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Cruises to Brussels

Brussels (Photo:S-F/Shutterstock)

About Brussels

If you've been to Brussels before, chances are you were there on a business trip. After all, only one-third of the 6 million people who visit Belgium's capital each year do so for pleasure. Of the tourists who visit the country, many skip over Brussels in their rush to see the scenic canals and cobblestones of nearby Bruges.

But as locals will make a point of noting, there's much more to Belgium than Bruges. The city boasts it's "the heart of Europe" for its role as the capital of the European Union and its multiculturalism. Locals say that the March 22, 2016, terrorist attacks, which took place at Brussels Airport and a subway station that killed 32 people, were an act of extremist individuals and not indicative of the city as a whole. Indeed, a makeshift memorial to the victims features chalked messages of love and peace on buildings and on cobblestones in multiple languages and alphabets. The messages include "Love wins," "Je suis Bruxelles" and "Hart bove Haat."

Visitors should move beyond Brussels' modern and somewhat sanitary government buildings of the Quartier European and instead dive deeper into into the historical heart of the city. In its intimate historic core, centuries-old houses hug narrow cobblestone alleyways, neatly dressed waiters serve lunch on the terraces along the Place du Grand Sablon, and the mighty Gothic spire of the Hotel de Ville soars above Grand Place, one of Europe's most magical squares. South of the center, you'll see the curving facades and wrought-iron balconies of the city's gracious Art Nouveau neighborhood, while to the north, you'll find the wide green lawns and the vibrant blooms of the Botanic Garden.

The city has expanded its pedestrianized central zone, turning the area around the Place de la Bourse into a place for street acrobats and musicians to showcase their talents. It's easy to walk to most places you'll want to visit, but for those who need a ride, taxis are easily hailed.

Art, history and culture are celebrated in more than 100 museums throughout the city, featuring everything from delicate Belgian lace to musical instruments and vintage cars. The newest offering is the Millennium Iconoclast Museum of Art, MIMA, in the Molenbeek neighborhood, which features different exhibits, mostly be street artists. The Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium recently opened a unique exhibition of the work of Pieter Bruegel the Elder, with videos and displays allowing for a deeper look at the lost master's works.

Brussels also has a sense of fun and whimsy. Cartoon murals adorn the facades of buildings throughout the old city, a tribute to the comic strip tradition that thrived in Belgium in the early-20th century. The Belgian Comic Strip Center includes a museum that looks at pioneers of the genre as well as contemporary masters and up-and-coming artists. Permanent exhibitions address the invention of comic strips and a deeper look at the art of the Smurfs. (Yes, the Smurfs!)

An even older tradition involves the city's most famous mascot, Manneken Pis, a statue of a little boy peeing into a fountain. Locals delight in dressing him up in various costumes (Elvis, Mozart, a vampire, a samurai warrior) and occasionally substituting beer for water in his stream. In 1987 Jeanneke Pis, a female counterpart to the famous statue was erected in another section of the city. And as if that wasn't enough, in 1998, a canine counterpart to the two was erected as a tongue-in-cheek tribute. (All this little bronze dog needs is a fire hydrant!)

Just in case statues of peeing children aren't enough of a draw, here's perhaps the best reason to visit Brussels: With the businesspeople tucked away in the modern part of town and a good portion of Belgium's tourists fighting the crowds in Bruges, it's easier there than in most European capitals to find a quiet corner to call your own.


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  • 7 Night
    Cruise to Brussels

    Leaving:
    Brussels
    Visiting:
    Ghent, Ypres ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Avalon Waterways
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    Cruise Itinerary

    7 Night Cruise to Brussels Route (Avalon Waterways)
    • Day 1
      Brussels
    • Day 2
      Ghent
    • Day 3
      Ypres
    • Day 3
      Westhoek
    • Day 4
      Middelburg
    • Day 5
      Kinderdijk
    • Day 6
      Haarlem
    • Day 6
      Zaandam
    • Day 7
      Amsterdam
    • Day 8
      Amsterdam
    Ship Details

    Avalon Imagery II - Avalon Waterways

    Sightseeing excursions led by local guides

    Beds in most rooms face the windows, not the wall

    Fare includes wine with dinner, tours and Wi-Fi

    Reviews

    Avalon Imagery II Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    0.0/5

    Avalon Imagery II is one of two "suite ships" to join Avalon Waterways' fleet in Europe in 2016...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    VT2019cruiser
    Sail Date Dec 2019
    A relaxing, stress-free way to enjoy the German Christmas Markets
    Read More
    nanaevie
    Sail Date Oct 2019
    Best cruise we have ever been on.
    Read More
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  • 15 Night
    Cruise to Brussels

    Leaving:
    Fort Lauderdale
    Visiting:
    Azores Islands, Lisbon ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Princess Cruises
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    Cruise Itinerary

    15 Night Cruise to Brussels Route (Princess Cruises)
    • Day 1
      Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
    • Day 2
      Cruising
    • Day 3
      Cruising
    • Day 4
      Cruising
    • Day 5
      Cruising
    • Day 6
      Cruising
    • Day 7
      Cruising
    • Day 8
      Azores Islands
    • Day 9
      Cruising
    • Day 10
      Lisbon
    • Day 11
      Cruising
    • Day 12
      Bilbao
    • Day 13
      Cruising
    • Day 14
      Brussels
    • Day 15
      Isle of Portland (England)
    • Day 16
      Southampton
    Ship Details

    Regal Princess - Princess Cruises

    Pros

    Excellent dining options abound

    Cons

    Small cabins and balconies feel tight

    Bottom Line

    Modern and sophisticated decor, entertainment and dining

    Reviews

    Regal Princess Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins4.0
    Dining4.0
    Service4.0
    Value4.0

    Regal Princess is unmistakably elegant, accomplishing something mainstream cruise ships occasio...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    Inside Cabin Cruiser
    Sail Date Jan 2020
    Baby Boomers sweet spot
    Read More
    Doddr
    Sail Date Jan 2020
    Jan 5, 2020
    Read More
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 7 Night
    Cruise to Brussels

    Leaving:
    Amsterdam
    Visiting:
    Arnhem, Maastricht ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Avalon Waterways
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    Cruise Itinerary

    7 Night Cruise to Brussels Route (Avalon Waterways)
    • Day 1
      Amsterdam
    • Day 2
      Arnhem
    • Day 3
      Maastricht
    • Day 4
      Namur
    • Day 5
      Liege
    • Day 6
      Antwerp
    • Day 7
      Brussels
    • Day 8
      Brussels
    Ship Details

    Avalon Imagery II - Avalon Waterways

    Sightseeing excursions led by local guides

    Beds in most rooms face the windows, not the wall

    Fare includes wine with dinner, tours and Wi-Fi

    Reviews

    Avalon Imagery II Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    0.0/5

    Avalon Imagery II is one of two "suite ships" to join Avalon Waterways' fleet in Europe in 2016...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    Slce123
    Sail Date Aug 2019
    Trip of a Lifetime
    Read More
    hcross888
    Sail Date Aug 2019
    Central European Experience: Beautiful scenery and excellent service
    Read More
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  • 12 Night
    Cruise to Brussels

    Leaving:
    Southampton
    Visiting:
    Hamburg, Aarhus ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Princess Cruises
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    Cruise Itinerary

    12 Night Cruise to Brussels Route (Princess Cruises)
    • Day 1
      Southampton
    • Day 2
      Cruising
    • Day 3
      Hamburg
    • Day 4
      Cruising
    • Day 5
      Aarhus
    • Day 6
      Copenhagen
    • Day 7
      Gothenburg
    • Day 8
      Oslo
    • Day 9
      Cruising
    • Day 10
      Rotterdam
    • Day 11
      Brussels
    • Day 12
      Paris
    • Day 13
      Southampton
    Ship Details

    Island Princess - Princess Cruises

    Pros

    Comfortable, mid-sized ship; peaceful adults-only sun deck; good variety of food.

    Cons

    Ship generally feels cramped; bathrooms and standard balconies are also small.

    Bottom Line

    Ideal for those looking for a traditional cruise ship experience with no surprises.

    Reviews

    Island Princess Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins4.0
    Dining4.0
    Service4.0
    Value4.0

    Island Princess is one of the two 92,000-ton Coral-class ships -- the other is Coral Princess -...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    KnA8361
    Sail Date Dec 2019
    Island Princess – 10 Day Panama Canal with Costa Rica & Caribbean Dec 20, 2019
    Read More
    merseydave
    Sail Date Dec 2019
    Christmas in the Panama Canal
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 26 Night
    Cruise to Brussels

    Leaving:
    Fort Lauderdale
    Visiting:
    Azores Islands, Lisbon ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Princess Cruises
    View Deal
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    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    26 Night Cruise to Brussels Route (Princess Cruises)
    • Day 1
      Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
    • Day 2
      Cruising
    • Day 3
      Cruising
    • Day 4
      Cruising
    • Day 5
      Cruising
    • Day 6
      Cruising
    • Day 7
      Cruising
    • Day 8
      Azores Islands
    • Day 9
      Cruising
    • Day 10
      Lisbon
    • Day 11
      Cruising
    • Day 12
      Bilbao
    • Day 13
      Cruising
    • Day 14
      Brussels
    • Day 15
      Isle of Portland (England)
    • Day 16
      Southampton
    • Day 17
      St. Peter Port (Guernsey)
    • Day 18
      Cobh (Cork)
    • Day 19
      Dublin
    • Day 20
      Belfast
    • Day 21
      Liverpool
    • Day 22
      Greenock (Glasgow)
    • Day 23
      Cruising
    • Day 24
      Invergordon (Inverness)
    • Day 25
      South Queensferry
    • Day 26
      Cruising
    • Day 27
      Paris
    Ship Details

    Regal Princess - Princess Cruises

    Pros

    Excellent dining options abound

    Cons

    Small cabins and balconies feel tight

    Bottom Line

    Modern and sophisticated decor, entertainment and dining

    Reviews

    Regal Princess Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins4.0
    Dining4.0
    Service4.0
    Value4.0

    Regal Princess is unmistakably elegant, accomplishing something mainstream cruise ships occasio...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    Debbylaney
    Sail Date Dec 2019
    So Very Disappointed
    Read More
    gmax67
    Sail Date Dec 2019
    Great vacation, punctuated by bad staff interactions and extra charges.
    Read More
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    Call to plan your cruise 866-501-1694 866-501-1694
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 16 Night
    Cruise to Brussels

    Leaving:
    Southampton
    Visiting:
    Brussels, Isle of Portland ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Princess Cruises
    View Deal
    View Cruise Info
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    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    16 Night Cruise to Brussels Route (Princess Cruises)
    • Day 1
      Southampton
    • Day 2
      Brussels
    • Day 3
      Isle of Portland (England)
    • Day 4
      Cruising
    • Day 5
      Bordeaux
    • Day 6
      Bilbao
    • Day 7
      Cruising
    • Day 8
      Lisbon
    • Day 9
      Cruising
    • Day 10
      Azores Islands
    • Day 11
      Cruising
    • Day 12
      Cruising
    • Day 13
      Cruising
    • Day 14
      Cruising
    • Day 15
      Cruising
    • Day 16
      Cruising
    • Day 17
      Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
    Ship Details

    Crown Princess - Princess Cruises

    Pros

    Great layout for minimizing crowds; recent refresh makes the ship feel new

    Cons

    Fewer specialty dining options and bells and whistles than on new mega-ships

    Bottom Line

    A simple yet elegant cruise option for adults looking for relaxation or romance

    Reviews

    Crown Princess Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.5/5
    Cabins4.5
    Dining4.0
    Service4.5
    Value4.0

    One of Princess' Grand-class ships, Crown Princess excels at providing fun, relaxing and enrich...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    CruisinForYears
    Sail Date Dec 2019
    Not Too Good on Crown Princess Christmas Cruise
    Read More
    JRoyer
    Sail Date Dec 2019
    New Year's Cruise
    Read More
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    Call to plan your cruise 866-501-1694 866-501-1694
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 33 Night
    Cruise to Brussels

    Leaving:
    Southampton
    Visiting:
    Seville , Malta ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Princess Cruises
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    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    33 Night Cruise to Brussels Route (Princess Cruises)
    • Day 1
      Southampton
    • Day 2
      Cruising
    • Day 3
      Cruising
    • Day 4
      Seville
    • Day 5
      Cruising
    • Day 6
      Cruising
    • Day 7
      Malta (Valletta)
    • Day 8
      Cruising
    • Day 9
      Mykonos
    • Day 10
      Kusadasi
    • Day 11
      Santorini
    • Day 12
      Cruising
    • Day 13
      Cruising
    • Day 14
      Cartagena (Spain)
    • Day 15
      Cruising
    • Day 16
      Cruising
    • Day 17
      Cruising
    • Day 18
      Southampton
    • Day 19
      Brussels
    • Day 20
      Isle of Portland (England)
    • Day 21
      Cruising
    • Day 22
      Bordeaux
    • Day 23
      Bilbao
    • Day 24
      Cruising
    • Day 25
      Lisbon
    • Day 26
      Cruising
    • Day 27
      Azores Islands
    • Day 28
      Cruising
    • Day 29
      Cruising
    • Day 30
      Cruising
    • Day 31
      Cruising
    • Day 32
      Cruising
    • Day 33
      Cruising
    • Day 34
      Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
    Ship Details

    Crown Princess - Princess Cruises

    Pros

    Great layout for minimizing crowds; recent refresh makes the ship feel new

    Cons

    Fewer specialty dining options and bells and whistles than on new mega-ships

    Bottom Line

    A simple yet elegant cruise option for adults looking for relaxation or romance

    Reviews

    Crown Princess Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.5/5
    Cabins4.5
    Dining4.0
    Service4.5
    Value4.0

    One of Princess' Grand-class ships, Crown Princess excels at providing fun, relaxing and enrich...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    JAMOZ
    Sail Date Dec 2019
    Chose this cruise for the Ports of Call
    Read More
    1990Couple
    Sail Date Dec 2019
    Nice family Christmas cruise
    Read More
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 7 Night
    Cruise to Brussels

    Leaving:
    Amsterdam
    Visiting:
    Amsterdam, Rotterdam ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    U River Cruises
    View Deal
    View Cruise Info
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    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    7 Night Cruise to Brussels Route (U River Cruises)
    • Day 1
      Amsterdam
    • Day 2
      Amsterdam
    • Day 3
      Rotterdam
    • Day 4
      Middelburg
    • Day 5
      Ghent
    • Day 6
      Antwerp
    • Day 7
      Brussels
    • Day 8
      Brussels
    Ship Details

    The B - U River Cruises

    Pros

    Youthful ship has hip decor, late mornings and late nights, modern vibe

    Cons

    Open-to-all policy diffuses onboard ambiance, communication needs work

    Bottom Line

    Appealing programming, fun staff and casual atmosphere make this an interesting option for millennial couples and friends

    Reviews
    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins4.0
    Dining4.5
    Service4.5
    Value4.0

    Editor's Note: The B will be out of commission in 2019. It will return in 2020 on itinerari...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    John Ca
    Sail Date Aug 2018
    Wonderful Seine River Cruise with Something for Everyone
    Read More
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