COVID Cruise? Not on UnCruise Adventures. Small Boat Company Bursts the Bubble of Presumption about Transmission on Board Cruises
SEATTLE, WA. AUGUST 13th, 2020 — The small boat adventure company UnCruise Adventures confirmed today that the majority of last week’s quarantined guests were cleared and released over the weekend. The original COVID positive guest returned home just a few days later. The company implemented a swift contingency plan and strict quarantine last week upon the news of a positive test onboard. The adventure brand immediately canceled its four subsequent sailings in Alaska for the summer. Revised news now shows all tests received back for guests and crew are negative and there was no transmission onboard. However, the season will not be recovered.
Is there a better way? UnCruise Adventures has provided some validation that there are safe sailing protocol options and continues to advocate for better testing to help save the travel industry. The company is now focused on rebooting their upcoming seasons and creating safe outdoor bubbles for travelers.
“Strict planning paid off,” says Captain Dan Blanchard, UnCruise Adventures Owner, and CEO. “We were able to act quickly, but that doesn’t mean this event has not been painful to our company and guests. Our policies held up and may be a footprint for future sailings and the industry.”
UnCruise Adventures worked in tandem with local and state officials which was an asset to the company and guests. Most guests were not required to quarantine for the expected 14 days but began departing for home on August 8th. The company has received support from the local community and the industry at large, with some criticism on being the first to return to sail this season.
The adventure brand remains resolute in its focus to educate the industry on what small boat travel is and the safe routes to follow that will help lead the industry. “We've been lobbying Congress for rapid testing that would change the game. We can all do better and are asking national leaders to work with us.” Blanchard states.
Here’s the timeline:
- July 28th—Identified guest received a negative test prior to departure from home city.
- August 1st—UnCruise Adventures returns to sail and all guests with a gap of more than the 72-hour requirement were retested at the Juneau airport.
- August 4th—A guest onboard received communication from the State of Alaska of a positive C-19 test retaken at the Juneau airport.
- August 4th—Contact tracing was immediately implemented by the state.
- August 4th—The identified guest and four traveling companions were retested onboard the vessel by trained staff.
- August 5th—The 60-person passenger vessel, the Wilderness Adventurer returned to Juneau. It was operating at a 60% occupancy cap.
- August 5th—All guests were securely quarantined at a local hotel in Juneau with costs covered by UnCruise Adventures. The crew quarantined onboard the vessel.
- August 6th—All guests and crew were tested.
- August 7th—UnCruise Adventures received negatives results back on all tests to date.
- August 7th—30 of the 36 guests were greenlighted by the State of Alaska to be released.
- August 8th—Guests began flying home.
UnCruise Adventures understands that accessible rapid COVID testing is needed across industries for businesses and tourism to return. More studies are showing that small boat sanitization is high and, in some instances, pose less of a risk of viruses than an average location that individuals visit in their local neighborhoods.
“Small businesses like ours have taken a considerable hit during COVID, and this was a big one.” Blanchard states. “We have taken proactive steps and understand our responsibility to our guests, crew, communities, and the industry. Safety remains our focus and we will continue to accelerate protocol standards.”
Earlier this year UnCruise Adventures spearheaded the small boat coalition with several other industry associates. The purpose was to educate the public and government officials on the nature of small boats and differences needed in regulation. Events like these leave small-business owners affected when full support is needed to re-ignite economies. The need for a united industry voice continues. Information updates will be made available on the company’s website and via the communications department. Find more at www.uncruise.com.
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Media contact: Liz Galloway | UnCruise Adventures firstname.lastname@example.org
About UnCruise Adventures
UnCruise Adventures’ is a responsible travel and adventure leader in the small boat industry. They operate boutique yachts and small boats carrying 22-86 guests on voyages in Alaska, Hawaiian Islands, Mexico’s Sea of Cortés, Columbia & Snake Rivers, coastal Washington, Galápagos, Costa Rica, Panama, Belize, Guatemala, and Colombia. In 2019, UnCruise Adventures was picked as the top adventure cruise line by Cruise Critic. Travel & Leisure readers also named UnCruise Adventures in its World’s Best Awards and its list of top 10 small ship ocean cruise lines three years in a row. UnCruise Adventures is a member of the Adventure Travel Trade Association and the Transformational Travel Council.