Take a handbell cruise with us!

Handbell cruises

Handbell ringers aboard Cruise XII in 2013
Stephanie Wiltse, clinician
Michael J. Glasgow, clinician
Handbells Unlimited!, guest performers

Bells of the Cascades has become known as the “cruising choir” within the world of handbells, having sponsored 12 seven-day cruises during our history. (View images from previous handbell cruises.)

Come join Bells of the Cascades on our next cruise!

Information about the last Bells of the Cascades cruise is included below — we’ll post our plans for our next cruise later in the year!

The 2015 cruise

A 7-day Caribbean cruise, Jan. 4–11, 2015

Read on for details about the cruise, our ports and featured clinicians Stephanie Wiltse and Michael J. Glasgow. If you’re ready to book, prices include all port fees, taxes, bell activities, and food and ship entertainment while on board:

  • Prices start at $934.40 for an inside cabin
  • Ocean-view cabins start at $1,094.40
  • Verandah cabins start at $1,184.40

Book your ticket

To participate in ringing activities, your cruise must be booked through Azumano Travel.

Contact Azumano Travel at (800) 888-7025 or email bells@azumano.com. You may also view details on the Azumano website.

Details about the cruise

Cruise XIII: Twice the Fun!

Our seven-day Caribbean cruise, Jan. 4–11, 2015, will for the first time feature two clinicians, Stephanie Wiltse and Michael J. Glasgow. Twice the fun!

Join us as we sail Holland America ms Eurodam from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, through the blue waters of the Caribbean to the ports of Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos; San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; and the private island Half Moon Cay, Bahamas.

The days we’re not in port, you’ll be making music with two distinguished and well-known, handbell clinicians, Stephanie Wiltse from Grand Rapids, Michigan and Michael J. Glasgow from Raleigh, North Carolina. Your evenings aboard the ship will be free for mingling with your fellow bell ringers and other passengers, enjoying the on-board entertainment, and of course, doing what cruises are known for — eating!

Solo and Ensemble Ringers will also have the opportunity to be coached by Beth Davidson and David Jordan of Handbells Unlimited! A lucky auditioned few will also get the chance to perform with Beth and David.

About our clinicians

Stephanie Wiltse first learned to ring handbells under the tutelage of Lee Afdahl in 1982. She began directing handbells in 1992, and in 1995 helped found the community group Embellish, which she has directed since 1998. Under her baton, the group has performed for two Pinnacle (Handbell Musicians of America community/professional) events, various Area and National events, and numerous concerts throughout the United States and France.

Stephanie is also the director of the Valenti Handbell Ensemble of Aquinas College and the Calvin College Handbell Ensemble. She has served as conductor for mass rings and directors’ events in California, Indiana, Michigan, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, and Texas.

In 2012, she conducted a mass piece for the International Handbell Symposium in Liverpool, England, as well as shared conducting duties for an auditioned U.S. All Star Ensemble. She has taught handbell classes for the Calvin College Symposium on worship as well as at various area and national Handbell Musicians of America events. Stephanie is completing her final year of a six-year term on the National Board of Directors of the Guild. She is also a choral singer and a vocal soloist, and keeps a busy performance schedule throughout the greater Grand Rapids area.

Michael J. Glasgow is originally from Michigan. He holds B.A. degrees in music theory/composition, and in journalism; as well as a Master of Church Music degree, in both choral and handbell music. In addition to his full-time position at North Raleigh UMC (Raleigh, NC), Michael serves as the Bass Section Leader for the North Carolina Master Chorale and the Choral Conductor for the Tar River Orchestra & Chorus.

An award-winning composer, he keeps busy with commissions and his own projects, which strive to creatively advance the art of handbell and choral music. He was awarded a first prize in the 2006 Soundprint Productions Composition Contest for his original jazz handbell piece, Celerity; as well as first prize in the 2007 Bells of the Sound “Three Ring Circus” Composition Contest for Bumping Noses.

Michael is proud to have conducted four of the first six Anthornis events for advanced ringers in Minneapolis; as well as the Handbell Ringers of Great Britain’s 2013 Ringing Residency Week in Sheffield, England. He also serves as the editor for the Handbell Musicians of America Area 3 newsletter, The Bell-O-Gram, and is a member of ASCAP, American Composers Forum, Mensa and several other professional organizations. Additional information and samples of Michael’s work may be found at www.michaeljglasgow.com.

Handbells Unlimited! Beth Davidson and David Jordan comprise the duet team of Handbells Unlimited! From the Portland, Oregon area, they first started ringing together in 1997. They have performed concerts around the United States as well as taking part in concerts in Germany and the Czech Republic and have been featured performers at several regional and national festivals. Their CD “Kaleidoscope” debuted in 1999, and their video “Music in Motion” followed in 2001. With Kevin McChesney and Michael Kastner they founded SEE – Solo/Ensemble Extravaganza.

They have been solo and ensemble clinicians for workshops in Oregon, Washington, California, Arizona, Colorado, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico and Virginia. Watch them perform “Hernando’s Hideaway” at the 2013 Handbell Musicians of America National Seminar, where they were featured performers.


Jan. 5: Fort Lauderdale, Florida U.S.
Jan. 5: Day at sea
Jan. 6: Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos
Jan. 7: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Jan. 8: St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
Jan. 9: Day at sea
Jan. 10: Half Moon Cay, Bahamas
Jan. 11: Fort Lauderdale, Florida, U.S.


Read our frequently asked questions for details on how our handbell cruises operate. Feel free to contact us at cruise-info@bellsofthecascades.org with any other questions you have!

We hope to see you in 2015!