American Cruise Lines (ACL) cut short one Alaska cruise and canceled another after three people on the American Constellation tested positive for Covid-19.
The ship, with 162 passengers and 52 crew onboard, returned early from a seven-day sailing after two vaccinated passengers and one unvaccinated crew member tested positive for the virus after one of the passengers became symptomatic. The vessel left Petersburg, Alaska, on July 9, only to return to Juneau the following day. ACL said that it canceled the next cruise out of an abundance of caution, which was scheduled to depart July 14.
The three positive cases and their close contacts remained in Petersburg to isolate. ACL also said that unvaccinated crew on the sailing will remain on the ship in Juneau and will quarantine, regardless of testing status.
All passengers on the ship are fully vaccinated as is most of the crew, ACL said, but for personal reasons, some crew had declined vaccination. In addition to routine testing, ACL said, crew wear masks at all times and follow strict protocols and procedures.
The cruise line does not have an across-the-board vaccine mandate for all cruises in all regions, but it follows state guidelines and the specific plans worked out directly with local authorities where it operates. The line said it implemented its Covid-19 response plan and was coordinating with state and local health officials following the detection.
ACL said that since resuming domestic small-ship cruise operations in March, it has carried more than 10,000 passengers on 130 sailings without incident.
ACL has the largest fleet of U.S.-registered cruise ships in the U.S. The company operates cruises on the East Coast and the Mississippi, Columbia and Snake rivers, as well as in Alaska and the Puget Sound.
The 175-passenger American Constellation launched Alaska operations in June.