We didn't spend any time at the port city of Zeebrugge this trip; with only a day in port we opted to arrange for cab service directly to Bruges. This ancient city is now the capital, and largest city of West Flanders in the Flemish Region of Belgium. UNESCO has declared the city center a World Heritage Site. There are ancient canals to explore via guided canal trips, with buildings ranging from the very old to quite modern. This is also a great chocolate-lovers' destination! We particularly enjoyed The Chocolate Line and Dumon. There are many others!
We also enjoyed a carriage ride around the city center. We arrived in Bruges early in the morning, anxious to spend an entire day here, but before 9 am not many shops or museums are open and on the day we were there, it was chilly and threatening rain. The carriage ride was a great way to get an overview of the area, warm up under the blankets provided, and ask the driver to point out some of the places that were on our list for exploration later in the day.
Bruges is a fascinating city, very different from Brussels that we visited later on our own after the cruise, and we're very glad that we were able to visit both of them on this trip.
Transportation: Taxi Snel to Bruges from the port at Zeebrugge
The website now includes an English version, but it didn't at the time of our visit, so we e-mailed using the address email@example.com and the response was in English. The charge at the time we used their service was 50€ each way, but you could easily pair with another couple and let the company know there would be 4 of you. Whether that would change the price (larger vehicle?) I don't know. The vehicle that was provided for us was spacious and comfortable; if one person joined the driver up front it should hold 4 passengers. The taxi was waiting for us as we disembarked in Zeebrugge and arrived promptly at the time we'd agreed upon for return. There was a change of drivers for the return trip, but the driver we'd met that morning was there to introduce us to the new driver.
Lunch in Bruges: Gruuthuse Hof
At the intersection of Heilige-Geestradt and Mariastraat (address is 36 Mariastraat) is a wonderful restaurant where we had a delightful 3-course lunch. We chose it because the menu looked interesting, but we've since learned that it's highly rated and deservedly so, we'd say. It is closed Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. We walked in at noon on a Sunday to an almost-empty dining room but by the time we left about an hour later, every table, inside and outside, was occupied and people were waiting. The phone number is +32 (0)50 330614; website is http://www.gruuthusehof.be/. Click on the photo to open the site.