Paul Gauguin  and UnCruise Adventures nip Covid19 in the bud

This is very good news.  Two cruise lines each had just one passenger who tested positive for Covid19. And both were able to quickly control any outbreak.  And that’s big news. One of the incidents was on a PONANT Paul Gauguin’s Tahiti cruise. Due to fast diligence by the cruise line  there was no spread.

PONANT reports that its  rigorous protocol is proving successful.  Specifically, it allowed health authorities to rapidly detect the first case of a tourist carrying the Covid-19 virus aboard the Paul Gauguin cruise ship and to isolate this person immediately on August 1, 2020. Consequently nobody else on board contracted the virus.

UnCruise Adventures Covid-free cruise

 Small boat company, UnCruise Adventures, reports that the majority of last week’s quarantined guests were cleared and released over the weekend. The original COVID positive guest headed home just a few days later. The company implemented a swift contingency plan and strict quarantine last week upon the news of a positive test onboard. The adventure brand immediately canceled its four subsequent sailings in Alaska for the summer. All tests of guests and crew are negative with zero transmission onboard. However, the season will not resume.

Is there a better way? UnCruise Adventures feels that there are safe sailing protocol options and continues to advocate for better testing to help save the travel industry. The company is focusing rebooting their upcoming seasons and creating safe outdoor bubbles for travelers.

“Strict planning paid off,” says Captain Dan Blanchard, UnCruise Adventures Owner, and CEO. “We were able to act quickly, but that doesn’t mean this event has not been painful to our company and guests. Our policies held up and may be a footprint for future sailings and the industry.”

UnCruise Adventures worked in tandem with local and state officials which was an asset to the company and guests. Most guests were not required to quarantine for the expected 14 days but began departing for home on August 8th. The company has received support from the local community and the industry at large, with some criticism on being the first to return to sail this season.

The adventure brand remains resolute in its focus to educate the industry on what small boat travel is and the safe routes to follow that will help lead the industry. “We’ve been lobbying Congress for rapid testing that would change the game. We can all do better and are asking national leaders to work with us.” Blanchard states.

Chronology of Covid19 countdown

  • July 28th– Identified guest takes a test prior to departure from home city.
  • On August 1st UnCruise Adventures returns to sail and all guests with a gap of more than the 72-hour requirement were retested at the Juneau airport.
  • August 4th a guest onboard receives communication from the State of Alaska of a positive C-19 test retaken at the Juneau airport. Contact tracing is immediately implemented by the state. And, the guest and four traveling companions undergo more tests.
  • On August 5th the 60-person passenger vessel, the Wilderness Adventurer returns to Juneau. It was operating at a 60% occupancy cap.
  • Also on August 5th all guests are securely quarantined at a local hotel in Juneau.  UnCruise Adventures pays all costs. The crew quarantined onboard the vessel.
  • Then on August 6th all guests and crew undergo tests.
  • On August 7th  results of all rests prove negative and  30 of the 36 guests get the okay for release by the State of Alaska.
  • August 8th guests begin flying home.

Testing essential

UnCruise Adventures understands the need for  accessible rapid COVID testing across industries for businesses and tourism to return. More studies are showing that small boat sanitization is high. In some instances this poses less of a risk of viruses than an average location that individuals visit in their local neighborhoods.

“Small businesses like ours have taken a considerable hit during COVID, and this was a big one.” Blanchard states. “We are employing proactive steps and understand our responsibility to our guests, crew, communities, and the industry. Safety remains our focus and we will continue to accelerate protocol standards.”  The quick action by these two cruise lines looks toward a brighter future for cruise lines.


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