Our first stop on our Celebrity Silhouette Baltic cruise – the charming town of Bruges. With its picturesque European homes, architecture dating to the 13th century, cobblestone streets and canals, Bruges (Zeebrugge) is not to be missed.
Bruges is the capital of West Flanders in the Flemish region of Belgium. The historic town is filled with shops, churches, cafes, museums and markets. Known as “the Venice of the North”, there are ample opportunities to take a canal ride through the town. It is a great way to see the city.
This is a stop you can definitely do on your own. We usually don’t book shore excursions through the ship due to the exorbitant mark up. However, you can’t just walk in to the town. The Zeebrugge port is one of the largest in Europe and they do not allow pedestrians for safety reasons. There were a number of buses available to take us directly to Bruges for 20 Euros per person round trip. No pre-arrangements necessary. It’s a 20 minute ride into Bruges. You have a short, pleasant walk into the town centre from the drop-off point and ample time to explore before heading back at your chosen departure time. Three hours is about right unless you are going through a couple of museums or the Salvador Dali gallery next to the main square.
Bring some Euros for coffee and pastry as some of the shops don’t take credit cards.
Explore all kinds of shops offering Belgian chocolate, Belgian waffles, lace, tapestries and all sorts of linens, stemware, pottery, leather goods and jewelry. There is a quaint open market selling hand-made goods that you can’t miss as it is right beside the canal.
Next stop – Copenhagen!