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UnCruise pivots again, starts Alaska sailings earlier than planned

'When recent changes were made affecting our Seattle departures, I knew I could not disappoint our guests with another cancellation,' Capt. Dan Blanchard said. Uncruise is laying on May sailings from Juneau
Over the weekend Seattle-based UnCruise Adventures quickly modified a trio of Pacific Northwest sailings after Washington state COVID-19 protocols prevented three departures.

'The state of Washington rather abruptly decided not to allow any overnight boats operate in their waters,' CEO Capt. Dan Blanchard said.

Switch to Juneau embarkation

Instead of canceling, the company saved the long-awaited adventure cruises for dozens of travelers by offering them an alternative cruise from Juneau, even covering their airfare and hotel costs. Blanchard will also lead small-group history walks through Juneau prior to each embarkation.

According to news reports, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has indicated that domestic cruises would be allowed for fully vaccinated passengers from May 14

'When recent changes were made affecting our Seattle departures, I knew I could not disappoint our guests with another cancellation,' Blanchard said. 'Some of our guests have been waiting on this cruise for two or three years.'

First cruise May 7

May 7 will kick off the company’s first full sailing from Juneau with even more time in Glacier Bay National Park. The Alaska season will include six adventure itineraries on vessels carrying 22 to 86 passengers, with fully vaccinated crews. The company’s recent policy requires all passengers to provide proof of vaccination, too.

'We understand the importance of cruise lines in the Alaska economy and a return to sailing to the future of my company,' Blanchard said. 'Vaccinations are on the rise and data has shown that Alaska has outperformed other states during the pandemic. There is hope on the horizon, and Alaska is wide open for us this season.'

UnCruise Adventures' summer Alaska season will include departures from Juneau, Sitka and Ketchikan for fully vaccinated crew and passengers.

Bears coming out of hibernation

The May cruises start just as Alaska awakens, with bears coming out of hibernation. And UnCruise expects to have the sole vessel in all of Glacier Bay National Park at the start.

The company has extended typical wave season specials including waiving single supplements for solo travelers, additional savings up to $600 for May and June departures and adding a free hotel night in partnership with Ramada Juneau on select sailings. 

'We need cruises this year': Alaska governor

'Alaska is open for business,' Gov. Mike Dunleavy said in an UnCruise video message. 'Our management of the virus and especially our vaccine rollout is the envy of many, many states. We want to make sure the world knows we are a safe state. And we are open for business. We need the tourism industry. We need cruises this year.'