Meeting Your Trip in BRUGGE

This page offers help (concrete or informational) on reaching your trip. Topics include...

  1. Where you join your trip (see immediately below)
  2. Our “Access Packages,” designed to help you to do so.
  3. Suggestions on how to time your trip to the trip, whether you are having us arrange your travel, or doing it yourself.
  4. Service information regarding train travel to your trip start location.
  5. Hopefully helpful hints for those setting up their own travel to the trip.

If you wish to arrange some or all of your travel through us, please tell us what by means of this response questionnaire, designed to collect all the information we need to be able to book your travel.


1. WHERE and WHEN Do You Join Your Trip?

Your trip assembles at our Brugge hotel on Saturday.  Two meeting times are offered:  at 2p, and at 6p.  The former allows you to get your bike, and explore the very bike-friendly town on two wheels.  The latter is just designed to get the group together for dinner.
We will send you details of meeting time and place with your final itinerary.

If you wish to make your own way to the trip (in other words, not to set up your travel arrangements through us), a couple of hints on getting there are offered at the bottom of this page.


2. Our ACCESS PACKAGES
as of March 30, 2017

The closest intercontinental airport is Brussels.  Our “Access Package” includes an “open” rail ticket from Brussels to Brugge (reservations are not required on this line, and service is frequent).  Tickets from Brussels Airport, Amsterdam, Paris or London are proposed at modest additional cost.

Base (Starting) Access Package Price:  25 €.
To see what this means in your currency, look here: http://www.bluemarble.org/CurrencyConv.html

Availability is guaranteed until 5 days prior to trip start, and tickets can be printed at home, so there are no shipping costs (or delays).  They still have to be pre-ordered, however, so within 5 days, we may have trouble getting you the tickets in time.  Many extra-cost options have higher prices if ordered w/in 30 days.

Included:

  • 2nd cl. daylight train tickets to Brugge from Brussels.  
    Tickets are available from Brussels Zaventem (National) Airport, or from Charleroi (a low-cost airline hub south of Brussels), at modest additional cost.  See below.
  • A detailed schedule / itinerary, highlighting any connections.
  • Our “Route Sheet to the Trip,” helping you through your journey.
  • All taxes, baggage charges, booking charges...
    All those things the airlines add at the last minute.

Options Offered at an Extra Cost (subject to availability)
Prices are in addition to the “Base” Access Package Price.
For a general discussion of train upgrades, see here. Topics include the relative comfort of first versus second class, and different types of accommodation available on overnight trains.

  • Tickets from Brussels Zaventem (National) Airport, or from Charleroi (a Ryanair hub south of Brussels): +7€ 2nd class, +10€ first class.
  • Tickets from London.  Add 69€ if you are also purchasing tickets back to London, 99€ if not, or if you prefer a changeable return (in 1st class, add 119€ or 155€; 1st class tickets include meal service).
  • Train from Amsterdam (downtown or Schipol Airport):  +41€ 2nd class, +62€ 1st class.
    Prices include seat reservation charges if required.  Tickets are train-specific, and are not refundable or exchangeable once ordered. 
    Tickets valid for travel on a local service operating every two hours all day long, and not requiring seat reservations, offer more flexibility, to protect from a late arriving plane or a broken alarm clock.  They cost 10€ less (15€ less in 1st class).  The trains are comfortable and frequent, but they add 70 minutes to the trip.
  • Train from Paris (downtown or Charles de Gaulle Airport).  Two routes are available (see Service Information, below):
    - Via Brussels:  +48€ 2nd class, +83€ 1st class (includes light meal service on board).
    - Via Lille:  +31€ 2nd class, +56€ 1st class
    Prices include seat reservation charges.  Tickets are train-specific, and are not refundable or exchangeable once ordered. Refundable tickets, for more flexibility, or to protect from a late arriving plane or a broken alarm clock, are available in a higher fare class (+19€ via Lille, +45€ via Brussels).
  • First class train tickets (in lieu of 2nd class):  +8€ from Brussels downtown, +11€ from Charleroi or Brussels National Airport.
  • Paris airport train tickets, from Charles de Gaulle or Orly to Paris center.  Follow this link for details.


3. TIMING Your Trip

If we may influence your thinking on the topic of timing... Brugge is one of Europe’s most beautiful cities.  Getting there early enough in the day to explore is a plus.  Trains from Brussels, Charleroi, or Brussles airport are easy to use: service is frequent, and reservations are not required.

If you are arriving via Paris or Amsterdam, however, most tickets are both route- and train-specific.  You must not only tell us when you wish to travel, but (in the case of Paris) also your route preference.  Allow ample time to connect from a flight:  the railroad is not responsible for (chronically) late planes.  Moreover, it can take intercontinental travellers up to 90 minutes to clear customs, immigration and baggage claim upon arrival.  If you are attempting a tight connection, we suggest modifiable tickets.


4. Service Information
Schedules are approximate – exact timetables can be consulted at
http://www.raileurope.com/us/rail/point_to_point/triprequest.htm.
Best trains are mentioned. Others are slower or have multiple connections.

  • From Brussels, Brussels’ Zaventem (National) Airport Rail Station, or from Charleroi
    Trip time is an hour from central Brussels, and there are 3 trains per hour. 
    - Seat reservations are not required (nor even available) on this route:  if you wish to be sure of comfortable, uncrowded conditions, take the modestly-priced 1st class upgrade.
    - Add 30 minutes if coming from the airport (there is one direct airport > Brugge train per hour, otherwise connect in downtown Brussels) or from Charleroi (change of train always required in Brussels). .
  • From Amsterdam, or Amsterdam’s Schipol Airport
    Trip time is 3.5 - 5 hours, with a change of train in Antwerp or Brussels.  Trains run hourly.  Reservations are required for express services.  Local trains, operated by a different company, can be ridden on a walk-up basis, but tickets are company specific (you cannot ride a local with an express ticket).
  • From Paris
    Trip time is a shade under 3 hours via Brussels (1 connection, hourly service), or a shade over 3 hours on the less expensive route via Lille (2 connections, every two hours from 9a).
  • From Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport.
    Trip time is 3 hours.  Service via Brussels (change of train).  Trains run at 8a, 10a, 11a, 1p, 4p, 5p & 7p.
  • From London
    Service every two hours, usually via Brussels, occasionally via Lille.  Trip time is 3 hours, but it is 4 hours on the clock face, since there is a one-hour time change.


5. Hints on TRAVELLING INDEPENDENTLY to the Trip
Guests subscribing to an “Access Package” need not read this section.

See also “Timing Your Trip” and “Service Information,” above, as either of these may additionally help.

We gladly provide travel consulting (schedule or routing information) concerning pre-trip individual travel.  In particular, we have invested a great deal to become railway experts.  Our service fees are reasonable:  a 20€ charge for all but the most complex projects – or the most simple (for instance, only a 10€ charge applies if the service is limited to the preparation of a routine rail ticket).  You will generally find them well-justified by the time they will save you in research, standing on line, overpaying for your tickets, or all three.

But, for some, this type of research is fun.  So, here are some hints, intended to start off hardened “do-it-yourselfers.”

Trains. Schedules for all routes can be consulted on this web site:
http://www.raileurope.com/index.html

Brugge offers frequent service (hourly or better) from Brussels or Antwerp, with connections from all points.

Planes.  Brussels is the closest airport, Amsterdam and Paris are not much further away.  If you are coming from London, flying makes no sense.  It is less reliable than the train, takes longer, depletes the ozone layer, and costs at least as much (sometimes substantially more), once terminal time and costs are factored in.  But maybe you just enjoy waiting on line, being squeezed into a metal tube, and hurtled through the air....


If you wish to arrange some or all of your travel through us, please tell us what by means of this response questionnaire, designed to collect all the information we need to be able to book your travel.

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