Belgium cruises

Situated in the heart of Western Europe, the small country of Belgium is renowned for its old towns, Flemish Renaissance architecture and as the international headquarters of the European Union.

Belgium is a real cultural melting pot where old meets new at every turn. Mediaeval castles, belfries and churches contrast with trendy cafés, modern art galleries, and a thriving bar and restaurant scene.

As well as being the administrative capital of the European Union, the capital city of Brussels is a thrilling combination of majestic architecture and vibrant culture. It is well worth exploring the various houses and guildhalls of the Grand Palace – including Le Pigeon, where Victor Hugo lived when he was exiled from France in 1852. If you are a fan of ecclesiastical splendour, you can take a tour around the Église Notre-Dame Du Sablon, a 15th century Catholic church that is a fine example of Gothic architecture and contains many fine Baroque sculptures of the apostles.

For those who prefer more worldly delights, the Belgian Comic Strip Centre is well worth a visit. This gorgeous 1906 building, designed by Victor Horta, is dedicated to the rich history of French and Belgian comic strips, with a constantly rotating exhibition of 200 original drawings, manuscripts and draft sketches.

Antwerp – Belgium’s second largest city and its largest port – is another cultural highlight, and regularly attracts artists, writers and the

Location

fashionable crowd. Much like Brussels, the beating heart of this city is mediaeval and it boasts a beautiful cathedral as well as many entertainment and arts attractions.

The most mediaeval and otherworldly of all of Belgium’s cities, however, is undoubtedly Bruges. Pretty canals line cobbled streets and market squares are packed full of atmospheric old churches. For those interested in art history, the Groeninge museum is one of the city’s most celebrated art galleries, and features a fascinating collection of Flemish Primitive and Renaissance works.

Exploring all that these cities have to offer can be hungry work, and Belgium cruise passengers will be glad to hear that the country is in a league of its own when it comes to food and drink. Creamy and rich Belgian chocolate rarely tastes better than when drizzled over warm waffles, and everything tastes good when washed down with a glass of frothy and distinctive Belgian beer.

Climate

Belgium has a temperate climate, meaning that it usually experiences mild winters and cool summers, with plenty of rainfall especially in spring and autumn.

For your Belgium cruise, make sure to pack something waterproof as well as some layers so that you are well prepared for all weather. If you are planning on exploring the cities by foot, comfortable walking shoes are a good idea.

Useful information

Belgium is a multilingual country, and the most common languages spoken here are Dutch, English and French. The currency used here is the Euro and ATMs are widely available, and major credit and debit cards are accepted in most large establishments. Tipping is not especially common in Belgium, although most city restaurants add a service charge of around 10% to the bill.

Ports we visit in Belgium