When your Scandinavian cruise ships docks in the Belgian port of Zeebrugge, shore excursions center on the sights and activities of the city of Bruges. It’s nicknamed the ”Venice of the North” for its maze of canals and is recognized as the chocolate capital of Belgium. Each excursion is guaranteed to impress and is certain to add to your enjoyment during your time ashore in Belgium.
Book Bruges shore excursions to see the best sights of a city founded by the Vikings in the 9th century which became an important international trading port. On a walking tour of the city, guided or on your own, you’ll take in the most important sights including the Belfry Tower, Market Square, and Burg Square, the social center of life in Bruges from its earliest days. Board a canal boat to cruise the city’s famous waterways, then head to Walplein Square, a quaint, tree-shaded cobblestone area of shops, including several chocolate shops, cafes, and breweries. It’s the perfect spot for a respite from a busy day exploring the city.
If your interest in chocolate goes beyond eating, book Zeebrugge shore excursions to attend a chocolatier’s workshop in Bruges or Ghent to see firsthand how fine Belgian chocolates are made, hear the history of Belgian chocolates, and enjoy sumptuous samplings.
On your cruise to Zeebrugge, journey to the nearby countryside of Flanders to the village of Damme, known for its bookstores and jam-packed book markets, held every second Sunday of the month. Visit Loppem Castle, built in 1856, which is unique for its adherence to the Flemish neo-Gothic style.
On Zeebrugge shore excursions that venture farther into the Flanders countryside, visit Ypres and discover the emotional and moving wartime history of a town that saw half a million soldiers killed and one million wounded during the years of World War I. Stand in awe at Tyne Cot Cemetery with its 11,953 headstones of soldiers killed between 1914 and 1918, and see the wall that lists 33,783 names of those reported missing. Hear the story of how a Canadian soldier named John McCrae came to write the famous poem, “In Flanders Fields,” and visit the museum that stands on hallowed ground.
To capture the essence of the medieval city of Ghent from your Northern Europe cruise, hop a scenic canal boat and cruise the waterways to see the city’s most important landmarks, then spend some time walking around. Walk to St. Bavo’s Cathedral to see the famous painting, “The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb,” also known as the Ghent Altarpiece, then stop for a drink or snack in Korenmarkt Square.