2021 and COVID-19

Hey Folks,

As of Dec 1, 2020, we’re hoping all trips this coming summer (2021) will go ahead as scheduled. Until we are given notice by the federal, state of local governments that summer travel is definitely not going to be open, we’re hoping to operate. That’s something of a rolling path, and we’ll do the best we can to keep you updated on this page.

Protocols and Protections

Any person currently positive with COVID-19 cannot travel to Alaska until they have been released from isolation, or cleared for travel, by a medical provider or public health agency.

We have listed our COVID-19 protocols below, and will adhere whenever possible to minimize any possible COVID-19 infection. This includes best practices for our travel (road, water and air), as well as hiking and other ground travel, camping practices in every effort to maintain the health of our guests and staff. These will of course be updated as the situation further develops.

We will make every effort to protect you and ourselves with best practices for minimizing infection.

This is a fluid and ever-changing situation. Protocols and plans are adapted to meet best practices for our relevant situations. These policies are based on information from and designed to meet practices outlined by CDC, FAA and State of Alaska mandates and guidelines.

COVID-19 Policy

You can find our cancellation policy here.

If mandates and travel restrictions cause a cancellation of any of our trips in 2021, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Expeditions Alaska will extend our policy of rolling over trip payment for 12 months to extend to a period of 2 years. Deposit payments can be rolled over to a trip before the end of 2023.

We’ll also hold off on all 2021 trip balance payments until we get a bit further notice from the governments on where things are going.

Our expectation is that, unless the situation erodes further, we will not be seeing travel bans into Alaska in the summer of 2021.

Scenarios

While it’s impossible to reasonably estimate what may or may not yet happen, the best expectation yet is that things will roll out over the summer. In other words that as summer progresses and we see a hoped-for success from vaccines, assuming no further outbreaks arise, travel will move back toward some semblance of normalcy.

We’ll see how that shakes out and try to keep you posted as best we can.

Thanks so much, stay safe, wear your mask and wash your hands.

And don’t touch your face.

See you soon.

Protocols

  • Specific Travel Guidelines for Expeditions Alaska Guides

    Guides will when possible wear face masks during auto and air taxi travel.

    We will ensure, whenever possible, that Expeditions Alaska vehicles are cleaned and decontaminated using 70% alcohol in a spray bottle prior to each new trip. Seats, door handles and luggage areas, seatbelts and other areas that are frequently touched during trips.

    We will keep hand sanitizer in the vehicle and when possible require all occupants to use it thoroughly upon entering the vehicle.

    We will screen all guests before trips for any COVID-19 symptoms. Guests exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms will not be allowed to participate in the trip.

    Screening will include screening for symptoms and/or exposure to people exhibiting symptoms in the 2 weeks prior to your trip departure. This will be evaluated per State of Alaska or CDC guidelines.

    Where possible, we ask all trip participants to get tested prior to travel.

    Double our standard sanitation for gear and food prep and cleaning before/after trips. All company gear is disinfected between trips.

  • General Backcountry Trip Guidelines

    Backcountry Social distancing will be required on trips at all appropriate times, particularly during meals and camp time. The exception here will be wildlife situations, where the standard practice of being a tight-knit group to reduce the impact on the wildlife and to maintain our safety is primary.

    Masks and other Personal Protection Equipment are not required for hiking and packrafting and kayaking outings. There will be situations during the trip where such things are advisable and the guide may mandate those as necessary.

    All camping quarters will be separate, one guest or one household guest per tent.

    Trash bags made available for each guest to properly dispose of their own sanitizer and wipes, and other items of biohazard concern.

    Guests will not be allowed to assist with food prep and other pre-dinner kitchen duties.

    Guests will do their own dishwashing, with soap and hot water.

    Dedicated hand wash stations will be utilized in each campsite.

    If guests and /or guides in the field present symptoms consistent with COVID-19 we will enhance social distance and enforce “backcountry quarantine”, while we make arrangements for Level 2 Evacuation.

    If guests and/or guides in the field present symptoms consistent with COVID-19 we will arrange extraction from the backcountry. There is no catch-all process for this, and each case will be handled on configured uniquely. Context and the circumstances will require a unique response every time. Expeditions Alaska will coordinate with each group to help arrange the most expedient and safe solution according to the situation.

    Expeditions Alaska and rescue services will do our best to limit exposure during any backcountry extraction.

  • Specific Guidelines for Clients

    Expeditions Alaska strongly encourages all non-vaccinated travelers to be tested for COVID-19 before they arrive (or test when they enter the state) and register with the Alaska Travel Portal. You can obtain a free COVID-19 test and (effective June 1, 2021) get vaccinated upon arrival in Alaska at Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau and Ketchikan airports.

    Why? While it is not required, being fully vaccinated provides a level of security and peace of mind for all. Offering a safe experience is the top priority for Alaska tour companies. If you are not fully vaccinated, consider taking a pre-travel Covid-19 test within 72 hours of departure.

    Strict social distancing is recommended while you wait for test results unless you are fully vaccinated (two weeks have passed since receiving your final dose of vaccine).

    We ask that each and every guest arrive for our trip in good health. Anyone exhibiting symptoms consistent for COVID-19 is asked to disclose this to Expeditions Alaska at the soonest relevant opportunity.

    As much as possible, we ask all guests to practice social distancing and isolation for 2 weeks prior to your Expeditions Alaska trip. This is vital. Extractions from the backcountry are challenging under any circumstances, and during the current pandemic crises, exponentially more so.

    Every guest is required to disclose to Expeditions Alaska and your guide if you have had a known exposure in the 2 weeks prior to your trip to a person or persons who have either tested positive or presented with symptoms consistent with COVID-19.

    Ideally, we’d like you to have been tested as recently as possible prior to your trip. We’d also ask you to please take the opportunity to get your vaccine shot (if possible) in time for your trip. Obviously, this is a developing thing and we’ll see how we go over the next six months.

    All guests are required to arrive for their trip with personal hand sanitizer, sanitary wipes and face masks for the travel periods of our trip.

    Guests should be familiar with the latest CDC and State of Alaska guidelines/mandates pertaining to COVID-19 and your trip.

  • Health Monitoring

    Monitor ourselves for fever (feeling feverish or a measured temperature of 100.4 F [38 C] or higher), cough, or shortness of breath.

    Guides and guests should stay home and not report for trips if they meet any of the following conditions:

    Develop fever, cough, or shortness of breath, even if mild;

    Test positive for COVID-19, even if no symptoms are present; or

    Are exposed, as defined below, to a sick person with fever, cough, or shortness of breath, even if the person has not been tested for COVID-19.

    Exposures of concern include:
    i) A sick household member or intimate partner;
    ii) Taking care of a sick person without using personal protective equipment (PPE); or
    iii) Being within 6 feet (2 meters) of a sick person (including co-workers and passengers) for a prolonged period of time (i.e., 10 minutes or longer).

    Guides and guests who are symptomatic or have been exposed to a person with COVID-19, should not return to work until cleared to do so by following current CDC guidelines.

  • Health Monitoring

    Monitor ourselves for fever (feeling feverish or a measured temperature of 100.4 F [38 C] or higher), cough, or shortness of breath.

    Guides and guests should stay home and not report for trips if they meet any of the following conditions:

    Develop fever, cough, or shortness of breath, even if mild;

    Test positive for COVID-19, even if no symptoms are present; or

    Are exposed, as defined below, to a sick person with fever, cough, or shortness of breath, even if the person has not been tested for COVID-19.

    Exposures of concern include:

    i) A sick household member or intimate partner;
    ii) Taking care of a sick person without using personal protective equipment (PPE); or
    iii) Being within 6 feet (2 meters) of a sick person (including co-workers and passengers) for a prolonged period of time (i.e., 10 minutes or longer).

    Guides and guests who are symptomatic or have been exposed to a person with COVID-19, should not return to work until cleared to do so by following current CDC guidelines.

Expeditions Alaska
Visit the wild