Just a few days after restarting Alaska cruising, UnCruise Adventures is suspending all future 2020 Alaska sailings.
In a statement posted on its website, the small-ship cruise line said that on August 4 a guest onboard Wilderness Adventurer received a positive COVID-19 (coronavirus) test result from the State of Alaska. This was the guest’s second test following a negative test result.
"Subsequently, we have opted to suspend all future 2020 Alaska departures," the UnCruise Adventures' statement said.
2020 Alaska Season Suspended
The cruise line said the guest with the positive test is showing no symptoms and no other guests or crew are showing outward symptoms, either. But, all guests have been informed and will quarantine until the State of Alaska deems it safe for them to return home.
The statement continued: "We wish to emphasize that UnCruise Adventures sees providing 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.
"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.
"Our guests and crew always come first, and we want to assure you that their health and well-being is our top priority. That is especially true in the ever-evolving world of COVID-19."
The "No Sail Order" for cruises put in place by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) only applies to ships with more than 250 passengers and crew. UnCruise Adventures is exempt from that order.
In addition, UnCruise said that the recent Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) voluntary suspension includes CLIA member cruise lines and "not small boat adventures like ours."
That said, UnCruise Adventures CEO Dan Blanchard has been the architect behind the formation of the U.S. Overnight Passenger Small-Boat Operators Coalition, which also includes Alaskan Dream Cruises, American Cruise Lines, American Queen Steamboat Company, Blount Small Ship Adventures, The Boat Company and Lindblad Expeditions.