Zeebrugge Port is approximately 12 miles (about 19 kilometres) from the centre of Bruges.
Unless you have arranged alternative transport or intend to spend all day at the port, you will need to book a coach transfer to Bruges. If you book a mini cruise package, the price includes return transfers.
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The ferry docked at the Port of Zeebrugge at around 9 am where I disembarked via a door next to the reception kiosk on Red Deck 5. This walkway led me to a surprisingly short queue for Customs. It took me less than five minutes to get through this queue. Outside, coaches were waiting for transfers to Bruges.
Zeebrugge is a port town and while neighbouring Blankenburge offers an expansive beach, there is not much here for tourists, especially for those travelling without a car. For foot passengers, a coach transfer to Bruges is more or less a necessity unless you have alternative transport arranged.
My coach departed the port at 9.30 am and after a short 30-minute journey it parked up near the city centre. The drop-off/pick-up point is at Kanaaleiland Bargeplein on Buiten Katelijnevest. This is a few minutes walk beyond the former stop located to the side of Bruges Central Railway Station.
The stop is designated with a P&O Ferries signpost, and is where many coaches drop off cruise passengers on shore excursions. From the bus stop, it is a 20 minute walk through Minnewaterpark to Grote Markt. Some passengers opted to use taxis to save on walking to and from the stop.
Thanks to swift transfers, I had up to 7½ hours to explore Bruges.
I made my way back to the bus stop with plenty of time to spare before the 5.30pm deadline. A queue formed from around 4.30 pm and at 5 pm, two coaches arrived in true fashion.
The return journey was slightly longer due to congestion. Check-in was swift as there was only one coach load to process at the time. The same went for the Customs check. I boarded Pride of Bruges immediately after.
The return sailing was scheduled for 7 pm but set sail at 6.30 pm. Heavier cargo meant the ship was more stable on the return journey than on the outward leg.
The ferry arrived in Hull at a little before 9 am although and slid into the lock with ease. The ferry docked at an alternative pier and so disembarkation took place at the side of Red Deck 5 rather than at the rear.
Once inside the terminal building, I joined a snaking 15-minute Customs queue. Soon after, I was in my car bound for home.
Zeebrugge Port is just half an hour's drive from Bruges, thanks to great road links. The terminal is clean and welcoming, and the arrival Customs checks were very swift.
Read more in this series
- Getting to the Port of Hull
- Pride of Bruges Review
- Pride of Bruges Cabins
- Food & Drink on Pride of Bruges
- Entertainment on Pride of Bruges
- Guide to Zeebrugge Port (you are here)
- What can you do in Bruges in just one day?
- Zeebrugge Mini Cruise Review on P&O Ferries' Pride of Bruges