A fully vaccinated passenger aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship in Southeast Alaska has tested positive for the CCP virus and was transported home via “private air transportation,” the company announced.
The case was identified July 25 on the Celebrity Millennium operated by Celebrity Cruises—a wholly-owned subsidiary of Royal Caribbean—that departed July 23 from Seattle on its first cruise of the Alaska season.
The cruise line said in a statement that health officials on board “immediately began contact tracing to identify any guests or crew members who have been in contact” with the person.
They added that everyone in the group traveling together with the unidentified individual who tested positive was also tested for COVID-19, and all have shown a negative result.
“I think that we were never expecting the cruise season to be entirely COVID-free,” Deputy City Manager at City & Borough of Juneau Robert Barr told public media outlet KTOO.
“Because even though the cruise ships are highly vaccinated, we again know that vaccines are not perfect, and that they will rely on herd immunity,” he added.
Barr said the individual did not travel in Juneau as a tourist and will be returned home from the state capital by air ambulance.
Officials said upon learning that the passenger reported experiencing COVID-like symptoms to the crew, the person was isolated in the ship’s medical facility for monitoring, according to a company statement.
The person was then “provided private air transportation back to the comforts of home, ensuring that our safety measures were maintained from door-to-door,” it added.
Susan Lomax, a spokesperson for the cruise line, said the ship was in Skagway on Tuesday and would be at sea before returning to Seattle on Friday, KHNS reported.
Celebrity Cruises has two large ships that are operating from Florida. They require that every passenger above the age of 16 be vaccinated against the CCP virus. Starting in August, every passenger above the age of 12 will also be required to get the jab.