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 May 24, 2020
1. State Mandates & Re-Opening Plans
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 also abide by all state and local restrictions to promote the safety of our communities.
Per State of Alaska Mandate 10, interstate and international travel restrictions and quarantine requirements are scheduled to extend until June 5th.
2. Running Only Private Tours through June 15th
We will be running all of our trips as private tours in May and the first half of June (this may be extended beyond June 15th based on state guidelines and updates). This means you will be in your own private group with an exclusive guide and we will not be combining groups of guests. A minimum of 2 people is required. We will not be raising prices or up-charging for this change, and while it will limit our operations, we believe it is in the best interest of our guests and our guides. Our business profit has always been secondary to the health and wellness of our guests, guides and the wild places we visit. Running only private tours is one way we are continuing to live and operate as a value-based business.
**If you already have a booking with us scheduled for prior to June 15th, we will rebook you to a private tour at no extra charge and send you a new confirmation email.**
3. Revised Cancellation Policy
To allow for as much flexibility as possible, we’ve revised our cancellation policy:
- For our Half Day Resurrection Bay & Caines Head Full Day trips, you may cancel up to 3 days before your trip for a full refund.
- For all trips that include a water taxi (Aialik Glacier, Fox Island & Multi-Day Trips), you may cancel up to 15 days before your trip for a full refund.
*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.
4. Water Taxis (for Aialik Glacier Day Trips, Overnights, and Multi Day Camping Trips)
Our primary water taxi partner, Weather Permitting, is dedicated to the safety and health of their staff and guests. They will be setting limits on vessel capacity based on state guidance and public health recommendations. They also require minimum guest numbers in order to operate their boats. As their highest volume customer, Kayak Adventures has never had trouble reaching these minimums. In this uncertain time, we recognize our 2020 season will be different. If we cannot reach the required minimum on the day of your tour, we will notify you at least 72 hours in advance. At this point, we plan to provide several options: re-schedule to a date when the minimum can be met, re-book you onto a tour that does not involve Weather Permitting vessels, or provide a refund or credit. We ask for your understanding as we navigate uncharted waters and continue to adapt to current best practices with our water taxi.
5. Check In
Guests will be asked to check in at our office outside, and will be required to wear a face covering if entering the building to utilize the restroom. All other check-in procedures will occur outside. Kayak Adventures will be staggering the arrival time for multiple groups scheduled to start their trip on the same day and similar times.
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 preparing your for your trip, 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. Wearing facemarks is an important way we can work together to protect guests and guides.
We typically travel from our shop & office on Third Ave in downtown Seward to the launch point or water taxi pick up location 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 (1-3 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 (operations will be in compliance with current state health regulations, which states that masks must be worn by everyone in the vehicle).
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. If you have any concerns with the health/medical disclosures being asked in this form, please speak directly with Kayak Adventures staff and we will attempt to reach a suitable alternative solution. 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. Again, our guides’ and guests’ health and wellness is our top priority and we thank you in working with us!
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. Staff Health
We recognize that Kayak Adventures will likely see fewer guests in our shop this summer, but we have made the decision not to reduce the number of guides and employees on staff. 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. Values are only real when they remain steady in the face of challenges, and these challenging days are an opportunity to remain true. Maintaining this commitment to our staff is important to our integrity.
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.
We ask that you, our guests, follow the same precautions in order to keep our guides safe and our business able to operate. After booking a tour with us, you will receive more details about our updated policies and procedures, including our expectations of guests (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.