False Positive: One Wrong Test Cancels Alaska Cruise Season

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The first cruise of the 2020 Alaskan cruise season was off to a rocky start when a guest onboard received a phone call that their test result came back positive.

Things quickly went from bad to worse and all, it may turn out, for no reason.

Un-Cruise Adventures
Wilderness Adventurer anchored at Sawyer Glacier. (Photo via UnCruise Adventures)

Because the news came after the recipient had already set sail aboard the 60-guest Wilderness Adventurer, the ship turned around and headed back to Juneau, Alaska to quarantine all of its guests at a local hotel. Before long, the line had proactively canceled the remainder of its Alaska cruises.

But when the supposedly-positive guest underwent another test at the hotel, it — along with those of all their fellow passengers — came back negative. “There was zero transmission on board,” a spokesperson told Seatrade Cruise News.

UnCruise Adventures was sailing under new safety guidelines which included sailing at 60 percent capacity, guests being issued masks, proper social distancing, self-service food options being eliminated, and daily temperature checks. Had the sailing gone on as planned, passengers would not have been permitted to spend post-cruise time in Alaska, having instead to fly home on disembarkation day.

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The cruise company is known for its off-the-beaten-path style of cruising, typically only calling into ports for provisions and embarking guests. During a normal season, their Southeast Alaska trips visit the region’s eastern and western coves, along with glacier sailings.

The line’s CEO, Dan Blanchard, will hold a media briefing on Thursday evening to share more details on the sailing and how things ultimately went down.

Uncruise Adventures was set to sail five Alaska cruises this summer but cancelled the remainder of the season based on the misinformation provided by the false positive.

1.4 million cruise passengers were expected to sail Alaska this year. UnCruise Adventures was the only small boat cruise line setting sail in Southeast Alaska this summer.

In early June, Canada extended its ban on cruise ships through October 31, 2020. The Uncruise Adventure sailing was not impacted by this ruling because of the fact that it was not slated to make any port visits.

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