UPDATED COVID-19 RESPONSE
UPDATED COVID-19 RESPONSE
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way the whole world operates, including our little corner of Alaska. As an owner-operated small business, we’re fortunate to have the ability to adapt quickly. This is an unprecedented time, calling for unprecedented measures in everything from staffing to logistics. At the forefront of all of our decision-making is the safety and well-being of our guides, guests, and community. We want to share with you the changes we have made and will continue to assess as we move forward. In a world where the tranquility of nature and power of connection matter more than ever before, we look forward to sharing this special place with you.
Updated on August 5, 2020
1. State Travel Mandates
The state of Alaska has enacted Health Mandates surrounding travel and business operations, which we have conscientiously followed to help protect our fellow Alaskans and communities. If you are unfamiliar with these, we recommend you learn more about Alaska’s covid-19 response. We will continue to modify our operations to reflect the guidelines and best practices provided by government and public health officials. While you are traveling, we ask that you abide by all state and local restrictions to promote the safety of our communities.
Alaska’s new travel protocols take effect Tuesday, Aug. 11. All non-residents must arrive with a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to departure or proof of a pending test result from a test taken within 72 hours prior to departure. This new strategy will allow us to focus resources on travel within the state. More details of the plan will be posted as information becomes available.
- Test 72 hours before departure, and upload negative result into the Alaska Travel Portal.
- If tested 72 hours before departure and awaiting results, travelers will need to upload proof of test taken into the Alaska Travel Portal and quarantine while waiting.
- If a non-resident arrives without a pre-test, testing is available for $250 per test. The traveler will be required to quarantine while waiting on results.
- Testing remains available at no cost to Alaska residents.
- 14 day quarantine is still available to Alaska residents.
- Alaska residents traveling back to home communities in rural Alaska will now have the option of testing at the airport sites, to prevent bringing the virus into our small communities.
Please note that if you’ve traveled into Alaska in the last 14 days, you MUST have a negative test result in order to join us. We cannot take guests who are still awaiting their results, because if your test comes back positive and you have joined us for a trip we will be forced to shut down for 14 days and test all of our guides. We cannot take on this type of risk; in order to join us for a tour, you must be in compliance with the state mandate.
2. Revised Cancellation Policy
To allow for as much flexibility as possible, you may cancel up to 72 hours before your trip for a full refund. Within 72 hours, your trip is nonrefundable.
*Full refunds include: trip fees, add ons, and taxes & fees, minus $10 per person booking fees for all half & full day trips & $25 per person booking fees for multi-day trips*
If your trip is canceled by Kayak Adventures, for weather or other unforeseen circumstances, we will refund you in full, minus the booking fee.
If you decide to cancel your trip with us, please consider transferring your payment to a gift card. That way you can join us in the future, whether it’s this summer or a future season, providing an easy way to postpone your vacation plans while continuing to support our small, locally-owned business.
3. Water Taxis (for Aialik Glacier Day Trips, Overnights, and Multi Day Camping Trips)
We have transitioned to using only small, independent water taxis this season. These vessels have 6-passenger maximums, keeping our capacity very limited. When we book your trip, we charter a water taxi for the day. In order to break even on this cost, we need to have at least 4 people on the boat. If we are unable to reach this minimum, we will reach out to you 72 hours prior to your trip to provide alternative plans. This may include paying a water taxi upcharge or switching to a tour that does not involve a water taxi (in this case, we will refund you the difference). Because we charter a vessel to run your trip, any cancellations on your part within 72 hours will incur the same water taxi fees and therefore cannot be refunded.
4. Check In
Guests will be asked to check in outside at our office, and will be required to wear a face covering during check in and any time you enter the building. All check-in procedures will occur outside.
5. Maintaining Distance
Outdoor recreation allows us to share experiences and spend time with others, while maintaining our physical distance. Those who are traveling with family or members of their trusted group do not need to stay 6 feet apart from one another. However, we ask you to be vigilant of maintaining 6 feet of distance with anyone outside of your trusted group, including our guides and staff, water taxi captains and deckhands, and any other guests. Because of this, there are things that our guides would typically do, that they will instead ask for your help with (for example, helping your family member adjust their equipment). There are also some things that they will ask you not to help with, even if you are enthusiastic to do so (for example, passing out snacks). We appreciate your understanding and help with maintaining physical distance when possible.
6. Face Coverings
We ask that you bring your own cloth face covering that you are comfortable wearing. Face coverings are to be worn any time physical distancing of 6’ between individuals outside your household cannot be maintained. This includes when you are within 6’ of your guide, such as when they are fitting your equipment, adjusting foot-pegs before launching, etc. Throughout the day, please try to minimize contact between your hands and the respiratory portion of the face mask. We will ask that you wear a mask anytime you enter the kayak shop, one of our vehicles, or are on a water taxi. Wearing masks is an important way we can work together to protect guests and guides.
7. Transportation to Lowell Point (for Half Day & Caines Head Trips)
We typically travel from our shop & office on Third Ave in downtown Seward to the launch point for our Resurrection Bay Trips in our 15 passenger vans. Due to increased risk of COVID-19 transmission in enclosed spaces, we ask that you meet us at our shop to check in outdoors, meet your guide, get fitted for equipment, and then drive your own vehicle to the start location of your trip (~2 miles from our shop). We will provide parking directions and instructions. If you do not have a vehicle with you, please be in touch in advance as we can provide transportation on a request basis (masks must be worn by everyone in the vehicle). For all trips departing out of the harbor (Fox Island, Aialik Day Trips or Multi-Days), we will still provide transportation in our vans and will clean them between uses.
8. Health & Medical Information
The more we know about your health/medical situation, the better we can mitigate health/medical risks for all of us. In addition to the standard health/medical information found on our online waiver, we will be providing you a COVID-19 Health Screening Form requesting specific information related to infectious illness and respiratory disease transmission. 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. If at any point in the trip your health status changes and/or you exhibit any symptoms associated with COVID-19, please let us know immediately. Kayak Adventures will reserve the right to refuse services to any guest or group that has not complied with state health mandates or who we believe may place our staff at an increased risk of COVID-19 exposure.
9. Sanitation Practices
Our sanitation practices have always had our guest and guide well-being as the first priority. In response to COVID-19, we are introducing even more thorough cleaning procedures:
- We will meet and check in guests outside the office (on the deck or front yard) when possible to limit indoor interactions.
- We will ask that guests enter the office one booking group at a time for merchandise purchases, bathroom use, or any other reason.
- We will clean & sanitize high-touch surfaces indoors (bathroom, reception area, doorknobs) after each trip arrival and departure.
- We will clean & sanitize paddles, PFDs, kayaks, spray skirts, and other guest equipment after each use.
- Hand sanitizer will continue to be available on all trips and offered at all snack and meal times.
10. Meals & Drinks
We will still be offering snacks on all of our tours as well as lunch on our full day trips. 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. There are no shared meal items on our day trips. We will not be offering hot drinks on our day trips.
As always, our guests are welcome to bring their own snacks if desired. These can be kept on your person or provided to the guide to store in the snack bag while paddling.
Our fully guided multi-day trips will still include meals, all of which will be prepared and served by the guide. Guides are required to wear a face covering or mask while preparing and serving food. There will be no buffet-style meals. Eating utensils and individual dishes will be assigned to each person for the duration of the trip. Guides will wash and sanitize dishes after each meal.
11. Staff Health
Our guides are the life of our company: they create meaningful and memorable experiences; they drive our company culture; and they craft trips that inspire awe. Guiding different guests every day puts our guides in a position of elevated risk for COVID-19 transmission. We ask for your help and support in upholding all of our COVID-19 policies for the health of our staff.
We will ask that our staff stay home and self-isolate if feeling unwell or exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms. We will monitor all staff for health concerns daily.
After booking a tour with us, you will receive more details about our updated policies and procedures, including our expectations of guests and our health screening questionnaire (we’re also happy to share this information pre-booking upon request).
Thank you for standing with us, for trusting us, and for providing motivation for us to creatively problem-solve in this tenuous time. As always, please be in touch with questions or concerns. We look forward to providing meaningful, memorable, and inspiring experiences this summer and beyond.