UnCruise’s first sailing was recalled to port on Tuesday after a passenger returned a positive coronavirus test. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)

UnCruise’s first sailing was recalled to port on Tuesday after a passenger returned a positive coronavirus test. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)

UnCruise guests quarantined, undergoing tests

UnCruise is paying for quarantine lodging, meals, and testing.

After a guest tested positive for the coronavirus, UnCruise canceled an Aug. 1 sailing, returning its guests to Juneau and quarantining them in a prearranged contingency, said the company’s CEO.

“We respond and do our best,” said CEO Dan Blanchard in a phone interview Thursday.

All 36 guests are quarantined while testing and contract tracing is ongoing, Blanchard said. UnCruise is paying for meals, lodging and security for the duration. As guests are tested and contacts are traced, they may be released from quarantine, but the cluster around the infected individual will likely be in for the long haul.

“All the evidence is showing that they did events together, they ate together, they were social distancing from other guests together,” Blanchard said. “Today (Thursday) will begin the full contact tracing needs to happen. If contact tracing shows a passenger was eating dinner and was within six feet of that group, they’ll have to get tested again.”

The COVID-19-positive tourist was notified on Tuesday, and immediately returned to Juneau.

[CCFR, JPD investigating car set ablaze]

“This fellow, when he tested at the airport on Saturday morning, didn’t get word until Tuesday,” Blanchard said. “They contacted him. They were able to talk to him. The next step would have been to make contact with the company.”

The tests do not draw from Juneau’s stockpile of test kits, and were instead provided by UnCruise as part of their contingency with the City and Borough of Juneau. The tests are being analyzed in the Lower 48 by a private lab.

“The guest tests are being processed in the Lower 48 by Vault,” Blanchard said. “We’re basically gonna tell people 48-60 hours for results.”

UnCruise canceled all cruises for the rest of the season, Blanchard said, though that didn’t amount to many.

“Even beforehand, we had just five trips planned,” Blanchard. “We just had massive numbers of guests canceled.”

“There’s a certain risk in operating,” he added. “What really needs to happen in this experience is rapid testing. If there had been rapid testing, we would have known if he pulled a positive before he got on the boat.”

The Wilderness Adventurer will expedite its regular refits, which mandates a full service haul-out every other year. Blanchard said the ship will go into the yards for routine refit ahead of schedule.

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757-621-1197 or lockett@juneauempire.com.

More in News

The Aurora Borealis glows over the Mendenhall Glacier in 2014. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Aurora forecast

Forecasts from the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute for the week of Jan. 22

David Holmes digs through a pile of boardgames during Platypus Gaming’s two-day mini-con over the weekend at Douglas Public Library and Sunday at Mendenhall Public Library. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)
Good times keep rolling with Platypus Gaming

Two-day mini-con held at Juneau Public Library.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police calls for Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023

This report contains information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Juneau man indicted on child pornography charges

A Juneau man was indicted Thursday on charges of possessing or accessing… Continue reading

Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire 
Juneau’s municipal and state legislative members, their staff, and city lobbyists gather in the Assembly chambers Thursday meeting for an overview of how the Alaska State Legislature and politicians in Washington, D.C., are affecting local issues.
Local leaders, lawmakers and lobbyists discuss political plans for coming year

Morning meeting looks at local impact of state, national political climates.

This photo shows pills police say were seized after a suspicious package was searched. (Juneau Police Department)
Police: 1,000 fentanyl pills, 86 grams of meth seized

Juneau man arrested on felony charges.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police calls for Friday, Jan. 27, 2023

This report contains information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Captain Anne Wilcock recieves the Emery Valentine Leadership Award at the 2022 CCFR awards banquet on Saturday, Jan. 14. (Courtesy Photo / CCFR)
CCFR honors responders during annual banquet

Capital City Fire/Rescue hosted its 2022 awards banquet earlier this month as… Continue reading

A resident and his dog walk past the taped off portion of the Basin Road Trestle after it suffered damaged from a rockslide earlier this week. The trestle is open to pedestrians, but will remain closed to vehicular traffic until structural repairs are made, according to city officials. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)
Rocky road: Basin Road Trestle open to pedestrians, remains closed to vehicles

City officials say repairs are currently being assessed after damaging rockfall

Most Read