This is copied from a Traveller Article by Sabrina, a local Destination Expert:
How to travel from Zeebrugge to Bruges? - INFORMATION FOR CRUISE PASSENGERS
Cruise companies offer shore excursions, most likely Bruges will be one of the destinations. They will sell these excursions, but in addition most of them will also provide a shuttle service (to Blankenberge!), only they will give you this information shortly before you arrive in Zeebrugge. By that time most people will already have booked an excursion, or done research on alternative means of transportation.
Cruise passengers without a shore excursion have the following options to get from Zeebrugge to Bruges:
By far the easiest and fastest way to reach Bruges is just to take a taxi at the quayside. Taxi companies know very well when cruise and ferry ships dock and they will have cars waiting at the quay. It's a 20 minute ride to Bruges and you can ask to be dropped anywhere you like.
FYI: the tourist offices can be found at the train station, on 't Zand square or in Historium on the Market square.
The official fixed rate for Zeebrugge to Bruges is 50 euro. To lower the cost you can perhaps carpool with people you met on the ship, or use forums to find people in advance. Booking your taxi in advance is possible. I will come to that later.
In Bruges you can find taxis at the train station, or on the Market square.
2) COMBINATION OF TRAM AND TRAIN
Zeebrugge has two train stations, but you need to check which one you can use in advance!
- Zeebrugge Dorp = Zeebrugge Village station> only open from September to June, on weekdays
- Zeebrugge Strand = Zeebrugge Beach station> only open on Saturdays and Sundays from September to June and every day in July and August
Village station is nearest to the cruise dock, while Beach station is nearest to the ferry dock.
For the latest train schedules you can check the website of the Belgian rail company: www.nmbs.be (also available in English). Select the correct Zeebrugge station, and Bruges as your destination.
Keep in mind that there is often only one train per hour, and sometimes even only one every two hours.
To reach the train stations you can go walking, but keep in mind that Zeebrugge is first and foremost a large and busy industrial port. There are few facilities for pedestrians when coming from the ferry dock, so you'll mostly be walking on the street where trucks are driving. The cruise dock is much nearer to the residential areas, so you'll reach sidewalks a lot faster.
However, the port authority of Zeebrugge provides a free shuttle service to cruise passengers as they are obliged to guarantee safe passage to the exit of the terminal.
The shuttle will take you from the quayside to Kustlaan. Passengers from large cruise ships will be left near the Seafront theme park, while passengers from smaller ships are dropped near the tram stop Strandwijk. The shuttle buses can take about 20 people and will travel back and forth as long as it takes to transfer everyone.
From Kustlaan you can either walk to one of the train stations (Village or Dorp) and take a direct train to Bruges, or you can catch the coastal tram to Blankenberge (heading west, about 10 minutes) or Knokke (heading east, about 15 minutes). In both coastal towns the tram stops at the train station and you can catch a direct train to Bruges. Whether you travel from Zeebrugge, Blankenberge or Knokke, the train journey to Bruges won't be longer than 20 minutes.
Edited: 12:37 pm, January 16, 2013