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
We are requiring all guests 18 years of age and older to be fully vaccinated from COVID-19 at least 14-days prior to arrival on tour. By being vaccinated, individuals can help promote the overall health and wellness of all guests, staff, and the local residents with whom we interact on this group tour. Please ensure you have a paper copy of your COVID-19 vaccination card, which will be verified by your on-tour travel leader. All travelers 18 years of age and older, including your Orbridge Travel Leaders, will be required to follow this protocol.
For those guests participating in the optional Discover Southeast Alaska post-tour, you will have all necessary COVID-19 testing needed for embarkation arranged and paid for by Orbridge prior to arrival to the ship. In accordance with Cruise Industry Guidelines and Alaskan Dream Cruises (ADC) requirements, travelers will be required to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination (for passengers 18 years of age and older) administered at least two weeks prior to arrival to the cruise, and to complete a rapid antigen test before boarding. Guests with a negative test result will be allowed to board the ship.
On the Discover Southeast Alaska Post-Tour, for guests who test positive due to a recent COVID-19 diagnosis, ADC will accept a note from a doctor or certified medical authority for guests under the following conditions:
- Guest has been diagnosed with COVID-19 no less than 5 days prior to embarkation day, per CDC guidelines.
- Guest must not have a fever.
- Guest must exhibit symptoms that are improving, and will be required to mask on board the ship for 5 additional days.
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
- Some local municipalities may require face coverings to be worn while in public. Guests are expected to follow local policies.
- Face coverings are NO LONGER required by federal mandate on all public transportation. Guests are encouraged, but not required, to wear face masks while aboard the motorcoach and other program transportation except where locally mandated. Note: This policy is subject to change based on federal policy in place at the time of your tour. Your on-tour staff will advise of any updated information that would be applicable to your departure. It is important you bring masks with you while traveling should policies change.
- 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.
- Masks will be required for Jimmy Hendrick's presentation, inside the Museum of the North, and in all indoor areas of Denali National Park, including on board the expedition coach.
- On your Discover Denali National Park program, 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.
- For guests participating in the Discover Southeast Alaska post-tour, 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 may be staggered to increase physical distancing while aboard.
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 the Discover Southeast Alaska post-tour cruises this summer, the following information has been compiled.
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. 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.
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 will be accepted to board the vessel?
You are encouraged to have your COVID-19 vaccination card with you. In case you misplace your card while in transit, we encourage you to have photocopies and a picture of it on your phone's camera roll 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 a vaccination you will not be able to board the vessel.
Why do I still have to achieve 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 rapid COVID-19 test result before embarkation helps to reduce the risk for all guests on board, as well as the communities we visit.
What if I don’t comply and show up without proof of vaccination? What if I don't achieve a negative COVID-19 test result after taking the rapid antigen test?
Should a guest arrive to the vessel and not have proof of COVID-19 vaccination, or should a guest fail to receive the desired negative rapid COVID-19 test result, he/she will not be allowed boarding. In that case, the guest will be responsible for making hotel arrangements and working with their airline to adjust the 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 in time for my tour?
While early in the vaccination roll out it took quite a bit of time to schedule appointments, the accelerated roll out of vaccines 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.
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. The CDC has come out with guidance indicating that vaccinated individuals can relax face covering use outdoors and indoors. ADC follows all CDC guidelines regarding mask usage. It is recommended masks be worn, but is not required, 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, and additional hand sanitation stations throughout the vessel. You can learn more on our wellness website at Orbridge.com/Wellness.
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 8, 2022.