Bruges is the capital of the West Flanders in the north of Belgium. The city is particularly known for its canals and waterways. The city is actually very close, nearly attached to the maritime town of Zeebrugge, especially renowned for the huge port that it hosts and the fishing market industry that is very developed. Bruges is a nice place to rent a boat and cruise on the canals. Make sure to stop along your journey for sightseeing, museums and for a fresh beer.
There are different times when it is enjoyable to visit Bruges. The main seasons are spring and fall. These periods of the year have some good weather, and conditions are optimal for sailing. Above all, the tourist population is not overwhelming like it can be during summer.
Make sure you explore Bruges off high season as you will find cheaper boat rental prices. Indeed, the prices for a boat hire in summer are more expensive due to the increasingly high demand.
Boat rental prices in Bruges start at 200€ per day for sailboats and go up to 1700€ for a whole week on your yacht charter.
The prices are definitely higher during the high season (July and August in Bruges). Therefore, we strongly recommend that you rent a boat in Belgium well in advance if you want to get the best prices, especially if you plan on visiting Bruges during the time of the year.
To charter a yacht in Bruges, you will have to check Belgian laws and regulations. These are the same in the Netherlands which is very convenient as Belgium is located very close to other countries. For most inland waterways and types of boats in Belgium there are no requirements for a boating licence. But this quickly changes as you go closer to the Baltic sea;
You will need a boating certificate if your yacht is bigger than 15 metres in length or if the power of the engine on the boat can go above 20km/h.
The minimum age to pass the boating certificate is 16 years old in Belgium.
There are two types of boating permits in Bruges. One is mainly for inland waterways and the other one for all kinds.
“Brevet de conduite restreinte” For all inland waterways except for a couple like the Escaut canal (doesn’t concern you in Bruges)
“Brevet de conduite géneral” is for all waterways including coastal navigation (this means you’ll be able to enjoy your time in the Baltic sea)
Hire a boat in Bruges and cruise along the shores of Belgium. There are many baltic towns that become quite popular when the sun comes out, and makes for a very enjoyable time sailing.
Bruges is a great place to start a sailing adventure. The French border is very close, you could explore the city of Dunkerque or the shorelines of the Netherlands.