Update as of May 26, 2020
Thank you for your patience during this incredibly dynamic time. We are so grateful for your words of encouragement, support of our employees and our company, and understanding as we have awaited a decision from the National Park Service (NPS) regarding reopening the Colorado River Corridor through Grand Canyon. NPS is moving forward with opening trips launching 6/14/20 and beyond.
We are leaning heavily on guidance from NPS, Coconino County, the State of Arizona, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and others as we decide how to best mitigate COVID-related risks on a Grand Canyon river trip. We want to be utterly clear: we do not believe, given the size and capacity of our rafts, that physical distancing while on our raft trips is possible. As you are aware, when you signed your Acknowledgement of Risk form, you did acknowledge the possibility of exposure to airborne or waterborne disease. In addition to challenges because of raft dimensions, there are many other unknowns, such as asymptomatic carriers of COVID and exposure to COVID during travel to Flagstaff or the South Rim. While we do believe we can take appropriate measures to reduce your chances of exposure to COVID, we cannot insulate you entirely.
Here’s what we can control:
• Thorough communication with guests and employees alike,
• Pre-screening all trip participants at 14 days and 3 days prior to the trip, as well as immediately prior to the pre-trip orientation,
• Outstanding existing sanitation and significant additional disinfection of gear prior to and during your trip,
• Adapting our food service and preparation to further minimize cross-contamination between trip participants,
• Providing additional hand washing opportunities, providing additional hand sanitizer, and reminding trip participants to wash hands frequently,
• Reevaluate the way we administer first aid,
• Isolate sick participants to the extent possible,
• Coordinate with the National Park Service to evacuate participants exhibiting “emergency warning signs” as defined by the CDC, and
• Train our employees on all existing and new procedures relating to COVID mitigation.
If you are a high risk individual, as defined as the CDC (see this link), please strongly consider opting out of a Grand Canyon raft adventure this year. We would love to take you in future years.
If you are not comfortable with embarking on your AzRA adventure given this information, please contact the office as soon as possible.
We will amend the cancellation policy that was in place when you booked as follows:
• If you inform us before 30 days prior to your trip that you wish to transfer your trip fare to later in 2020, 2021, or 2022, we will credit the entirety of your fare to the later year. You will be responsible for any differences in fare.
• If you inform us you wish to cancel within 10 days of receipt of this email or at least 45 days prior to your trip, we will refund you less your deposit of $400/person. While that deposit will be forfeited, we will credit you $400/person toward another Grand Canyon raft trip if you book within the 2020, 2021, or 2022 seasons.
• If you inform us you wish to cancel between 45 and 30 days prior to your trip, we will retain 25% of your trip fare. We will credit you that retained fare, less a $400 deposit, toward another Grand Canyon raft trip if you book within the 2020, 2021, or 2022 seasons.
• If you inform us you wish to cancel between 30 and 15 days prior to your trip, we will retain 50% of your trip fare. We will credit you 25% of your trip fare (half of what we retained) toward another Grand Canyon raft trip if you book within the 2020, 2021, or 2022 seasons.
• If you inform us you wish to cancel 14 days prior to your trip, and you can verify that you have COVID symptoms, have been diagnosed with COVID, or have been exposed to someone with COVID, we will credit the entirety of your fare to a trip in 2020, 2021, or 2022. If you cannot verify these conditions, and you still wish to cancel in this time frame, we will retain 75% of your trip fare. We will credit you 25% of your trip fare toward another Grand Canyon raft trip if you book within the 2020, 2021, or 2022 seasons.
• Effective April 30, 2020, our deposit amount for any new reservations is 15% of your trip cost. If you decide to cancel, you will be required to make a new deposit in the amount of 15%, and the appropriate credit will be given to you in the form of a discount.
Ultimately, we deeply want to provide access to the sanctuary that is Grand Canyon for those who want to go on a raft trip with us given the circumstances under which we can currently offer trips. We also want to provide employment for our extraordinary staff, be fair to both guests and employees who want to opt out this year, and balance the long term health of our organization with all of these goals. The mitigations we undertake will undoubtedly change some of the details of our trips. We believe the Canyon will still be Grand, the vistas will still be awe-inspiring, the quiet will still fill our souls, the excitement of the whitewater will still be palpable, and a river trip will be as lovely as it ever was.
Given the uncertain cancellation rate, we may opt to cancel, combine, or reconfigure the equipment on our trips. If we do cancel your trip, we will inform you at least 25 days prior, and we will refund you in full if you decide not to book an alternate trip.
Alexandra and Fred Thevenin
Arizona Raft Adventures
Update as of May 13, 2020
We have not received an update from Grand Canyon National Park Service on their plans to reopen the river corridor on June 14 or not. We understand this is a difficult time for making plans into the future. We do have modified cancellation policies in place, but they are all dependent on when we are allowed to launch our river trips again. Once we get the OK to raft again, we will be working with everyone who is uncomfortable with traveling on their adventure regarding their monies paid to us. If you are on the fence with your plans today, we ask for your patience on making a final decision until we know when we’re allowed to launch, as you will have more options at that point. Thank you, as always, for your patience and understanding. We will update this as soon as we know more!
Update as of 10:30 AM MST on April 28, 2020
Effective today, Grand Canyon National Park Service has decided to extend the closure of the Colorado River corridor through June 13. It is with a heavy heart that we again have to contact all effected parties to let them know they cannot launch if their trip date is prior to June 13. They did mention that they plan to make the next decision a month prior to what the first launch of the season would be, so to our best guess, we will not have another update until May 14 at the soonest. We will absolutely post another update here as soon as we hear from them on their next decision. Thank you all again!
Update as of April 22, 2020
We have not heard anything from Grand Canyon National Park Service about whether they plan to extend the river corridor closure, or reopen after May 21. We’re hoping to hear soon, just as much as we know you are! Thank you for your patience. As soon as we do have an update, we’ll post it here first.
Update as of 3:45 PM MST on March 20, 2020
Effective this afternoon, Grand Canyon National Park Service has decided to shut down their operations, including Grand Canyon river trips, until May 21. Unfortunately, that means that we are unable to run scheduled trip within that time frame. We are absolutely heartbroken, and understand that our guests will be too. We are reaching out to those who are directly affected, and will be working with them on their options.
If your trip is scheduled after May 21, we do not know more about it at this time. Grand Canyon National Park officials have told us that they will update us on their plans every other week starting in mid-April. As we know more, we will contact you directly if your trip is canceled. For those of you who are reserved with us later in the season, continue to check this blog to receive the most up to date information.
We continue to be thankful to you for your patience and understanding. We are all in this together, and we’re continuing to think positively!
Update as of 2:15 PM MST on March 17, 2020
The information from March 13 below is still relevant as of today. However, we have made some adjustments to the information below:
- The soonest we will make a decision to cancel or proceed with your adventure is one month prior to each trip date.
- It is our deepest wish to provide Grand Canyon raft adventures, provided we can do so in a responsible manner.
- Within one month, we will run your trip if we feel we can; however,
- We are asking you to cancel/reschedule if you experience any of the following within 14 days of your trip:
- International travel bans, or international residency,
- Travel to a level 3 area,
- Flu-like symptoms,
- Exposure to someone with COVID-19, and/or
- We will cancel your trip with at least 7 days’ notice (or as soon as possible after an announcement is made that falls within 7 days of your trip) if there are government restrictions, such as travel bans, or recommendations, such as those restricting group size to 10.
- We have determined that most domestic guests should be able to pack and get here within a week.
- If Grand Canyon National Park shuts down the river corridor at any time prior to the commencement of your trip, whether it is within a week prior to your trip or not, we will not run the trip.
- We are asking you to cancel/reschedule if you experience any of the following within 14 days of your trip:
We have also decided that if you fall under the transfer conditions above and below, we will honor the 2020 rates for any guests who choose to transfer to 2021 or 2022.
Updated as of March 13, 2020.
As the media and news outlets express more and more concerns about COVID-19, we completely understand any and all trepidations you have about the impact on your Grand Canyon rafting adventure. We do not foresee any cancellations of our river trips, and if that changes at any point in time, we will be in touch immediately for what that means for you, your travel plans and your travel investment. We care about the safety and health of our guests and employees and appreciate your patience with us as COVID-19 evolves. We realize that this is a dynamic situation, and our response will evolve as the situations change. We will update with any and all changes to our response here, and you are welcome check as often as you need.
If you are, or already have been, directly impacted by this virus, we send our sincerest condolences.
For those who are directly affected in any of the following circumstances, if your trip insurance company will not cover you, we will honor a 100% transfer of paid funds to the 2021 or 2022 rafting season (for the directly affected person(s) only):
- International travel bans immediately impacting travel,
- Domestic travel bans immediately impacting travel,
- Travel within 14 days of your trip to a level 3 area,
- Flu-like symptoms within 14 days of your trip,
- Exposure to someone with COVID-19 within 14 days of your trip, and/or
If you fall under one of these situations, we will require proof in the form of:
- Proof of residency in a place that has initiated a travel ban, which will prohibit you from traveling to us on time for your trip.
- Proof of outbound flight receipts coming from a location with a travel ban.
- A letter from the university from a student who can’t travel.
- Proof of travel in an area identified by the CDC as warning level 3 within 14 days of trip.
- Proof of illness with flu-like symptoms within 14 days of scheduled trip.
- Proof of close contact with a person proved to have COVID-19 within 14 days of the scheduled trip.
If you are concerned about your adventure, and don’t fall into any of these categories, you are welcome to try to replace your space(s). If you find replacements for your space(s), we will transfer the full funds to the new guests, and they would pay you back directly. If you purchased a Travel for Any Reason plan trip insurance plan, you could cancel and file a claim for that, as well.
We are closely monitoring Coconino County, Arizona, Grand Canyon National Park Service and Center for Disease Control directives. If anything changes from any of these authorities, we will rework our plan and inform you of any and all effects. We are currently following these resources:
To protect the well-being of our rafters and guides, if you arrive to the orientation or point of departure with flu-like symptoms, we may decline to serve you at our discretion. In addition, if a guest is experiencing flu-like symptoms once on the river, we will quarantine them and their personal items, as well as disinfect anything they have come in contact with.
With all this being said, while on the river, we always have and will continue to, take sanitation very seriously on all of our adventures. When a small group is living intimately in small quarters, we understand the effects and possibilities of germs spreading. We adhere to all the rules and regulations that the NPS, Coconino County Department of Health and Center for Disease Control have set for us, as our three regulating agencies.
With their basic guidelines set, we go above and beyond by purifying our water 1 part per million of chlorine, and our water is purified with a .35 absolute micron filter. We wash and clean, then air dry all of our plates with a 100 part per million chlorine water bath. In camp, we have three handwash stations set up, as well as hand sanitizer (at lunch, we set up one handwash station). We require everyone to wash hands before each meal, and require it again before going back for more.
We thoroughly believe Grand Canyon is one of the best places to be during a global situation such as this, and we are looking forward to sharing this wonderful and extraordinary place with you. It truly is one of the best places to reconnect to what’s most important in our lives, and to get back to our unplugged, best and true selves.