Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Winding Waters River Expeditions
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update from WWRE (last updated July 29, 2020)
All of us here at Winding Waters River Expeditions are monitoring the Coronavirus situation constantly and will be updating this page as changes occur, we learn more, and new travel advisories are released.
The following information is provided here:
- -A message from owners Paul and Penny Arentsen
- -Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) about the current Coronavirus situation relative to our whitewater rafting adventures
As the owners of Winding Waters River Expeditions, we’ve greatly enjoyed sharing the adventure of whitewater rafting with our many guests. We understand in the current climate that a rafting trip in the outdoors and in pristine wilderness environments is exactly what many folks need right now. We also understand that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation is an entirely new one and we, like many of you, are working to understand and navigate what this means for travel today.
We want to reassure all of you that our top priority is, as always, the health and well-being of our guests and our crew. We are all in this together. Our crew is part of our family and you, our guests, are an extension of that family. Paul and I want to assure you that we’re doing our best to make sound decisions that are fair and in the best interest of all involved. Our decisions include the advice of front line medical professionals, official government channels, past lessons learned, and the daily changing climate of the situation.
We would like to thank you for navigating these times with us. The outdoors is and always will be the place many of us seek to recharge and find solace in the world. As we personally are keeping abreast of this situation between homeschool lessons with our kids’ Linden & Britton, we realize the world has changed dramatically for all of us. And we’re uncertain for how long all of this will last. Thank you to the many helpers out there, from our healthcare workers to the employees wiping down surfaces and keeping the shelves stocked with needed supplies. We appreciate your trust in us and we’ll make it through these uncharted waters together. We will update this post as more information comes to light relative to our 2020 Rafting Season. If you have any questions or comments, please reach out to us at 877.426.7238 or email us. Peace and health be with all of you.
~Paul & Penny Arentsen
FAQ’s About the Current Coronavirus Situation
Please know that we will be updating these answers as we learn more hourly & daily regarding this virus
Are you still operating your trips?
At this time we are taking things a week at a time. We have rescheduled our trips through mid-June. Unless conditions prevent operations, we will be running our mid-June through September trips as scheduled. Federal, state, and local protocols are still evolving and we are following the Oregon and Idaho Phased reopening for our ability to operate for the 2020 rafting season.
For information on the Oregon Phased Reopening Plan, visit this site: https://govstatus.egov.com/or-covid-19/.
What should I do if I’m booked on a trip but health concerns make me wonder if I should travel?
We understand that we are traveling in uncharted waters and your health and well-being is our greatest concern. We, like you, are sitting tight and watching the ever changing environment surrounding this virus and its effect on all us. In these surreal times, we are deviating from our standard cancellation policy. If you decide not to travel due to health concerns, we suggest one of 2 paths:
- -First, if you purchased travel insurance that we recommended, check your policy for coverage. Here is the link to Travelex Insurance and coverage relating to the Coronavirus.
- -Second, if you are not covered by travel insurance, we will provide a transferable credit worth 100% of your trip payment to date to be applied to any future trip. The future trip reservation will be subject to our standard cancellation policy.
Will travel insurance protect my vacation investment?
It’s best to get information directly from the travel insurance companies. Here is coverage information from Travelex Insurance as it relates to travel affected by the Coronavirus. With the current Coronavirus situation, you may want to consider the “cancel for any reason” (CFAR) coverage. This coverage must be purchased within 21 days of paying your initial deposit.
What precautions does WWRE take during trips & will new ones be implemented to help prevent spreading the virus?
On every rafting adventure, we will continue to implement sanitation procedures that follow best-practices and new protocols as they develop, set forth by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), and state and local agencies. For the CDC guidelines, visit this site: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html.
Each family, couple, or group of friends on a trip is considered a ‘Pod’. We will operate under the assumption that pods are comfortable being closer than 6′ together. We will plan on having 1 pod per boat with 1 guide. We have figured out a boat arrangement that allows for 6′ of spacing between the pod and our guide.
Our guides will be wearing face masks in the kitchen while preparing and serving meals.
What if I am unable to travel at the time of my trip departure due to a travel ban, or restrictions imposed by federal, state or local government authorities?
If an official travel ban has been issued that does not allow you to travel to or from your point of origin, we have 2 options for you:
- -First, if you purchased the recommended travel insurance, check your policy for coverage. Here is the link to Travelex Insurance and coverage relating to the Coronavirus.
- -Second, if you are not covered by travel insurance, we are deviating from our standard cancellation policy and will provide a transferable credit worth 100% of your trip payment to date to be applied to any future trip. The future trip reservation will be subject to our standard cancellation policy.
What if WWRE is unable to operate during the date(s) of my trip due to Federal, state, or local mandates?
If we are unable to run our trips due to a closure by federal, state, or local authority, governmental intervention, our own decision based on the health and well-being of our guests, crew, and all humanity, or any other reason, we offer you the following option which deviates from our standard cancellation policy:
- -A credit equal to 110% of the amount you have already paid to date for the actual tour (not including services provided by other companies such as air carriers, hotels, etc.). This credit can be used for another trip to be redeemed at any future date (no expiration date). This credit is also transferable to a friend or family member. Once an alternate trip is booked, it is subject to standard cancellation policies.
If I cancel or reschedule my departure, or WWRE needs to reschedule my trip, will WWRE cover my costs for pre or post-trip flights, car rentals, hotels or other associated trip expenses?
In the event of any cancellation or rescheduled trip, you are responsible for cancellation or change fees related to rental cars, pre or post-trip flights, hotels, etc..
What if I’m considering making a new reservation?
Please call us, we’re here to answer all of your questions and discuss options.
Where can I find trusted information about Coronavirus?
We believe it’s important to stay well-informed from trusted sources to have a complete understanding regarding this global health risk.
To this end, we rely on the following news and other health-related sources to stay current with the situation. Some of our sources, with accurate and measured information, include the following:
- -The U.S. Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) advises the country on public health. They have a page dedicated to Covid-19 and travel that we highly recommend, including a map showing areas of concern. They also have an excellent FAQ page related to travel.
- -The World Health Organization (WHO) also maintains an excellent website filled with accurate and useful information, including a page dedicated to Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) travel advice. They have a particularly informative post on recommendations for international travel in relation to the COVID-19 outbreak, which was updated on Feb 29, 2020.
- -The U.S. Department of State
- -Johns Hopkins University has a visual and statistical interactive map of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases worldwide.