One of the first cruise ships to resume sailings in U.S. waters since the coronavirus shut down the cruise industry has reported one case of COVID-19 on board the vessel.
Passengers are quarantining on board UnCruise Adventures' Wilderness Adventurer ship “until the State of Alaska deems it safe for them to return home,” after one passenger tested positive, according to a travel alert posted on the cruise line's website.
“On August 4, 2020, a guest aboard the Wilderness Adventurer received a positive COVID-19 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 guest is showing no symptoms and no other guests or crew are showing outward symptoms of any kind. All guests have been informed and will quarantine until the State of Alaska deems it safe for them to return home.”
The Wilderness Adventurer, operated by Uncruise, left Juneau on a weeklong trip Saturday.
All passengers were required to get tested for COVID-19 before traveling to Alaska and boarding the boat. According to the City and Borough of Juneau, a passenger got a call after the ship left Juneau notifying them of the positive test result.
According to Uncruise, that passenger was tested 5 days before the trip and had arrived with a negative test result in hand. It was a second test at the Juneau airport that showed the passenger was positive.
The vessel is set to returning to Juneau this morning. There are 36 guests and 30 crew aboard the ship. The guests will quarantine at a local hotel, while the crew quarantine on the vessel.
UnCruise Adventures will suspend the rest of its scheduled trips departing from Alaska for the year.
“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.”
The cruise line did not specify what precautions were being taken on board during the passenger quarantine.
While major cruise lines remain on lockdown in U.S. waters thanks to the CDC's no-sail order, some large cruise lines in international waters have also set sail and are dealing with COVID-19 cases on board.
The Hurtigruten cruise line apologized Monday for procedural errors after a coronavirus outbreak onboard the 535-passenger Roald Amundsen in Norway, infected at least 5 passengers and 36 crew members.