Alaska Ferry LeConte traveling to Juneau on August 3, 2022. (Photo by Claire Stremple/KTOO)

COVID-positive travelers say they were not allowed to board cruise ships in Skagway this week. Instead, Holland America says it helped book a trip on a national ferry and then helped book an Alaska Airlines flight from Juneau.

Diana and Larry Lehler were set to set sail from Skagway in Corningsdam, Holland America after a bus tour of the hinterlands and Canada. But when they arrived in Skagway on Tuesday, they tested positive for COVID-19.

“The first test worked, but the second didn’t,” says Diana Lehrer.

The next day, the couple were on a state ferry and were sitting near the front window with their masks on. MV LeConte was packed with passengers heading to Juneau from Skagway and Haines.

“They didn’t put us on a cruise ship because they wanted trouble, so they gave us the option to either quarantine here in Skagway or go home,” Diana said. Told.

Diana said she knew when she booked the package that if she or her husband tested positive during the bus trip, they would not be allowed on the cruise ship.

“We knew it could happen, but we didn’t expect it to happen to us,” she said.

Holland America took care of them after they tested positive, she said.

“They will guide you through everything,” she said. “They completely rebooked our trip. They made it so easy.”

A Holland America spokesperson said it wasn’t Company policyIt only helps customers reschedule their trips after 5 days of quarantine.

However, Lehrer later confirmed in an email that an employee in Holland had booked the trip after being quarantined overnight in Skagway.

Skagway Mayor Andrew Cremata has said ferry or air travel from Skagway for travelers with active COVID-19 cases is not part of the municipality’s port agreement with Holland America.

“I know it happens,” Cremata said.

“There is a group of COVID-19 patients at the airport who are being sent home and trying to get out by plane.

You don’t have to test negative to board state ferries or Alaska Airlines flights, but both have the following policies: Do not travel if sick.

Laura Bronk and her husband were on the same tour as the Lehrers. After testing positive, I also attended LeConte. According to Bronk, their tour her guide recommended taking the ferry on a smaller plane out of town.

She said the cruise company offered a five-night quarantine in Skagway, but decided to take a ferry instead. She said Holland will reimburse them for the ferry ticket.

“The holidays are over. You should go home,” Bronk said.

As for the Lehrers, the couple will be taking a flight from their home in Juneau to the East Coast. They say the symptoms are mild – a runny nose and a bit of a cold.


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