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Zeebrugge to Brugge by train

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Zeebrugge to Brugge by train

I will be arriving on a cruise ship. Please tell me how to get from the port to Brugge using the train. We do not want to take the cruise excursion. Can we walk to where the bus or tram is located? We usually walk at least 3 miles a day and are physically up to a long walk. Please advise.

Thanks!

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1. Re: Zeebrugge to Brugge by train

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:

1) TAXI

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
Kansas City...
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2. Re: Zeebrugge to Brugge by train

When I arrived in Zeebrugge on a Celebrity cruise, they constantly discouraged us from going to Brugge without paying them for a USD$50 bus ride. Thanks to the advice above we were able to get to Brugge for about 8 euros return, and is a pleasant experience. Here is our recent experience, in three steps: (1) Cruise ship to port entrance; (2) port entrance to Blankenburge Train Station; and (3) Blankenburge to Brugge.

1. From the Cruise ship to the port entry. The cruise ships dock at a busy commercial terminal where pedestrian traffic is prohibited, so look for the FREE bus supplied by the Port to the main road at the port entrance. Ignore the people standing in line at the portable ticket booths by the ship, and don't pay the 16 Euros for a ride to Blankenburge. Ask around for the shuttle to the main gate and jyou'll find yourself in a growing group of adventurers going to Brugge on their own.

2. From the Port to Blankenburge Station. There are two train stations in Zeebrugge, both with odd schedules and neither close to the cruise ship terminal, but it is very easy to take a tram to the regular train station in the adjacent town of Blankenburge. From the cruise port's main entrance, turn right and walk about 15 minutes to the tram stop. You can't miss. Just walk towards the church steeple and you are essentially following the tracks along the road, and will probably see a tram go by while you walk. This stop is named Kerk". The fare on board is 2e, or you can buy a tram ticket in the grocery across from the tram stop for slightly less. Just board the tram going in the same direction you were walking, and if 10 minutes you'll be at the "Station" stop, directly in front of the Blankenburge rail station.

3. Blankenburge to Brugge. Enter the station, pay 4e for a round trip ticket, then wait for the train. All trains from Blankenburge go to Brugge, and when I was there, the trains left at 11 minutes after each hour. The station is nice with a cafe, concession area, and will be filled with your fellow cruise passengers going to Brugge. Typical spotless and roomy European train that in 14 minutes will drop you exactly where you want to be to start your exploration of Brugge. Grab you map from the Information Center on the right at the train station excellent. The trip is less complicated than I made it sound. Take the USD$42 you saved to buy chocolate!

Sluis, The...
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3. Re: Zeebrugge to Brugge by train

Hello Jim,

Even though I wrote the instructions above I'm very thankful for your detailed description. I'm sure lots of future cruise passengers will be delighted with your information. It'll put minds at ease. Thank you for taking the time to write it.

Just to give people an idea: how long - in total - did it take you to get from the cruise ship to Bruges?

Kindest regards,

Sabrina

P.S. Hope you enjoyed your stay in Bruges ;)

Kansas City...
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4. Re: Zeebrugge to Brugge by train

The thanks go to you -- I would never have tried it without your post.

Your question is easier to answer in reverse. From Brugge to the cruise ship is 30-40 minutes. So from the ship to Brugge it would also be 30-40 minutes PLUS the wait time for the shuttle to the port entrance PLUS wait time for the departure of the hourly train in Blankenburge.

I had a great time wondering around Brugge, and thanks again for your great post!

Toronto
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5. Re: Zeebrugge to Brugge by train

Spectacular addition to Sabrina's original answer Jim! I nearly gave up from trying to ride the train...

Toronto
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6. Re: Zeebrugge to Brugge by train

Sorry one final question can you tell me the difference between Zebrugge Dorp, Strand and Station Blankeburge? It seems the best way to get to Brugges is a tram to Blankeburge and I can't for the life of me figure out how the other two stations factor in.

Thanks

Atlanta, Georgia
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7. Re: Zeebrugge to Brugge by train

Thank you for all of this information! I will be on a cruise in September and appreciate anything that can save time and money.

Sluis, The...
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8. Re: Zeebrugge to Brugge by train

The two Zeebrugge train stations are in Zeebrugge, and the Blankenberge station is in Blankenberge, another seaside resort....

Use Google Maps to find the three train stations:

- Zeebrugge Dorp (Village station) = Vissersstraat, 8380 Zeebrugge

- Zeebrugge Strand (Beach station) = beginning Baron de Maerelaan, 8380 Zeebrugge (train station not marked on Google Maps)

- Blankenberge = corner Koning Albert I-laan and Kerkstraat, 8370 Blankenberge

Map of Zeebrugge via http://foto.brugge.be/publicaties/

Kindest regards,

Sabrina

Southampton, United...
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9. Re: Zeebrugge to Brugge by train

thanks Jim, going to Zeebrugge in June (cruise) and your information has been very clear and helpful. Have been to Brugge several times as it is my 3rd most romantic European city and look forward to visiting again even if it is for a couple of hours.

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10. Re: Zeebrugge to Brugge by train

@ivan088, I think you can't have read all the information already provided about those stations! The problem is that while there are 2 railway stations in Zeebrugge itself ("Dorp" means village, and "Strand" means beach) - which are on separate railway lines - neither is all that close to the docks (whether ferry port or cruiseline terminal), neither has frequent - or even daily - trains, and neither has a Coast Tram stop right outside.

Hence recommendation to go to Blankenberge, the next resort along the coast heading South towards Oostende, and only 10 mins away from Zeebrugge on the Coast Tram. Blankenberge is on a different railway line from the one at Zeebrugge, running inland to Brugge, Ghent and Brussels.

You can see exactly what places and stations along the coast are served by the Coast Tram, which runs along Kustlaan (the coast road: literally, "Coast Avenue") on the diagram of its route on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coast_Tram_(Belgium) - bearing in mind that NMBS, which you will see, for example, against Blankenberge, means Belgian Railways, i.e. train station. Regarding Coast Tram stops in Zeebrugge:

- Zeebrugge-Kerk (= church) is the closest to the cruise dock

- Zeebrugge-Vaart (= navigation) is the closest to the ferry dock - though not all that close - and also 3 blocks from Zeebrugge-Dorp station

- Zeebrugge-Strandwijk (= beach area) is the closest to Zeebrugge Strand station, but again not all that close given that this station is at the end of a branch-line that goes some way past the level of the ferry-dock entrance - from which it is separated by the busy Albert II Laan - and some way away from Kustlaan, where the tram runs; and for the sake of completion:

- Blankenberge NMBS means Blankenberge railway station.