UnCruise's first sailing cut short after Covid case is reported

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The Wilderness Adventurer.
The Wilderness Adventurer.

UnCruise Adventures confirmed Tuesday that a passenger on its current Alaska sailing tested positive for Covid-19.

The U.S. flagged, small-ship company said that its vessel, the Wilderness Adventurer, was anchored in a secluded harbor while passengers were taking part on activities off the ship when the it was informed about the test.

The vessel will return to Juneau, where it departed from on Saturday, and will put all guests in a local hotel where they will quarantine as prescribed by the company's Alaska-approved Covid-19 contingency plan.

The line on Saturday became the first cruise line to resume overnight cruising in U.S. waters since the Covid-19 pandemic shut down global travel in March.

"We are focusing all efforts on care of the guests, crew and the local community." CEO Dan Blanchard said in a statement. "This is very discouraging news and not what we had hoped for, but we'll deal with it professionally. The guests are taking the news well, and the crew has executed our contingency plan quickly." 

According to UnCruise, the infected passenger tested negative prior to departing from home as required to embark on the UnCruise sailing, but a second test taken upon arrival at the Juneau airport resulted in a positive test.

The guest shows no symptoms, and no other guests or crew are showing symptoms, the line said.

All passengers have been asked to stay in their cabins where meals are being served.

UnCruise said the crew would quarantine on the vessel in port in Juneau.

"With the spotlight on the cruise and small-boat industry we understand there are risks in operating and travel in general," Blanchard said. "With months of preparation, we were still able to pivot quickly in response to this event."

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