2025: "A Whale of a Cruise!"

handbell cruises

Matthew Compton, Clinician for Cruise XVI
Alex Guebert, Clinician for Cruise XVI

Cruise XVI Registration Link (2025)

Reserve your cabin today! Click here to register!

A 7-day cruise from Seattle to Alaska and back:
June 21-28, 2025

Ahoy! Welcome fellow ringers and friends to an enchanting voyage with Bells of the Cascades! Following our hiatus, we’re elated to bring you our 16th cruise, a momentous occasion during our 35th Anniversary year. As we set sail for the captivating state of Alaska, our journey will resonate with the harmonious tones of handbells. Joining us are esteemed clinicians Matthew Compton and Alex Guebert, whose expertise will enrich our musical experience. Prepare to be mesmerized by the artistry of handbell ringing against the backdrop of Alaska’s awe-inspiring vistas. Here’s to creating harmonies amidst nature’s grandeur and crafting melodies that echo through the Alaskan wilderness.

If you’re ready to book, prices start at $1896 per person based on double occupancy. Your fare includes the 7-day cruise, all Bells of the Cascades’ activities, a hosted cocktail party, meals and entertainment onboard the ship, and all taxes and port charges.

Booking is now open. Click Here to Register - RESERVE YOUR CABIN TODAY!!

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

Prices, based on double occupancy:

  • Signature Suite starting at $3,825 ppo
  • Balcony cabins starting at $2,725 ppo
  • Ocean-view cabins starting at $2,354 ppo
  • Interior State Rooms starting at $1,896 ppo

When booking, ask your agent about special pricing for third and fourth passengers in a  cabin and any promotions that can be applied to add amenities to your cruise. There will be a $100 discount for non-ringers.

You may book a room with a $250 deposit per person.

Prices include all port fees, taxes, bell activities, crew appreciation gratitude, $100 shore excursion credit, wi-fi, signature beverage package, 1 night specialty dining, and food and ship entertainment while on board.

View details about cabin options and trip planning here.

Cruise XVI: “A Whale of a Cruise!”
Our seven-day cruise to Alaska, June 21-28, 2025, will feature clinicians Matthew Compton and Alex Guebert.

Join us on the Holland America Eurodam from Seattle to Alaska. We start with a scenic voyage through the Puget Sound, landing in Juneau, Alaska. After spending quality time in Juneau, we head down through Glacier Bay, viewing the sights as we make our way to Icy Strait Point. Following this day, our cruise sails off to beautiful Sitka to see the sights, followed by an afternoon in Ketchikan. We are soon back at sea, ending our trip with a quick stop in Victoria, Canada, before we get back to Seattle.

All ringing activities will take place on the days we are at sea, while leaving plenty of time to enjoy the ship and all the amenities provided by Holland America. There will be no ringing activities while we are in port or sailing through Glacier Bay.

During the days we are “at sea,” there will be ringing activities, including massed ringing with our guest clinicians and classes. There is usually time to help people with bass techniques, treble techniques, special techniques, and ensemble ringing, or other topics cruisers find interesting. When bell activities are not scheduled, the bells are available for rehearsing, ensemble practicing (formed by those interested on the first day), and more.

The final day at sea, handbell cruisers will present the pieces they have learned. The showcase is open to all of the ship’s passengers, but space is usually limited. Bells of the Cascades will also play a concert at some point during the cruise that is also open to all.
 

About our clinicians

Matthew Compton, a native of Colorado Springs, CO has been composing, arranging, and conducting music for handbells since 2007, when he was in the 8th grade. He had his first composition published at the age of 15, making him one of the youngest published handbell composers. Matthew graduated from Concordia University Wisconsin with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music with an emphasis in Composition and Conducting.

Based now in Vancouver, WA, he is the music director of Bells of the Cascades in Portland, OR, Director of Music Ministries at Salmon Creek Church in Vancouver, and recently has become the new Artistic Director of Pikes Peak Ringers in Colorado Springs. Along with Alex Guebert, Matthew also co-directs Zenith, a new double handbell ensemble that is made up of 30 auditioned musicians from around the world each year. In addition to being a guest clinician at handbell festivals across the country, his music is frequently used at local and national handbell festivals, like the Bay View Week of Handbells and Distinctly Bronze East and West. In his limited spare time, Matthew can occasionally be found streaming a variety of games and music performances on Twitch, going hiking, or enjoying any number of movies, anime, or TV shows!

Alex Guebert is a composer, arranger, music director, clinician, percussionist, and organist from Orange, CA. He is the Director of Worship and Music at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Orange. Handbells are a particular passion for Alex. He directs two advanced-level handbell groups: Cathedral Bells (at St. John’s, since 2013) and Concert Handbells at Concordia University Irvine (since 2018). He previously directed the LA Bronze Ensemble, from 2014-2022. His award-winning handbell compositions and arrangements have been published and performed nationwide and overseas.

Alex’s compositional style is a result of his background as a percussionist, his love of film and video game scores, and his desire to broaden the horizons of handbell repertoire. Alex holds an M.M. in Music Composition from Cal State Long Beach, where his graduate recital featured a 25-minute work for handbells, strings, and percussion. Some of Alex’s most recent forays into the national scene of handbells include teaching classes at Handbell Musicians of America national and local seminars and leading several mass ringing events nationwide, as well as being chosen to compose the Bay View Week of Handbells “Allured Commission” piece for 2023.

Besides handbells, Alex enjoys composing/arranging for piano, organ, choir, and orchestra, as well as planning creative worship services. He also co-hosts and co-produces a podcast, A Moment of Bach, with his brother Christian, on which they talk about their favorite magical moments of music by J. S. Bach. Alex lives in Orange with his wife Heather who works as a forensic scientist in the Orange County Crime Lab, and two daughters, Emma Joy and Cora Noelle, who both already seem to share their dad’s love of music and their mom’s scientific curiosity about the world!
 

Itinerary

June 21: Seattle, WA, departing 3:00 pm
June 21: Scenic cruising Puget Sound
June 22: At sea, ringing!
June 23: At sea, ringing in the morning!
June 23: Juneau, AK, 1:00 pm to 10:00 pm
June 24: Scenic cruising through Glacier Bay
June 24: Icy Strait Point, 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm
June 25: Sitka, AK, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm
June 26: Ketchikan, AK, 7:00 am to 1:00 pm
June 26: At sea, ringing in the afternoon!
June 27: At sea, ringing!
June 27: Victoria, BC, Canada, 8:00 pm to 11:59 pm
June 28:  Seattle, WA, arrive 7:00 am

View details about cabin options and trip planning here.


Booking is now open. Click Here to Register - RESERVE YOUR CABIN TODAY!!

Also, feel free to contact us at cruise-info@bellsofthecascades.org with any other questions you have!