Covid Conscious Travel

Covid Conscious Travel

A Health and Safety Guide for Our Guests

Vaccinations are now required of all eligible guests and staff. A complete set of helpful details and information to answer your questions can be found below.

Last updated June 16, 2022
With the constantly changing nature of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic – including the Omicron variant and evolving health and safety mandates from the CDC – we will use this webpage as our primary resource for sharing information with our 2022 summer season guests. Please check back to this page prior your trip to stay well informed.

We’re so excited you’ll be our guest in Alaska during your upcoming visit! Since our start in 1977, our highest priority is – and has always been – the safety of our guests and staff.

Given the ongoing pandemic, we all have an important part in making your upcoming Alaska vacation as seamless and safe as possible. On our end, Alaska Wildland Adventures (AWA) requires all staff to be vaccinated, and we are also requiring travelers to be vaccinated in advance of travel to Alaska. There are provisions for exemptions (see below for details).

Given our unique style of adventuring to remote locations with sometimes limited facilities, we feel it’s critical our guests and staff are vaccinated for Covid-19. As a company committed to responsible travel, we believe in the duty to not only protect the delicate natural environment supporting our operations but also the people and communities committed to serving you. By having as many guests and staff vaccinated as possible, our Covid-19 protocols will greatly reduce the odds of your trip being interrupted or inconvenienced. Please continue reading for more details about our travel requirements and guidelines.

Travel in a Covid Environment

The novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, remains a complex and evolving hazard. Although the risk of contracting the illness caused by the virus – known as Covid-19 – while traveling with Alaska Wildland Adventures (AWA) cannot be entirely eliminated, we have identified and implemented mitigation strategies to reduce that risk. Between our new operational strategies and participation in mitigation steps from our travelers, we believe the risk can be managed appropriately for the 2022 travel season. We were able to operate safely and successfully throughout the summer of 2021 and are grateful for the cooperation of our great guests.

Our team and staff at AWA is committed to minimizing risks presented by the ongoing pandemic, and – together with the participation of our wonderful guests – we can’t wait to safely partake in the grandeur of Alaska by kayak, fishing boat, canoe, raft or foot! The restorative powers of nature await you in Alaska.

Our Commitment to You

Our Stance

AWA and its staff are committed to following well-researched guidelines and recommended protocols established by trusted experts in science and public health, from local, state and federal levels. Additionally, we’ll incorporate our 44+ years of experience in remote lodge management to continually refine and improve our best practices as situations evolve. We will remain active, engaged, and open-minded advocates for our travelers and staff. AWA will take a more conservative approach when we feel it’s warranted.

Communication Plan

Our website houses our most up-to-date Covid-related resources for guests. We ask you to check back routinely and also keep up with the State of Alaska’s travel page, to stay aware of any new travel requirements. We generally take the stance of “no news is good news;” our Reservations Team will only plan to contact you prior your scheduled adventure if there are unexpected, last-minute travel mandates or new notifications impacting your trip.

Your Role for a Safe, Enjoyable Trip

Guest Vaccine Information

To safeguard your personal health along with the investment of time and money toward your vacation, AWA requires qualifying travelers who are eligible for a Covid vaccine to be fully vaccinated by the time they arrive in Alaska. We define being fully vaccinated as being at least two weeks past the second shot of a two-shot vaccination series (or single dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, when applicable); we strongly suggest all travelers receive a booster shot. You will be asked to complete a Guest Vaccination Information Form (click here for a downloadable pdf) and return in advance of arrival. We encourage you to also bring an extra copy of your proof of vaccination with you while you travel.

At this time, fully vaccinated guests will not need to provide additional proof of a negative molecular based Covid-19 test prior the start of trips.

Special exceptions and exemptions:

  1. For travelers under 5 years of age: At this time, travelers under the age of 5 will not be required to be vaccinated; parent(s) of youth under the age of 5 will be asked to complete a Youth Exemption Form (click here for a downloadable pdf). A completed and approved youth exemption form will be required in addition to proof of a qualifying negative molecular based Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours of arrival. Locate the nearest testing site at Nationwide Testing Sites Locator.
  2. For travelers requesting medical exemptions: Please complete the Qualifying Medical Exemption/Accommodation Form (click here for a downloadable pdf). A completed and approved medical exemption/accommodation form will be required in addition to proof of a qualifying negative molecular based Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours of arrival. Locate the nearest testing site at Nationwide Testing Sites Locator.
  3. For travelers requesting religious exemptions: Please complete the Qualifying Religious Exemption/Accommodation Form (click here for a downloadable pdf). A completed and approved religious exemption/accommodation form will be required in addition to proof of a qualifying negative molecular based Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours of arrival. Locate the nearest testing site at Nationwide Testing Sites Locator.

General Guest Actions, Mitigation and Masking Guidelines (Updated April 22, 2022)

Aside from keeping up with basic personal hygiene and hand-washing/sanitizing, we ask that our visitors be prepared for social distancing and wearing properly-fitted masks during specific portions of the trip, as advised by the Trip Leader or Lodge Staff host upon arrival. Please be prepared to wear a mask while inside our touring vehicles and while aboard indoor-areas of our certified boating vessels (when applicable).

You will not need to wear a mask while you are inside your personal guest cabin/room, while in the act of dining in designated areas, or while outdoors.

Our masking guidelines will continue to follow the CDC recommendations, based upon local Covid-19 Community Levels in place at the time of your visit. As conditions are subject to frequent changes, the masking guidelines we are sharing here represent the strictest scenarios our team may ask you to follow upon arrival; however, we will offer more flexible masking guidelines when conditions allow.

We encourage any guest who wishes to wear a mask at any time to continue doing so, regardless of federal rulings or CDC guidelines. If you have a medical condition precluding mask wearing, please contact our team with medical documentation prior your trip. Thank you!

Health Reporting

Guests will be asked to self-monitor and report any Covid-19 symptoms to our staff immediately, either before or during the trip. Additional health screening of guests by trained staff may be implemented at any time, which may involve simple temperature checks and/or a short health questionnaire. 

In addition to getting vaccinated at your soonest convenience, we also ask you to review our Travel in a Covid Environment: Your Role as Our Guest guidelines (click here for a downloadable pdf).

Our Operations

Our inherent style of “small group, big experience” active outdoor nature touring has set us up for success to operate capably in the new Covid environment. We’ll strive to maintain the same overall look and feel at our Alaska wilderness lodges and on our guided trips for this summer, with a few adjustments added for your enhanced safety and peace of mind.

As AWA offers a wide variety of Alaska vacation and travel options, our below guidelines are intended to cover the majority of trips and guest experiences arranged for our 2022 season. We aren’t a “one size fits all” operator, though, and if you can’t find the info you seek here, we encourage you to contact your Reservations Specialist about your specific trip.

Small Groups

Although we have always prided ourselves on our small groups, in 2022 we’ve reconfigured some guest spaces, groups sizes, and other elements of our trip operations to allow ease in social distancing. By design, our operations and various modes of transportation are small-scale and intended to host smaller groups of travelers. We feel the best way to experience wild Alaska is away from the crowds. There may be moments during your trip when social distancing between our travelers or with our staff is not possible and a well-fitted mask will be required.  

Transportation and Activities

Part of what makes our trips diverse and exciting is the opportunity to tour Alaska through various modes of transport. Please come prepared with a well-fitted mask to wear during extended periods of travel inside our touring vehicles or while inside enclosed areas on our certified boat vessels.

Guests do not need to wear masks while enjoying outdoor guided activities or while on our rafts and fishing boats (when applicable).

Property Improvements

Our team has spent the past 12+ months implementing several improved health and hygiene tools and systems at our properties, including but not limited to: HEPA air filtration; hand sanitation stations; touchless fixtures; expanded outdoor covered guest relaxation and dining areas; and enhanced disinfection and cleaning protocols throughout our hospitality departments.

Dining

Depending on your particular trip, you may encounter varying types of dining services, including indoor/outdoor dining; buffet options; order-off-menu options; or our “family style” meal service. Best-in-service hygiene protocols will be followed by kitchen teams and food preparation staff.

Rest assured, our commitment to serving you delicious, gourmet-inspired meals with Alaskan flair remains a top priority!

Staff

AWA requires all of our staff to be vaccinated for Covid-19. Our staff will follow required pre-season testing, complemented by ongoing health screenings throughout the season.

A Special Note Regarding Travel to Our Partner Lodges

The above health and safety protocols are specific to the lodges, dining and activities directly managed by Alaska Wildland Adventures. Depending upon your unique itinerary, there may be times when you’ll travel to other destinations and properties around Alaska which are not owned and operated by us. Although AWA cannot control the policies and protocols of our partners, we have strategically partnered with operators which follow CDC standards and most align with our goals for guest health and safety.

Additional Planning Resources and Frequently Asked Questions

State of Alaska and U.S. Travel Guidelines

Follow along with Alaska’s up-to-date travel guidelines here. If you’re traveling to Alaska from outside the United States, please find requirements for international travelers here.

I’ve already had and have recovered from Covid-19. Do these guidelines apply to me?

Yes. Even if you’ve had a past or more recent case of Covid-19, we require all guests to be fully vaccinated. Please read our above terms regarding Medical Exemptions; you may download our Medical Exemption form to see if this applies to your personal situation.

What if there is a positive Covid-19 case for me or my travel party? What happens next?

If a guest experiences any symptoms of Covid-19 during a trip or visit at one of our Lodges, the guest must notify our staff immediately and will be provided a free rapid test. Affected guests will be required to isolate from other visitors and staff in the comfort of their own guest cabin, with meals delivered until transportation to the nearest medical facility for further testing and medical care becomes available.

Transportation to the nearest medical facility will be arranged for affected guest(s) by AWA. In the event of a positive test, the involved guest(s) agrees to voluntarily discontinue the remainder of the tour. While we will offer whatever reasonable assistance we can, it will be the sole responsibility of the traveler(s) involved to make their own onward travel arrangements, at their own cost. We highly recommend guests purchase their own travel protection/travel insurance.

In the event of a negative test and with improved/cleared symptoms, a traveler may rejoin their trip at the next available opportunity; additional arrangements and costs may be involved and are at the responsibility of the traveler.

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