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Lair Bear

Zeebrugge to Bruges. Some options how to get there.

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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 info@brugsetaxiservice.be 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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

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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?

Edited by Nancipants

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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).

Edited by Lair Bear

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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.

 

zeebrugge.jpg

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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

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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).

 

Are these trains or trams? I ask because I'm sure that Blankenburg station was a terminus - the end of the line.

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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.

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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

Yes, we were on Jade last year on the UK trip. The shuttle buses at Zeebrugge were provided by the local tourist board to Blankenburg, with a tourist rep. on board who explained the system re.railways. If it's the same cruise, shuttles were provided by the T.B. at Le Havre, Dublin and Belfast. The other ports are close by the villages or towns, and in the case of Amsterdam, next to the tram stop.-jocap.

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Yes, we were on Jade last year on the UK trip. The shuttle buses at Zeebrugge were provided by the local tourist board to Blankenburg, with a tourist rep. on board who explained the system re.railways. If it's the same cruise, shuttles were provided by the T.B. at Le Havre, Dublin and Belfast. The other ports are close by the villages or towns, and in the case of Amsterdam, next to the tram stop.-jocap.

 

Thanks, I can only hope that it will be the same this year in the ports.

 

Marion

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Does anyone know if the train from here would go to Ghent? And any details? Thanks! Kate

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Does anyone know if the train from here would go to Ghent? And any details? Thanks! Kate

 

I would like to know, also. I have looked everywhere but can't fine it.

 

Thank you,

 

Judy:)

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Does anyone know if the train from here would go to Ghent? And any details? Thanks! Kate

 

Here is the train information for Belgium: http://www.b-rail.be/main/E/

 

To go to Ghent from Zeebrugge, you still have to go through Bruges and transfer at the main station. On the above web site, when you enter your starting point from Zeebrugge you have to indicate which station, Zeebrugge Strand or Zeebrugge Dorp. I know this is a neusance but necessary.

You need to buy a oneway ticket to Bruges on the Zeebrugge train and then at Bruges buy a roundtrip ticket to Ghent. If you have a shuttle to Blankenberg you can buy the roundtrip ticket to Ghent there before you board the train to Bruges, but I think you still have to transfer in Bruges.

 

I assume you have been to Bruges before????

Edited by Lair Bear

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Lair Bear - what would we do with out you? How do you know all this? Have you been there before?

 

Thanks again for all your answers to your questions.

 

Marion

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Thanks, I can only hope that it will be the same this year in the ports.

 

Marion

Marion, I can only say that an organised nation like Belgium will not want 2200 people plus crew wandering about in their busiest ferry and cargo port, plus think of the cash they're going to take if they manage to get all those people off the ship and spending! The seaside town of Blankenberg is a friendly place for the unadventurous, where you can eat chips with mayo on the front, and sample some of the really wonderful Belgian beer-that's what we do these days, but we're used to driving off ferries there. Don't forget to buy the world famous chocolate- it'll be your last port of call!-jocap.

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Marion, I can only say that an organised nation like Belgium will not want 2200 people plus crew wandering about in their busiest ferry and cargo port, plus think of the cash they're going to take if they manage to get all those people off the ship and spending! The seaside town of Blankenberg is a friendly place for the unadventurous, where you can eat chips with mayo on the front, and sample some of the really wonderful Belgian beer-that's what we do these days, but we're used to driving off ferries there. Don't forget to buy the world famous chocolate- it'll be your last port of call!-jocap.

 

You make me laugh - you are so right. I know we will have a wonderful day in Belgium and I won't forget to get some of their famous chocolate.

 

Thanks!

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Marion, I can only say that an organised nation like Belgium will not want 2200 people plus crew wandering about in their busiest ferry and cargo port, plus think of the cash they're going to take if they manage to get all those people off the ship and spending!

 

You know that is a good point and something I don't understand about the people in Zeebrugge. Why send a good thing to your neighbors down the coast in Blankenberg? I understand that as of last year the cruiseship trade was increasing and more than 50 cruise ships will dock in Zeebrugge. That could mean as many as 10,000 people coming to see you. Why not throw out the welcome mat and provide some means of transportation and relaxation near the cruise 'terminal' and in town?

Right now the most lukrative business to have is the taxi service and even that comes mostly from Bruges.

 

Are you listening Zeebrugge??? Probably not.

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You make me laugh - you are so right. I know we will have a wonderful day in Belgium and I won't forget to get some of their famous chocolate.

 

Thanks!

There are over 150 chocolate shops in Brugge. If you take Bear's suggested walk , and stop at each shop yous pass, I'd bet you 'd miss the boat. Of course if you sample all the wonderful kinds of Belgian beer (they will hand you a catalog if you don't know what kind you want) I am positive you will miss the boat ; )

Edited by HarpHarp

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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 info@brugsetaxiservice.be 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.

 

Hi All,

My family (2 ads 2 teens) and I did this exact cruise back in September last year. We're not going on this cruise but i can point you in the right direction on some port advice;

Bruges - We did the train option. It's by far the cheapest and I would say most enjoyable. However, it's not as simple as stated here... but don't let put you off. The train Station at Blankenberge is 7km away, that's about a 90 minute walk if you can keep that pace up! Princess charge 20 euros each for the coach transfer to Blankenberge Station (NOT Bruges Station) you would still have to take the Blankenberge to Bruges train even when using the Princess transfer. (Note:Transfer not Princess Cruise Bruges Excursion)

We did this; walked out the cruise terminal turned right at the main road and walked to the tram stop about 300m away. It's right next to a church with a spire (great landmark). You have to buy your tickets from the kiosk adjacent to the stop - no purchase allowed on tram! The tram takes about 10-15 mins and pulls up right outside Blankenberge Station - the area is a main tram stop so you can't miss it.

We then bought our train tickets in the railway station (good english spoken by staff). Can't remember exactly but it's about 6 euros each - same price for over 10's. The trains depart every 30 mins (from memory every 10 past and 20 to). The train journey takes about 7-8 minutes and Bruges station is quite large with large several platforms. Exit the station and walk ahead, the town is straight on. We walked via the Minnewater Park which is lovely. A 10 min walk gets you to the edge of the tourist part of town and on a further 15 mins will bring you to the Burg and Markt Squares. All good fun

Copenhagen: Follow the shoreline went leaving the ship, a pleasant 20 minute walk will get you to the picturesque Nyhavn. Tivoli Gardens is excellent, we spent the evening there. I'd recommend a taxi for this... at least for the return to ship. Good 40 minute walk from ship otherwise. boat trip from Nyhavn was enjoyable too

Helsinborg: We just chilled here. This is a tender port and the tender boats bring you right close to the town centre. We walked to the Castle - great views and only 10 mins from the tender drop off just off the main shopping street in Helsinborg. Unfortunately this is not the Castle which Shakespeare featured in Hamlet; that is Helsingor , just across the water in Denmark. 10 mins by regular ferry if you want.

Oslo: Town centre is a 5-10 min walk and in front of the town hall is a couple of tram stops. Visit Vigeland Park - a tram stops right outside the gates. It's about 15 mins by tram and cost about 5 Kroner (bought from the machine next to the tram stop.) Vigeland Park is lovely and fascinating too - highly recommended.

Well, I hope this all helps. Any other Q's I'll pleased to try and answer

 

Alan

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Hi,

It looks like I am going on the exact cruise that you went on. It's on the Grand Princess and it's sailing on the 22nd May this year.

 

My husband has a slight mobility problem- he has breathing problems and sometimes finds it hard work to walk too far- and I was wondering what the terrain in Helsingborg is like. Is it hilly? Hills,even slight ones, affect him. We are thinking of going on an organised trip but your description of what you did sounds good and will be a lot cheaper I'm sure. My husband does have a wheel chair and we will probably use it if we don't go on a trip. We fancy taking the ferry over to Helsingor.

 

We have been to Oslo before on a cruise and we took a boat that visits the 2 Islands right by Oslo and on these islands are very interesting viking museums featuring the Kontiki and another famous Danish boat. Can't remember its name but it is something like the Ram II- a paper boat I think. Not good at remembering things am I.

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My husband has a slight mobility problem- he has breathing problems and sometimes finds it hard work to walk too far- and I was wondering what the terrain in Helsingborg is like. Is it hilly? Hills,even slight ones, affect him. We are thinking of going on an organised trip but your description of what you did sounds good and will be a lot cheaper I'm sure. My husband does have a wheel chair and we will probably use it if we don't go on a trip. We fancy taking the ferry over to Helsingor.

 

2008-EURODAM-4002-Oeresund.jpg

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