We look forward to welcoming you on tour soon! We understand that traveling during these times requires additional preparation and planning in order to foster a healthy and safe on-tour experience for you and others on your tour. In addition to the standard Wellness Protocols that meet or exceed CDC recommendations and international travel industry guidelines in place for all Orbridge tours, the following are what you can expect on this tour.
This page is updated as new information becomes available from local, state, and international agencies. The environment for travel is constantly evolving, and as such, it is advised that you check this page regularly to be aware of the most current information for your tour.
COVID-19 Testing & Vaccination Requirements
- In accordance with Cruise Industry Guidelines and Alaskan Dream Cruises (ADC) requirements, travelers will be required to show proof of a negative PCR Covid-19 test result taken within 96 hours of embarkation aboard the cruise ship AND proof of full COVID-19 vaccination administered at least two weeks prior to arrival to the cruise. For those who arrive in Alaska a day or more earlier than embarkation day, you may need to take another PCR COVID-19 test while in Alaska in order to meet the testing requirement. Should you be in Alaska early and need to find a local testing site, you can use this online search tool to find a testing facility closest to your location.
- For those guests participating on the optional Denali National Park pre-tour, you will have all necessary COVID-19 testing needed for embarkation arranged and paid for by Orbridge prior to arrival to the ship.
- Guests will be kindly expected to attend the tour group welcome event, during which guests will be asked to complete a brief health questionnaire. If guests arrive to a tour exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms or indicate anything on the health questionnaire of concern, guests will be asked to remove themselves from the group and unfortunately will not be able to participate.
- It is important for you to review your state’s COVID-19 testing requirements to determine any state-specific protocol upon your return.
- Some sites visited on the itinerary may have modified service or hours of operation. Your Orbridge Expedition Leader will share any updates each day with guests.
Destination Specific Wellness Protocols
- Most local municipalities require face coverings to be worn while in public. Guests are expected to follow local policies.
- Businesses such as restaurants and cafés may be operating at limited capacity. Your Orbridge Expedition Leader will advise you of any local restrictions so that you can best plan your time allotted for independent exploration.
- The Chichagof Dream will be thoroughly sanitized prior to boarding and throughout your voyage to assure the healthiest environment possible. During your cruise, crew will take daily temperatures of all guests using touchless thermometers. All staterooms, common areas, galleys and dining rooms will be cleaned daily with EPA-approved virus-killing disinfectants. Additionally, a sterilizing UV light has been installed on all onboard HVAC/vent systems and there is no shared air between individual cabins. A disinfectant-infused carpet at the head of the gangway will also clean the bottoms of shoes to limit outside contamination on the boat decks. Please note that some dining times and educational presentations will be staggered to increase physical distancing while aboard.
- For guests participating in the Denali pre-tour, the train and deluxe motor coaches utilize ByoGlobe electrostatic sprayers to disinfect each rail car and motor coach and enhanced sanitation protocols are in place, including more frequent disinfecting of surfaces and community spaces. The expedition coach used while in Denali National Park will be at 50% capacity.
In addition to these Destination Specific Wellness Protocols, Orbridge wellness protocols will be followed on all tours. We invite you to familiarize yourself with what Orbridge is doing, and what is expected by guests while on tour, by visiting orbridge.com/wellness.
- Specific protocols and expectations for air travel vary by airline. Click here and scroll to the Air Travel Protocol section to learn more about airline protocols.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
To help answer common questions related to the COVID-19 vaccination and testing requirements for upcoming Discover Southeast Alaska cruises this summer, the following information has been compiled. Click here for a downloadable version of these FAQs.
Why is Orbridge requiring me to have proof of vaccination to join this tour?
Orbridge works closely with all of our suppliers around the globe. Cruise lines that have resumed operations are implementing stringent guidelines to help promote wellness and prevent spread of viruses. Our cruise line partner Alaskan Dream Cruises (ADC) are implementing these same standards. All four cruise lines operating in Alaska this summer will be requiring their guests to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination and negative COVID-19 test result. The hope is that not only will it provide peace of mind for travelers, but also help protect and promote wellness in the communities we visit.
We were told a few weeks ago that we just needed a negative COVID-19 test. Why has it changed?
We understand that the evolving protocols add an additional layer to planning and preparing for upcoming travels. We remain committed to sharing updates as soon as they are available and are happy to answer your questions. As we’ve all learned this past year, guidance and protocols evolve and this is the case here. Our wellness website has the updated information to help you and our other guests prepare for their travels. We recommend you visit the wellness website often for the latest information.
Will any vaccinations be acceptable to meet this requirement and when must it be administered?
Yes, ADC and Orbridge will accept proof of any vaccination that is available to the general public. The vaccine must be administered at least two weeks prior to embarkation, including both doses if you have a type of vaccine that is a two-dose vaccine.
What type of proof of vaccination and negative COVID-19 test result will be accepted to board the vessel?
You are encouraged to have your COVID-19 vaccination card and a printed copy of your negative COVID-19 test result with you. In case you misplace these while in transit, we encourage you to have photo copies and pictures on your camera of these documents to prevent any issues when boarding your vessel.
Who does this vaccination requirement apply to?
Proof of vaccination is required for all guests ages 18 and older. In addition, all on-board ship staff, crew and guides have also been fully vaccinated, as well as your Orbridge Travel Director and Expedition Leaders.
Are there any exceptions to this requirement for religious, medical or other reasons?
COVID-19 vaccination is required for all guests ages 18 and older. If you have a medical, religious or other reason for not taking vaccination you will not be able to board the vessel.
Why do I still have to have a negative COVID-19 test result if I have to show proof of vaccination?
Even though vaccinated individuals have a much lesser risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19, research indicates that they may still be able to carry the virus. Proof of vaccination combined with a negative COVID-19 test result within 96 hours of arrival helps to reduce the risk for all guests on board, as well as the communities we visit. Should you be in Alaska early and need to find a local testing site, you can use this online search tool to find a testing facility closest to your location.
What if I don’t comply and show up without proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test result?
Should a guest arrive to the vessel and not have proof of COVID-19 vaccination, they will not be allowed boarding. In that case, the guest will be responsible for making hotel arrangements and working with their airline to adjust their flight schedule. Any costs assumed in these cases will be those solely of the traveler.
How will I be able to meet the requirements of getting a COVID-19 vaccination and negative test result in time for my tour?
While early in the testing and vaccination roll out it took quite a bit of time to schedule appointments and receive test results, the accelerated roll out of vaccines and more rapid results from COVID-19 tests should not pose an issue. Many major national retail chains including CVS, Walgreens, Target, Walmart, and Costco now offer vaccines. We encourage you to visit vaccinefinder.org to find locations near you that have available vaccinations. To find the nearest COVID-19 testing facilities, we encourage you to visit the websites of your local health department and/or retail locations.
Will I still have to wear face coverings even if I’m vaccinated and have my negative COVID-19 test result?
Currently, U.S. federal government regulations and guidance from the CDC includes our vessel as part of transportation infrastructure, just like airlines. While the CDC has come out with guidance indicating that vaccinated individuals can relax face covering use outdoors, ADC requires masks be worn when occupying or transiting all public areas for crew and guests while on board the ship. When on shore excursions during your cruise program, guests will be required to follow all local city, borough or community COVID-19 mandates. We also still encourage guests to wear face coverings with those outside their family group, especially indoors in common spaces.
What else is Orbridge and the cruise line doing to promote health and wellness?
Orbridge and ADC take your wellness seriously and your safety is our top priority. There will be sterilizing UV lights on HVAC/vent systems, health questionnaires completed by all guests, increased thorough disinfection of all common areas using EPA-registered hospital grade solutions, additional hand sanitation stations throughout the vessel, and the elimination of all buffet and self-serve food and beverage options. You can learn more on our wellness website at Orbridge.com/Wellness.
These requirements weren’t in place when I signed up. I don’t want to travel. What are my options?
We understand that evolving requirements for travel are sometimes unanticipated. However, in accordance with our terms and conditions, we kindly require all guests to follow local, state, national and/or World Health Organization health and safety mandates. Should you decide to not follow these public health requirements, we will be happy to assist you with rebooking your Alaska tour in 2022 when it is expected that these requirements are relaxed. In the event you want to do this, please contact Guest Services via email at email@example.com at least 45 days prior to your originally scheduled departure to avoid incurring any penalties.
If you have additional questions, please contact our dedicated Guest Services team at (866) 639-0079 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This information is up-to-date as of July 9, 2021.