underscore the trip’s broader natural history theme. We’ll learn about the complex ecology of the Amazonian ecosystem and its wildlife and gain insight into the local indigenous culture through a visit to a riverside village.

Zafiro © International Expeditions

For this departure, we’ll again use the beautiful Zafiro, featuring elegant design, superior stability and viewing conditions, spacious rooms with private viewing decks, and good cuisine. It is one of the most comfortable river boats available. Leading this trip will be VENT leaders David Ascanio, Andrew Whittaker, and Doris Valencia.

Amazon River Cruise: Birding and Natural History Odyssey aboard Zafiro, February 6–16, 2020 with David Ascanio, Andrew Whittaker, and Doris Valencia; cabins start at $9,795 per person in double occupancy from Lima. Limit 31. Register by September 2 and receive a $500 discount per person in double occupancy. Only four full cabins and one male request share cabin still available.

NEW ZEALAND HIGHLIGHTS DISCOUNT OFFER

Last week we received notice of cancellation from a couple who were registered on our New Zealand Highlights tour. As a result, we are able to offer these newly available spaces at a discount of $1,000 per person in double occupancy!

On this spectacular tour, VENT tour leader Dion Hobcroft will lead you in exploration of the best of the North and South islands with the aim of seeing most of the country’s special birds. Participants on this trip will visit island sanctuaries to see endemic birds such as Kea, Kokako, Tui, Saddleback, and Yellowhead; search for elusive kiwis at night; and experience incredible seabirding in some of the world’s most nutrient-rich waters.

Malherbe's (Orange-fronted) Parakeet, New Zealand ©​ Dion Hobcroft

As for scenic highlights, nowhere else will you find such a diverse and spectacular combination of natural features—the snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps, glacial fjords, tranquil lakes and bubbling mud pots, towering forests, dense coastal scrub, and lovely beaches. New Zealand is also an extremely pleasant, sophisticated, and immaculate country, with outstanding food, excellent accommodations, friendly people, and picturesque towns and countryside.

I have been to New Zealand on two occasions and can attest to its scenic splendor as well as the marvelous birding to enjoy there.

New Zealand Highlights, November 30–December 18, 2019 with Dion Hobcroft and a local leader; $8,495 in double occupancy from Auckland (ends in Dunedin). Limit 12. Two spaces available at a $1,000 discount per person in double occupancy. With discount, pay $7,495 per person.

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FALL TOURS WITH SPACES STILL AVAILABLE

Reviewing our tour schedule over the remaining four months of the year, I am pleased that many of our tours are full or almost full. In the event that you have not yet made autumn travel plans, and are open to traveling on a shorter lead time, I thought perhaps I could entice you to join a VENT tour in the coming months.

Depending on one’s time horizon, spaces are still available on tours departing in the next few weeks, while further out, options are available for year-end holiday travel. In between are a fine variety of tour offerings to destinations near and far:

Autumn Grand Manan, September 2–8, 2019 with Barry Zimmer and Brennan Mulrooney; $3,595 in double occupancy from Bangor. Limit 12. 1 space available.

Peru: Manu Biosphere Reserve, September 3–18, 2019 with David Ascanio and a local leader; $7,295 in double occupancy from Lima. Limit 10. 4 spaces available.

Golden-headed Quetzal, Peru ©​ David Ascanio

Poland: Birds & Art in Royal Krakow: A Birds, Nature & Culture Tour, September 3–11, 2019 with Rick Wright and Gerard Gorman; $2,995 in double occupancy from Krakow. Limit 12. 2 spaces available.

Washington: September Migration in the Pacific Northwest, September 8–16, 2019 with Bob Sundstrom and George Gerdts; $3,495 in double occupancy from Seattle. Limit 12. 2 spaces available.

Cape May: The Magic of Fall Migration, September 15–21, 2019 with Louise Zemaitis and Michael O’Brien; $2,195 in double occupancy from Philadelphia. Limit 14. 4 spaces available.

Grand Australia Part I: New South Wales & the Northern Territory, September 20–October 6, 2019; with Max Breckenridge and Barry Zimmer; $8,495 in double occupancy from Sydney (ends in Ayers Rock). Limit 10. 1 space available.

Grand Australia Part II: Queensland, Victoria & Plains-wanderer, October 4–21, 2019 with Max Breckenridge and Kevin Zimmer; $7,895 in double occupancy from Brisbane (ends in Melbourne). Limit 10. 4 spaces available.

Grand Australia: Tasmania Extension, October 21–28, 2019 with Max Breckenridge; $4,395 in double occupancy from Launceston (ends in Hobart). Limit 8. 6 spaces available.

Grand Australia Part I: New South Wales & the Northern Territory, September 28–October 14, 2019 with Dion Hobcroft; $8,495 in double occupancy from Sydney (ends in Ayers Rock). Limit 10. 5 spaces available.

Grand Australia Part II: Queensland, Victoria & Plains-wanderer, October 12–29, 2019 with Dion Hobcroft; $7,895 in double occupancy from Brisbane (ends in Melbourne). Limit 10. 1 space available.

Grand Australia: Tasmania Extension, October 29–November 5, 2019 with David James; $4,395 in double occupancy from Launceston (ends in Hobart). Limit 8. 1 space available.

Germany: Birds & Art in Berlin & Brandenburg: A Birds, Nature & Culture Tour, September 29–October 8, 2019 with Rick Wright; $3,895 in double occupancy from Berlin. Limit 8. 2 spaces available.

Tahiti to Easter Island: Marquesas, Tuamotus & Pitcairns Aboard the Island Sky, October 10–29,

Toucan Barbet, Ecuador ©​ Paul Greenfield

2019 with Brian Gibbons; $20,680 in double occupancy from Papeete (ends in Easter Island). Limit 15. 3 spaces available (based on cabin availability).

Guyana: A Tropical Catharsis, October 19–27, 2019 with Mike Braun, David Ascanio, and Ron Allicock; $6,795 in double occupancy from Georgetown. Limit 14. 3 spaces available.

Ghana: A West Africa Bird Bonanza!, October 23–November 11, 2019 with Machiel Valkenburg; $6,995 in double occupancy from Accra. Limit 8. 3 spaces available.

Panama: El Valle’s Canopy Lodge, October 26–November 2, 2019 with Erik Bruhnke and a local leader; $2,995 in double occupancy from Panama City. Limit 14. 3 spaces available.

Wild Patagonia & Central Chile: Pumas, Penguins, Condors & More!, November 1–18, 2019 with Andrew Whittaker and Fernando Diaz; $12,995 in double occupancy from Santiago. Limit 12. 1 space available.

Ecuador: The Northwestern Andean Slopes, November 9–17, 2019 with Paul Greenfield; $3,295 in double occupancy from Quito. Limit 8. 4 spaces available.

Rockport, Texas: A Bonanza of Wintering Birds, November 11–15, 2019 with Erik Bruhnke; $1,595 in double occupancy from Corpus Christi. Limit 7. 3 spaces available.

Austria: Christmas in Salzburg, December 19–27, 2019 with Rick Wright and Alison Beringer; $4,595 in double occupancy from Salzburg. Limit 10. 4 spaces available.

New Year at Panama’s Canopy Tower, December 27–June 3, 2019 with Carlos Bethancourt and a local leader; $3,395 in double occupancy from Panama City. Limit 12. 3 spaces available.

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CLOSING THOUGHTS

As I write, I just received a copy of the 2020 main catalog of VENT tours. Every year, when I’m handed that first copy, is a major event in my year. I always think that the new catalog is better than the one we published the previous year! Our 2020 main catalog of tours will be mailed very soon. I hope you will feel about it as I do.

Next week I will travel to the Davis Mountains in west Texas where I will be the keynote speaker at the Davis Mountains Hummingbird Celebration, August 22–25, 2019. This lovely event is timed for the peak of the southbound hummingbird migration and takes place in one of my favorite parts of the state. In addition to speaking, I will also be leading field trips. 

Best wishes,

Victor Emanuel

victor@ventbird.com
https://ventbird.com

Copyright © 2019, Victor Emanuel Nature Tours. All rights reserved.

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