Zeebrugge to Bruges. Some options how to get there.

Welcome to Cruise Critic! If you'd like to participate on our forums by joining in the conversation, please Register Now! Be sure to visit our FAMOUS Roll Call forums, where you can meet other cruisers sailing with you and share a tour or shore excursion and SAVE MONEY!

** Please post your recommendations ONLY in response to request...do not start a new thread. Thanks!
British Isles/Western Europe
Amsterdam, Brugge, Dublin, Edinburgh, London (Dover, Harwich, Southampton)
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
All times are GMT -4.
The time now is 08:42 AM.
#1
1,527 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
In an earlier post I mentioned a nice walking tour of Bruges that starts at the railroad station. http://www.********.com/Brugge%205.html

What I didn’t tell you was how to go from the cruise terminal in Zeebrugge (meaning Sea Brugge) to the city of Bruges (AKA Brugge), a distance of only about 8.5 miles as the crow flies.

Here are a few options about how to cover that seemingly short distance:

1. Sign up for a cruise ship tour or transport. Our least favorite for this port since it is so easy to see Bruges on your own and all cruise ships charge too much. Oceania, for example, charges $89 per person just to give you a ride on a bus.

2. Take a taxi. There are not too many at the dock if you are on a large ship. So, you should make advanced reservations. One company is “Brugse Taxi Service” email [email protected] Attn. Koen Keereman.
He charges 45 euros one way, meets you at the dock and will take you back later in the day for another 45 euros. Let him know in advance how many in your group. He can handle up to eight people for the same price. I am also trying to make contact with another taxi service to see if the price is about right and will post that info later.

3. Take the train.
Before I go any further, let me mention that public transportation in Europe is fast, safe and very economical. Americans are just not used to it and always shy away from taking a bus or train. Too bad. If you want to be a bit braver, consider the following options:

a. From the cruise ship terminal walk to the train station in the little town of Blankenberge. It is a long walk of about 2.5 miles due west along the coastal road “Kustlaan”. From there an eleven minute train ride takes to the starting point of the afore mentioned walking tour in Bruges.
b. If you’d rather not walk that far, take the coastal tram from Zeebrugge to Blankenberge. The tram costs you one euro per person. The train is four euros for seniors and five euros if you are not. So, for six euros or less you can be there and back (round trip).

Here are a few more details and schedules for the summer of 2008:
There is a direct train from Blankenberge to Bruges that leaves at 8:10, then 9:10 etc every hour. If you should miss that by a few minutes you can also take a bus right outside the station. Bus 33 goes to almost the same place and leaves at 8:20 for example. I don’t know if the fare is the same.
The tram from Zeebrugge to Blankenberge goes every ten minutes, so you can time yourselves from that. To catch the tram, walk outside the harbor area, go to the main road (Kustlaan) and turn west. In front of the little beach village of Strandwijk is one of the tram stops. It is a couple hundred yards walk. Ask anyone. Then tell the tram conductor that you want to go to the train station in Blankenberg. He will throw you off at the right place.
You might want to get some euros at an ATM in Blankenberge. There are three banks close near the railroad station. You will find that most people speak enough English to show you where to go. (No pun intended).
To go back the same way I suggest you consult the schedules that are posted at the train station. There is one website, but it is in Dutch, and I don’t want to translate all the instructions here.
http://hari.b-holding.be/Hafas/bin/query.exe/nn?OK#focus

Every cruise ship has its own schedule and everyone is afraid that they will miss it. However, It is quite doable to go back from the station in Bruges to the ship within an hour. When in doubt, you can still take a cab back if you can find one.

Oh, there is one more way to cover the 8.5 miles. You might find a bicycle rental place in Strandwijk and ride along the canal that connects Zeebrugge to Bruges. We have not tried that.
#2
Potomac, MD
1,296 Posts
Joined May 2003
We took Brugge Taxi (has a website) that was there to meet us in Zebrugge right on time and brought us back to the ship as well (we had pre-arranged times). I had contacted them by email and they were very responsive. Great deal--much cheaper than the ship's transport.
#3
1,527 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
Originally posted by PINEY10
We took Brugge Taxi (has a website) that was there to meet us in Zebrugge right on time and brought us back to the ship as well (we had pre-arranged times). I had contacted them by email and they were very responsive. Great deal--much cheaper than the ship's transport.
I still maintain that 90 euros for a ten minute taxi ride is not a great deal. True it is cheaper than most cruise ship charges, but that is why a lot of us use this forum, to find a better way to go.

Some cruise lines provide a shuttle service to the train station. I am totally disappointed that Oceania, for example, don't offer that option. But then again they want you to be stuck and rely on their outrageous shore excursion fees.

I hope you had a good time in Brugge; it is one of my most favorite cities to visit.
#4
Potomac, MD
1,296 Posts
Joined May 2003
We had a group of 10 and then found 6 others so were able to divide it 26 ways which worked. Cruisecritic was very helpful in finding the 6 others and in fact others on the ship wished they could have joined us.
#5
1,527 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
Originally posted by PINEY10
We had a group of 10 and then found 6 others so were able to divide it 26 ways which worked. Cruisecritic was very helpful in finding the 6 others and in fact others on the ship wished they could have joined us.
Now, that makes a lot of sense! Good for you.

BTW 10 plus 6 meant you had two taxis, right? That comes to a little over 11 euros per person, which is not bad. Oceania charges $89 per person, I believe.

The post on top is rather old. It was my first crack at trying to find a way to go from Zeebrugge to Brugge. There are several more responses since then, but here is what we did:
Our ship arrived at the dock furthest to the south-west. Although it was raining lightly, several of us walked to the train station (just under half an hour and not recommended for those who don't like to walk along non-sidewalk roads).
The train station at Zeebrugge-Strand only operates during the three summer months (June, July, August), but from there it cost us 2 euros per person to Brugge. From the Brugge train station we did the "Bruges-Walking-Tour", as shown earlier.
For some pictures and a description of this option you might check the following web site http://www.********.com/Bruges.html
#6
Chesapeake, VA
451 Posts
Joined Nov 2000
Originally posted by PINEY10
We took Brugge Taxi (has a website) that was there to meet us in Zebrugge right on time and brought us back to the ship as well (we had pre-arranged times). I had contacted them by email and they were very responsive. Great deal--much cheaper than the ship's transport.

We just came back from our stop in Zeeburge, and I had arranged Brugge Taxi 6 months in advance. They DID NOT pick us up!!! We waited for over an hour while reserved cab after reserved cab stoped to pick up passengers. I asked a Brugge Taxi driver to call to see where our ride was, and he said "it's on its way".

If a cab came and it was not reserved, it was a scramble to get a cab, by grabbing a door handle and jumping in.

When we finally did get to Brugges by George's Taxi, he said he would pick us up at 2:00, and HE never showed!

We almost missed the boat, the only taxi's showing up were reserved, and there were several dozen of us waiting, many with reservations. We sent our wives along in a reserved taxi that only had 2 people in it (I stood in the middle of the street and stopped the driver when I saw only 2 people in the taxi), and we took another 40 min before we finally got one. Made the ship with only 10 min to spare...quite stressful.

That being said, Brugge town is a delight, a must see!!!!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Photos Greek Island Cruise:
https://greekislecruise2013.shutterfly.com/pictures/8

Kotor Montenegro - High def video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXvGG7XaBLc


Around the World - short clips of Grand Med cruise all high definition video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z78XgQm2egU

Under the Sea Video:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...44090712789241

Celebrity Silhouette 12 day from Amsterdam 09/03/2016
Holland America Niew Amsterdam 7 Caribbean 4/06/2016
Holland America Niew Amsterdam 12 Day Mediterranean Tapestry 4/22/15
Ruby Princess 9 day Caribbean 2/14
Emerald Princess 10 day Southern Carribean 4/13
Emerald Princess Baltics 6/12
Crown Princess Med 6/10 (15 nights - longest cruise for us)
Royal Princess (small ship) Med 8/09
Voyager of the Seas Med 6/08
Crown Princess 4/08 (Vista Suite)
Carnival Glory 4/07 (Suite free upgrade!)
Grand Princess Med 7/06
Miracle 11/05
Golden Princess 3/05 (Vista Suite)
Paradise 3/04
Destiny 11/03
Destiny 3/03
Voyager of Seas 11/99
Paradise 7/99
Grand Princess (Grand Suite) 4/99
Grand Princess (Grand Suite) 11/98
Imagination 7/98
Fantasy 7/97
#7
Birmingham, AL
65 Posts
Joined Apr 2007
We arrived into Zweedsee Kwai on the Crown Princess last summer, and I will say that getting to Brugges independently was a challenge. We walked into the tiny village of Zeebruges, took the tram to Blankenberg, found out that we had just missed the train to Bruges, and then got a taxi.

That is the reason I am posting. Our taxi driver was excellent, a good English speaker, and has a large van that seats 8 or 9. He picked us up from the Market Square at an arranged time in the afternoon, which was a huge help since there was a shortage of taxis.

Here is his contact information:
Gossiaux Koen
[email protected]
phone 0475 48 06 94

Hope this will help someone!
Bhammom3
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
#8
Blighty
186 Posts
Joined Apr 2010
Originally posted by doctrd
We just came back from our stop in Zeeburge, and I had arranged Brugge Taxi 6 months in advance. They DID NOT pick us up!!! We waited for over an hour while reserved cab after reserved cab stoped to pick up passengers. I asked a Brugge Taxi driver to call to see where our ride was, and he said "it's on its way".

If a cab came and it was not reserved, it was a scramble to get a cab, by grabbing a door handle and jumping in.

When we finally did get to Brugges by George's Taxi, he said he would pick us up at 2:00, and HE never showed!

We almost missed the boat, the only taxi's showing up were reserved, and there were several dozen of us waiting, many with reservations. We sent our wives along in a reserved taxi that only had 2 people in it (I stood in the middle of the street and stopped the driver when I saw only 2 people in the taxi), and we took another 40 min before we finally got one. Made the ship with only 10 min to spare...quite stressful.

That being said, Brugge town is a delight, a must see!!!!
Sorry to hear your tale of wo - but in fairness to Brugse Taxi service - we enjoyed EXCELLENT service from them last week... Picked us up bang on time; no hassles in agreeing a changed return-time, and none again when we called to get an immediate pick-up early afternoon 'coz it was hosing-down...

Personaly - I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them...

The public transport options are a hassle if you have to get to Blankenberg first; Tram Zeebrugge > Blankenberg... Train to Bruges... Then a mile-walk to the main square & the same going back...

Alternatively 20 minutes e/w in the taxi right to the main square & back to the gangplank!. If you're 4-up, for a return fare of €100 (incl. a bonus tip); it's well worth it IMO
#9
Markham (Toronto), ON, Canada
1,224 Posts
Joined Sep 2000
Hi

DH and I and a group of cruising friends and family were on the Celebrity Eclipse May 7 cruise. We picked Rony's Taxis - the price was 90 Euros per van or car round trip. They were waiting on time by the ship holding a sign with my name on it. They took us to Bruges - about a 20-30 minute ride depending on weather and traffic - and dropped us in a corner of the main square. They picked us up at the same spot at the appointed return time. We appreciated the promptness of their service and the drivers were very friendly. We very much enjoyed our visit in Bruges.

Dimitri Hernou
Rony’s Taxi’s bvba
[email protected]
Tel: +32 50 344 344

Bev
#10
UK
1,585 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
Is there any chance of a 2011 update to the train/tram route please. We will be arriving on the HAL Eurodam in August, thanks.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature



Cruise Summary

Cunard Crown x 1 - Hurtigruten x 1
Star Clippers x 2 - RCCL x 2
NCL x 2 - Seabourn x 1 - Oceania x 2 - MSC x 1 - HAL x 6
#11
Saint Simons Island, Georgia
11,523 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
X has a pretty good tour

Bruges Sights & Beer Tasting, BU09, Bruges,(Zeebrugge),Belgium
OVERVIEW: There is no doubt that Belgium is the country of beer since it offers more than 450 varieties of brew. The highlight of this tour is a beer seminar and tasting at a local café. You'll also enjoy a guided walking tour through Bruges and free time to shop at your own pace. HIGHLIGHTS: Experience the highlights of Bruges on a guided walking tour including the Market Square, the Belfry Tower and Burg Square. Explore the tastes and flavors of four different beers at a local café. Search for the perfect souvenir or treat in Bruges' lace, chocolate and beer shops. NOTES: Guests must be able to walk approximately 2 miles over even and cobblestone surfaces.

Approx. Duration:4 hour(s) 30 minute(s) *Current Price:Starting from:
79.00 Adult (USD)
79.00 Child (USD)
0.00 Infant (USD)
#12
3,478 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
Originally posted by PINEY10
We took Brugge Taxi (has a website) that was there to meet us in Zebrugge right on time and brought us back to the ship as well (we had pre-arranged times). I had contacted them by email and they were very responsive. Great deal--much cheaper than the ship's transport.
I have been having a difficult time contacting a taxi service in Zeebrugge. The emails have been returned for every company I have tried.Could you please give me a web site or email address for the taxi service that you used. Thank you

Judy
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature



Coral Princess, Panama Canal, April 2017
Carnival Vista, Mediteranean,June 2016
Caribbean Princess,Norway,June 2015
Ruby Princess, British Isles,June 2014
Carnival Legend, Baltic,June 2013
Celebrity Equinox,Eastern Med, May 2012
Carnival Magic, Western Mediteranean, June 2011
Avalon Tranquility, Budapest to Amsterdam,2007
Avalon Scenery, Paris to Nice,2006
#14
GTA, Ontario, Canada
33,363 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Originally posted by Gail in California
Martins taxis service quoted me 100L for 2 way transport from port to Brugge for this July.
Do you have a website or email for this company?

Thanks
Lyn
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature




FORMER CRUISES:

Alexandr Pushkin, Carnival-Holiday, HAL-(old)Westerdam- Eurodam (2), Royal Epirotiki-Olympic, Orient lines-Marco Polo, NCL-Dream, Princess - Dawn Princess, ACCL-Grande Caribe, St Lawrence Cruise Lines-Canadian Empress, Scenic Tours -Scenic Sapphire, Oceania-Insignia (3), Regatta(6) Marina(2) Riveria (1) AQSC-American Queen


Email:LHT28 at yahoo dot com

Put Cruise in subject line

PHOTOS:
http://lht28.smugmug.com/
#15
london
2 Posts
Joined May 2009
Hi Lair Bear,

Your 2 topics on train from Zeebrugge to Bruges is one of the best lots of info I have ever seen from general public - great.
The only thing that puzzles me is that on one entry you say take train from Blankenberge but on another say train from one of 2 stations at Zeebrugge itself (which is obviously closer and simpler). Can you please explain the logic.
Thanks
#16
Florida
154 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Originally posted by zafonical
Hi Lair Bear,

Your 2 topics on train from Zeebrugge to Bruges is one of the best lots of info I have ever seen from general public - great.
The only thing that puzzles me is that on one entry you say take train from Blankenberge but on another say train from one of 2 stations at Zeebrugge itself (which is obviously closer and simpler). Can you please explain the logic.
Thanks
I was going to ask the same question! I'm guessing it is because he said the Zeebruge station only operates during the summer?

Also, how far away is the Zeebrugge station from the cruise terminal?
#17
1,527 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
Originally posted by zafonical
Hi Lair Bear,

Your 2 topics on train from Zeebrugge to Bruges is one of the best lots of info I have ever seen from general public - great.
The only thing that puzzles me is that on one entry you say take train from Blankenberge but on another say train from one of 2 stations at Zeebrugge itself (which is obviously closer and simpler). Can you please explain the logic.
Thanks
The train station in Zeebrugge (to go to Bruges) can be at one of two places depending on the season. During the summer months (July, August, September) the train goes to the station along the beach (Strand). The rest of the year it goes into the village of Zeebrugge (Dorp).
We were there in July, so the station Zeebrugge Strand is what we wanted. However, it is a bit of a walk from the ship's dock (about a mile).
We left the ship just before nine am, walked in a drizzle and boarded the train at Strand at 9:38 am. The train ride takes about 11 minutes.

The reason I included the train station at Blankenberg is that some of the larger cruise ships provide a bus shuttle to that town further south along the coast. The train service from there is more regular. If your cruise provides this shuttle service, then by all means use it. It saves the walk to the station and it is a lot better than paying 90 euros for a taxi (round trip).
#18
1,527 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
Perhaps the following picture might help. The red line is how we walked from the cruise 'terminal', or dock, to the Strand Station. If the train does not go there, but stops at Dorp, you can see that it adds a long way to go there (yellow line). In my opinion that is not worth it.

Now you find some others to share a cab.

[IMG]http://www.********.com/Temporary/zeebrugge.jpg[/IMG]
#19
Williamsville, NY, Fort Myers, FL
3,509 Posts
Joined Feb 2001
Originally posted by Lair Bear
The train station in Zeebrugge (to go to Bruges) can be at one of two places depending on the season. During the summer months (July, August, September) the train goes to the station along the beach (Strand). The rest of the year it goes into the village of Zeebrugge (Dorp).
We were there in July, so the station Zeebrugge Strand is what we wanted. However, it is a bit of a walk from the ship's dock (about a mile).
We left the ship just before nine am, walked in a drizzle and boarded the train at Strand at 9:38 am. The train ride takes about 11 minutes.



The reason I included the train station at Blankenberg is that some of the larger cruise ships provide a bus shuttle to that town further south along the coast. The train service from there is more regular. If your cruise provides this shuttle service, then by all means use it. It saves the walk to the station and it is a lot better than paying 90 euros for a taxi (round trip).

I am trying to find out the best way to get to Burgge. We will be on the NCL Jade. I called the cruise line and they don't know anything about a shuttle. Am I to assume then that they don't have one to Blankenburg? Or that they just didn't know that they have one....you know how the Reps at the cruise lines are - they never give you the correct information.

Has anyone ben on a NCL ship in this port?

Marion
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Queen of Bermuda 6/62,Carnival Paradise 3/99,Renaissance 4 2/01,Summit 11/01,Millennium 2/02,Mercury 11/02,Star Princess 2/03,Zuiderdam 8/03,Century 10/03,Voyager of the Sea 2/04,Regal Princess - Alaska 7/04,Zaandam 12/04,Galaxy 9/05Infinity 1/06,Jewel of the Seas 8/06,Zenith 1/07,Adventurer of the Seas 9/07,Oceania Insignia TA 3/08,Solstice 11/08,NCL Jade 5/09,Diamond Princess-Alaska 8/09,Oceania Regatta TA 11/14/09,Oceania Marina TA 1/22/11,Oasis of the Seas 10/29/11,Oceania Marina 1/3/12,Amazara Journey TA 4/18/12,Carnival Breeze 10/1/12,Azamara Quest TA 11/13/13,NCL Epic 2/22/14,Avalon Visionary 5/24/14,Carnival Splendor 9/27/14-Canada/NewEngland, Celebrity Millennium 3/15/15 -Asia. Serenade of the Seas 6/6/2015 -Norway/Fjords, Celebrity Constellation TA 4/27/2016, Carnival Vista TA 10/21/2016
Fathom Adonia-Cuba 3/19/2017
#20
1,527 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
Originally posted by Mparis184
I am trying to find out the best way to get to Burgge. We will be on the NCL Jade. I called the cruise line and they don't know anything about a shuttle. Am I to assume then that they don't have one to Blankenburg? Or that they just didn't know that they have one....you know how the Reps at the cruise lines are - they never give you the correct information.

Marion
The way I understand the shuttle service is that the cruise line makes the arrangement with the port authorities (for a fee, I am sure). The shuttle service is not part of the normal operations. We were with Oceania and they did not provide the shuttle. I don't know about other cruise lines, but there have been posts here about some who had taken a shuttle to Blankenberg. I don't understand why the shuttle goes all the way to that town and not the local train station, but that is what I had been told by several people here on this forum.

Indeed, the train (not tram) goes from Blankenberg to Bruges. The beach town is the end of the line.
Perhaps there may have been some confusion about a tram system that runs along the coast. This tram stops not too far from the Strand station in Zeebrugge (as shown on the map), and it is a way to get to Blankenberg, but that is certainly a long way around.