Port Profile: Zeebrugge, Belgium

Learn everything you need to know about cruise destinations under Avid Cruiser’s Port Profiles section (you’ll find a tab above on the navigation bar). Each week, we’ll provide one or more port profiles for those are planning trips or for those who need inspiration to do so. Today’s feature, Zeebrugge, gateway to Bruges, Belgium.

The Markt square in Bruges, with the Belfort tower Photo:Toerisme Brugge/Jan Darthet

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Overview

While mind reading is admittedly a tricky skill, it’s probably safe to assume that most visitors do not disembark from their cruise ship in Zeebrugge with the intention to explore this Belgian destination. For most travellers, nearby Bruges is the main reason to put this region of the world on their list of places to visit. The capital of the province of West Flanders, Bruges is world famous for its historic city center. As important as Zeebrugge is from an economic perspective – primarily due to the port – it is probably not a wild guess to assume that Zeebrugge (literally: Bruges-on-sea) will continue to live in the shadows when it comes to tourism.

In all honesty, Zeebrugge will be in good company. Bruges is a difficult destination to compete with in almost any field, whether it concerns history or atmosphere. It’s not a coincidence that the entire historical city center has been included on UNESCO’s World Heritage list. This city of some 120,000 inhabitants even features 100 kilometers of canals, something that has resulted in the city being referred to as “the Venice of the north” (a nickname that, of course, also applies to a couple of other northern cities, such as Amsterdam and Stockholm).

Read Avid Cruiser’s full Port Profile featuring Zeebrugge.

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