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Cruises to Brugge (Bruges)

Brugge (Bruges) (Photo:Kanuman/Shutterstock)
Brugge (Bruges) (Photo:Kanuman/Shutterstock)

About Brugge (Bruges)

Brugge (in Flemish -- it's Bruges in French) is one of the most visited cities in Europe and is the number one destination for passengers on cruise ships calling at Zeebrugge. Visitors flock here, not for a specific museum or historical location, but to wander amidst the city's stunning examples of Flemish and Renaissance architecture and immerse themselves in the vitality of the two main squares -- Markt and Berg. There is always so much going on in Brugges -- from flower and produce markets to rides for children, bustling cafes and restaurants and old-fashioned people watching.

Never mind that Brugge's medieval appearance is largely a recent recreation. The city was rediscovered by 19th century tourists, mostly from England, heading to the site of the battle of Waterloo. Its growing popularity generated an interest to fix up the city following its downfall from one of the Hanseatic League's most important trading cities. Cloth had been the main commodity; the English wool came by ship directly to Brugge until the waterways silted up in the 15th century. The city fell into disrepair as much of the population drifted away, but in the 19th and early 20th century, Brugge was rebuilt in the traditional styles.

From the two squares, lanes fan out to wonderful commercial and residential streetscapes, and many of the canals have fringing walkways. Perhaps one of the best views of the city is from a canal boat looking up at the historic buildings and stone bridges. The further you go from the center -- and you don't have to venture more than a few blocks -- the more serene the city becomes. All you need is a walking tour map and alert senses to come away enchanted with Brugge as millions have before you.

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DAY 1: New York

15 Night
Cruise to Brugge (Bruges)

Leaving:
New York
Visiting:
King's Wharf, Ponta Delgada ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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DAY 1: New York

15 Night
Cruise to Brugge (Bruges)

Leaving:
New York
Visiting:
Halifax, Reykjavik ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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12 Night
Cruise to Brugge (Bruges)

Leaving:
Southampton
Visiting:
Brugge, Amsterdam ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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DAY 1: Amsterdam

12 Night
Cruise to Brugge (Bruges)

Leaving:
Amsterdam
Visiting:
Edinburgh, Invergordon ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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9 Night
Cruise to Brugge (Bruges)

Leaving:
Amsterdam
Visiting:
Cobh, Liverpool ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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16 Night
Cruise to Brugge (Bruges)

Leaving:
New York
Visiting:
Halifax, Reykjavik ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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12 Night
Cruise to Brugge (Bruges)

Leaving:
Copenhagen
Visiting:
Tallinn, St. Petersburg ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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53 Night
Cruise to Brugge (Bruges)

Leaving:
New York
Visiting:
Bar Harbor, Saint John ...
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Cruise Line:
Oceania Cruises
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9 Night
Cruise to Brugge (Bruges)

Leaving:
Amsterdam
Visiting:
London, Brugge ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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11 Night
Cruise to Brugge (Bruges)

Leaving:
Southampton
Visiting:
Le Havre, Brugge ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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Cruise Critic Favorite

16 Night
Cruise to Brugge (Bruges)

Leaving:
Fort Lauderdale
Visiting:
Ponta Delgada, La Coruna ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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12 Night
Cruise to Brugge (Bruges)

Leaving:
Amsterdam
Visiting:
Brugge, Le Havre ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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10 Night
Cruise to Brugge (Bruges)

Leaving:
Southampton
Visiting:
Le Havre, Brugge ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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14 Night
Cruise to Brugge (Bruges)

Leaving:
Amsterdam
Visiting:
London, Brugge ...
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Cruise Line:
Oceania Cruises
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20 Night
Cruise to Brugge (Bruges)

Leaving:
Stockholm
Visiting:
Visby, Copenhagen ...
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Cruise Line:
Oceania Cruises
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14 Night
Cruise to Brugge (Bruges)

Leaving:
Fort Lauderdale
Visiting:
Ponta Delgada, Brest ...
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Cruise Line:
Holland America Line
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10 Night
Cruise to Brugge (Bruges)

Leaving:
Southampton
Visiting:
Brugge, Le Havre ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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10 Night
Cruise to Brugge (Bruges)

Leaving:
Southampton
Visiting:
Isle of Portland, Cobh ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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59 Night
Cruise to Brugge (Bruges)

Leaving:
Stockholm
Visiting:
Helsinki, St. Petersburg ...
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Cruise Line:
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
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27 Night
Cruise to Brugge (Bruges)

Leaving:
Stockholm
Visiting:
Turku, Helsinki ...
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Cruise Line:
Oceania Cruises
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3 Night
Cruise to Brugge (Bruges)

Leaving:
Southampton
Visiting:
Brugge ...
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Cruise Line:
Cunard Line
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10 Night
Cruise to Brugge (Bruges)

Leaving:
Southampton
Visiting:
Le Havre, Brugge ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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21 Night
Cruise to Brugge (Bruges)

Leaving:
Fort Lauderdale
Visiting:
Ponta Delgada, Brest ...
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Cruise Line:
Holland America Line
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3 Night
Cruise to Brugge (Bruges)

Leaving:
Southampton
Visiting:
Brugge ...
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Cruise Line:
Cunard Line
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11 Night
Cruise to Brugge (Bruges)

Leaving:
Southampton
Visiting:
Le Havre, Brugge ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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Why go to Brugge (Bruges)?

Pros:

Historic attractions, charming cafes plus Belgian beer and chocolate are just some of the highlights

Cons:

Most ships dock in Antwerp, Ghent or Zeebrugge, necessitating a bus ride to Brugge itself

Bottom Line:

Worth the trek to get a taste of Belgian food and culture

Brugge (Bruges) Cruise Port Facilities?

There are absolutely no services within walking distance of the Zeebrugge cruise terminal. At Antwerp, it's a few minutes' walk into the city center.

Getting Around?

Once you have arrived at Brugge's yellow brick station, it is an easy walk into the center of town and the main squares, Markt and Berg. Central Brugge is largely pedestrian-only, so walking is the way to go. Besides hoofing it, you can hop a canal boat for sightseeing tours. Both taxis and buses are available at the train station.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

The euro is the official currency of Belgium. You'll find plenty of ATM's and exchange bureaus in Brugge. Even if you plan to mostly pay with credit cards, it's wise to have some local currency as small purchases will need to be made in cash.

Language?

Flemish and French are the principal languages; however, many people speak basic to good English as well.

Where You're Docked?

Ships dock at the commercial port of Zeebrugge, about a 20-minute ride from Brugge, or at Antwerp, a one hour 45 minutes' drive. From Zeebrugge, most lines provide a transfer to Brugge for independent touring or a drop-off at Blankenberg station where trains run hourly to Brugge (travel times is 10 minutes). The roundtrip fare is 5 euros. Trains then continue on to Ghent and Brussels. Trains run hourly from Antwerp Central Station to Brugge taking one hour 20 minutes.


Awards and Recognition

Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice Destination

  • 2018 Top-Rated British Isles & Western Europe Destinations
  • 2015 Top-Rated British Isles & Western Europe Destinations

Brugge (Bruges) Cruise Reviews

Celebrity Reflection
dogdental
Sail Date: Sep 2019
Took the shuttle from ship to Bruges and wandered around with 3 others. We took a canal ride, had lunch at a local restaurant headed back to ship.... Read More
Queen Elizabeth
Pinksian1981
Sail Date: Nov 2019
We made our own way to Bruges by using the shuttle bus from the ship to the local train station (about 15 minutes journey) The train was an excellent price of 5 euros per person return and took about 10 minutes.... Read More
MSC Preziosa
wendychloecruiser
Sail Date: Sep 2019
We did not visit Brugge due to the cobblestones which are difficult when a scooter is needed. It is one of my favourite places.... Read More
Gary1962
Sail Date: Aug 2019
Whatever you do, do not take the self guided ship excursion into Bruges. They were asking for €37 per person, and yet they lay on a free bus from the ship to Blankenburg station in the next town, where you catch... Read More
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