ABOVE: Canal boats in Brugge (Bruges), an
11-minute train ride from Zeebrugge's neighboring beach resort of Blankenberge..
Zeebrugge shore excursions
from: Port of Zeebrugge
Silversea offered three excursions from Zeebrugge for Silver
Whisper passengers: a half-day "Romantic Bruges" tour, a half-day "Medieval
Ghent" tour, and an all-day excursion to Brussels (which required a two-hour bus
We were familiar with Belgium and just felt like taking it easy
on our last cruise day, so we skipped the tours and took Silversea's free
shuttle bus to the nearby beach resort of Blankenberge. There, we spent
several hours strolling along the busy promenade, checking out the local shops,
admiring the goods in bakery windows, and taking photos of dogs. (It's hard to
resist canine photo ops in Belgium: In Blankenberge, we saw dogs on leashes,
dogs in backpacks, dogs in strollers, and one dog in a basket that a man and a
woman were carrying between them.)
Early in the afternoon, we bought train tickets for Bruges,
which is only an 11-minute trip from the Blankenberge railroad station. Trains
run at least twice an hour, and the fare for a round trip in second class was
4,40 at the time of our visit.
Bruges was packed with tourists, as
we'd expected it to be in late August, but the crowds were manageable and we
were able to stoke up on Vlaamse frites (Flemish fries) with mayonnaise
before an afternoon of sightseeing and shopping for chocolates.
Port of Tilbury (London)