Our Updated COVID-19 Response
We’ve completed our 2020 season and are happy to share that, with strict COVID-19 protocols in place, we had a successful summer. We were able to share this place with hundreds of people, and no known cases of COVID-19 were contracted on our trips. We are taking what we learned in 2020 and preparing for another meaningful, inspiring season in 2021.
No one knows exactly what the world will be like in a few months’ time, as we continue to face a global pandemic. While our hope is to operate our trips in the same way we did pre-COVID-19, we have careful plans to address the continued public health risks posed by the virus. We will follow scientific expertise and industry standards for hygiene and cleanliness, encourage the use of cautious practices among our staff and guests, and communicate all changes to our policies as we continue to adapt.
Our health and safety measures are designed to protect guests and guides, including the use of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), hand hygiene, and the cleaning of vehicles, boats, and equipment. On the administrative side, we will continue to employ a COVID-19 screening for both guests and staff, prioritize health and well-being, and ensure adherence with existing health mandates regarding the virus.
The decision about whether or not to travel in 2021 is a personal one. As you consider your options, it’s key that you feel comfortable with the uncertainties involved. We are doing what we can to update precautions and procedures, but the risk of exposure to, or contraction of, COVID-19 cannot be completely eliminated. While we will follow the operational procedures detailed below, we cannot eliminate the risks associated with COVID-19, and only you can decide whether those risks are acceptable to you.
Exploring the outdoors revives joy, inspires wonder, and strengthens bonds; it may be more important now than ever before. Sharing with others the beauty of nature, connection, and camaraderie in a healthy, supportive atmosphere has always been the core of what we do. If you decide to join us for a trip in 2021, recognize that we are doing our best to take care of our guests and staff; in turn, we ask that you join us as an active participant in managing risk to yourself and others. Thank you for your support as we collectively navigate this pandemic.
Updated on November 9, 2020
Prepared & Trained Guides
100% of our guides & staff from 2020 will be returning in 2021. Their experience and knowledge of running tours in this new world is invaluable. Our guides’ understand the challenges & strategies that made us successful in 2020 and are able to navigate all of this with grace and purpose. All our guides are Wilderness First Responders and go through the most extensive guide training in the area, including additional training regarding COVID-19 protocols & procedures.
The health and wellness of our guests has always been our top priority. We’ll ask all guests to fill out a pre-trip COVID health screening questionnaire based on new standard operating procedures developed by the state tourism board & health professionals. We will provide you with a copy of this document to review in advance of your trip and on the day of the trip we will be asking you to review and sign a copy in person. Please understand that if you or a member of your household cannot meet the screening criteria, travel with us will not be possible.
Covid Code of Conduct
Since our trips are small group activities, we’ve always expected people to act with courtesy and respect towards one another. This year we are adding a Covid Code of Conduct that describes our expectations of guests, including physical distancing and other precautions that are essential for all guests to follow.
Outdoor adventure in wild places affords opportunities to spread out. KAW is committed to maintaining recommended distances during all aspects of our trips whenever possible.
Bring a Face Covering
We ask that you bring your own cloth face covering. Cloth masks, buffs, etc. are all good options. While we don’t anticipate needing to wear these for the entire tour, there will be times when they are required such as during check-in, when using group transpiration (water taxi or KAW vans) or anytime we cannot maintain physical distance.
We ask you to check-in outside our office, meet your guide, and get geared up before your tour. We will provide transportation to kayak launch locations in our vans. All guests, guides, and staff are required to wear a mask or face covering at all times in vans and on water taxis. Vans and boats will be cleaned and sanitized daily.
Our trips are already designed for small groups, with just 6 guests per guide. Running tours with smaller group sizes allow us to minimize the risk of exposure and provide guests with a purposeful, unique, and personalized tour. We believe a special camaraderie blossoms in our smaller groups, as guests travel and explore with like minded adventurers who also have a desire to connect and protect the great Alaskan wilderness.
Revised Cancellation Policy
We have created a stress-free Revised Cancellation Policy to be as flexible as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please read the details here.
Meal Preparation & Outdoor Dining
Our guides will be trained to follow the recommended State and Federal guidelines for foodservice operations. Our snacks are all pre-packaged and individually wrapped. Our lunches are made to order by our local sandwich provider, The Lunch Box, and are individually wrapped. Our guides will be wearing masks while preparing, handling and serving food.
Additional Cleaning & Sanitation
Additional precautions have been implemented to further clean and disinfect all surfaces of the various equipment we use, including kayaks, paddles, PFDs (personal flotation devices), pogies, spray skirts and any other gear used on our tours. We will clean and sanitize all high touch surfaces in our office and bathroom after each tour arrival and departure.