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Bruges

Understand that Zeebrugge literally means Bruges-on-Sea and you immediately appreciate why this ferry port is also Belgium's major cruise port. A medieval jewel on the North Sea, the charming city of Bruges is just 10 miles away.

 

Sometimes called the Venice of the North because of the picturesque criss-crossing canals on which you can enjoy fascinating and romantic boat rides, Bruges actually has a character all its own.

 

Although it has all the facilities of a modern city - smart shops, restaurants, bars and hotels - these are all found behind the centuries-old facades and weathered gables of the historic buildings at the city's heart.

 

Bruges is rightly famous for its exquisite lacework, tasty chocolate and huge range of local beers while, from Zeebrugge, you can also visit another historic city, Ghent, the capital Brussels, and historic battlefield sites such as Waterloo and Ypres.

 

Shore excursions in Bruges (from Zeebrugge)

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

A Taste of Bruges

Activity mediumShopping

Duration: 4¾ hours

Discover Bruges with its canals, beautiful medieval buildings, chocolates and lace.

Enjoy a narrated panoramic drive with scenes of the Flemish countryside, before arriving in Bruges for a walking tour and canal ride, followed by free time for shopping.

Upon arrival at this historical old town, the beautiful medieval atmosphere is immediately evident. Cobble-stoned streets twist and turn and centuries-old buildings hover over the main canals. Take a guided walk through the picturesque city passing the Market Place with its merchant guild houses, Belfry Tower, Town Hall and the Gothic-style Chapel of the Holy Blood (exterior views only).

A true highlight of your tour of Bruges will be a short canal boat ride along the serene waterways of this romantic, historical city.

You’ll have time to browse independently around Bruges. The shops are plentiful and overflowing with souvenirs, delicious Belgian chocolates, finely made tapestries and, of course, the world-famous lace - so the opportunities are hard to resist.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach, canal boat and on foot. This tour requires a moderate level of activity. Passengers are advised that there are steps to be negotiated when boarding and disembarking the canal boat. There is approximately 2 hours’ total walking, some of which involves steps and cobblestones.

Belgian Coast and Countryside

Activity mediumShopping

Duration: 4½ hours

Combine the medieval village of Damme with the stylish resort town of Knokke on this wonderful tour.

Sit back and relax onboard your coach as a scenic drive through the countryside takes you to the medieval village of Damme. Formerly the port for Bruges in the 13th century, today Damme is a picturesque little village full of character. Join your knowledgeable guide on a leisurely walk around the village, before enjoying some free time to discover the village’s charm independently.

Re-board your coach for the brief transfer to the pretty resort town of Knokke. Made famous in the early 19th century when the wealthy people of Brussels chose it as their vacation haven, Knokke continued to thrive as a resort town, attracting an upmarket clientele to its white sandy beaches and designer brand stores. Today Knokke remains a popular Flemish town that offers something for everyone.

Your guide will lead you into the town centre and the famous ‘Lippenslaan’, one of the most expensive streets in the Belgian version of Monopoly. From here, you’ll have free time to explore independently. Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the sea front, explore the streets filled with designer brand stores as well as local stores, or simply relax at a café and sample one of the many kinds of beers that Belgium is famed for.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot and involves approximately 1 hour of walking during the visit to Damme; however passengers can omit the guided part of the tour if they wish and opt for additional free time. All walking at Knokke is at the passengers’ discretion during free time.

Bruges and Belgian Beer

Activity mediumRefreshments included

Duration: 4¾ hours

Explore one of the best-preserved medieval cities in Northern Europe, and indulge in a special beer tasting.

Your scenic drive brings you to Bruges, where you will discover the highlights on a guided walk. The charm of this medieval city will capture you immediately as it is smaller and more contained than many other old Flemish cities, giving the impression that you have stepped back in time. Your guide will lead you through the narrow, twisting cobblestone streets, passing by picturesque scenes of ancient buildings, tree-lined canals and gabled facades. See the bustling marketplace, Belfry Tower, the Town Hall and the Chapel of the Holy Blood (exterior views only).

There is no doubt that Belgium is the country of beer as it offers more than 450 varieties of brew. Belgium’s widely varying landscape enables the most contrasting tastes and flavours and beer is deeply rooted in its culture and tradition. Belgian brewing has kept pace with technology and produces beers that correspond to consumer demand whilst still maintaining the traditional character and range of beers. Enjoy a tasting of 4 different beers from 4 unique glasses in a local beer café, before taking to the streets for 30 minutes of free time for shopping.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. There is approximately one hour of walking on this tour over some cobblestoned streets and participants must be over 18 years old.

Bruges and Belgian Cheer

Activity highRefreshments included

Duration: 4¾ hours

Explore Bruges with its charming Christmas markets, and indulge in a special tasting of seasonal Christmas beers.

A scenic drive brings you to Bruges, where you will discover the highlights on a guided walk.

The charm of this medieval city will capture you immediately as it is smaller and more contained than many other old Flemish cities, giving the impression that you have stepped back in time. Your guide will lead you through the narrow, twisting cobblestone streets, passing by picturesque scenes of ancient buildings, tree-lined canals and gabled facades. See the bustling marketplace, Belfry Tower, the Town Hall and the Chapel of the Holy Blood (exterior views only).

Every year the main square hosts an array of charming Christmas markets, complete with a huge Christmas tree and ice-rink. Enjoy some free time to browse the stalls for Christmas gifts, handmade decorations, local delicacies, and of course, a box of Belgium chocolates for that special Christmas present!

There is no doubt that Belgium is the country of beer, offering more than 450 varieties of brew. Belgium’s widely varying landscape enables the most contrasting tastes and flavours and beer is deeply rooted in its culture and tradition. Complete your visit to Bruges with a stop at a local beer café where you’ll enjoy a tasting of 4 different seasonal beers served in unique glasses.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. There is approximately 2 hours of walking on this tour over some cobblestoned streets and participants must be over 18 years old. The order of the itinerary may vary.

Bruges At Your Own Pace

Activity mediumShopping

Duration: 4½ hours

This half day tour is ideal for those who prefer to explore this beautiful historic city independently.

A scenic drive takes you into Bruges, for you to spend half a day in the beautiful medieval city, at your leisure.

Explore the cobble-stone streets, marvel at the medieval Flemish architecture, or perhaps take a canal boat ride along the tranquil waterways. You may also choose to indulge in a spot of shopping or simply relax in one of the many cafés or restaurants and watch the world go by.

Belgium is famous of course for its delicious chocolates and you’ll find the shops are in abundance with all different varieties for that perfect gift.

At the time specified by your escort, your coach will depart from the designated pick-up point for the return drive to Zeebrugge.

Please bear in mind that this excursion is non-guided and exclusive of refreshments and entrance fees. City maps will be provided on the coach.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. There is a walk of approximately 20 to 30 minutes over cobbled stones between the city and the coach park. This is, unfortunately, unavoidable due to local traffic restrictions.

 

A selection of cruises to Bruges (from Zeebrugge)

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