UnCruise Adventures cut short the first U.S. voyage during the pandemic after a guest tested positive for COVID-19 aboard the Wilderness Adventurer in Alaska. The company also canceled the rest of the 2020 Alaska season.
The cruise departed Juneau on Aug. 1, with 36 guests and 30 crew members on board.
The passenger received a phone call on Aug. 4 and with notification of a positive test. The vessel returned to Juneau and all guests disembarked to quarantine at a hotel. The crew will quarantine on the vessel in port at Juneau.
“The guest is showing no symptoms and no other guests or crew are showing outward symptoms of any kind,” the company said in a statement on its website. “All guests have been informed and will quarantine until the State of Alaska deems it safe for them to return home.”
The itinerary included scenic cruising but no calls at any communities.
A statement from the City and Borough of Juneau said the guest took the 5-day testing option prior to their departure from home with a negative result, as required to embark on the Wilderness Adventurer. A second test was taken upon arrival at the Juneau International Airport, which resulted in a positive result.
UnCruise has been communicating with the Juneau Emergency Operations Center, the State of Alaska Emergency Operations Center, Public Health officials, and the U.S. Coast Guard.
“UnCruise has been immediately responsive today and is working with state and local EOCs to make sure they’re protecting guests and the community,” said Mila Cosgrove, incident commander with the Juneau emergency center.
UnCruise emphasized that it sees “a safe and responsive environment for all travelers as imperative. All precautions were taken, as supported by public health authorities and interim guidelines.
“With the spotlight on the cruise and small-boat industry we understand there are risks in operating and travel in general. With months of preparation we were still able to pivot quickly in response to this event,” the UnCruise statement continued. “This unprecedented virus requires unprecedented standards and continues to change. Our focal point is to continue to improve for the future of travel and our industry. We thank those that have worked rapidly to isolate and implement the appropriate processes as we determine the next steps.”
The no-sail order put in place by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention only applies to ships with more than 250 passengers and crew.
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